August 21, 2012, 4:20 PM

A snapshot of a smartphone user

59% of U.S. smartphone owners access the web on their devices, a study finds.

Lead Photo

Retailers that have waited to create mobile-friendly sites that make it easy for shoppers to find a store, research products and buy may want to move that task up their laundry lists.

93% of U.S. smartphone owners use their devices to access online and phone-based information and content, according to a new survey of 2,540 Internet users between the ages of 8 and 64 from the Online Publishers Association and research and consulting firm Frank Magid Associates Inc. Phone-based information can include such things as calendars, contacts and documents.

While consumers are making purchases from their smartphones, it seems many more are using their devices for gathering information about products and services, the poll suggests.

14% of smartphone owners say they use their devices to buy products and services. Still, with 93% accessing information and content and 59% saying they use their smartphones for accessing the Internet, many consumers may be researching purchases from their handsets.

In fact, 10% of smartphone owners in the poll say they prefer researching products on their smartphones over their laptops, PCs and tablets. And 11% prefer shopping via their smartphones over those other devices.

107 million U.S. consumers own smartphones, up 46.2% from 73.2 million in 2011, the study finds. Around 142 million consumers will own smartphones by the end of 2013, the report’s authors forecast. 

When it comes to mobile operating systems, Google Inc.’s Android captures the most market share, accounting for 46% of U. S. smartphones. Apple Inc.’s iOS mobile operating system comes in second with 35%. 48% of smartphone owners are female and 52% male. 26% are between the ages of 25 and 34, the study finds, 21% are 35-44 and 15% are 35-54. The rest of smartphone owners are divided between those under 25 and over 54.

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