Most consumers own smartphones and use them to access the web

Studies from Nielsen and Pew paint a clear picture of smartphones today.

Bill Siwicki

Between June and August 2013, 15% of U.S. smartphone owners said they recently acquired their device (within the last three months); now, 64% of mobile phone owners in the U.S. own a smartphone, research firm Nielsen says. And among smartphone owners who acquired their device in the last three months, 80% chose smartphones over feature phones, the less-capable predecessor to smartphones, Nielsen says.

As of August 2013, Nielsen finds that 53% of smartphone owners in the U.S. have an Android phone; 40%, iPhone; 3%, BlackBerry; 2%, Windows Phone; and 2%, others. The Nielsen data are based on a panel of 70,000 U.S. mobile phone owners age 13 and over.

Consumers like the mobile web just as much as they like smartphones. 63% of U.S. adult mobile phone owners now use their phones to go online, a figure that has doubled since 2009, the Pew Research Center finds. In addition, 34% of these mobile web users say they mostly go online using their mobile phone—that means that 21% of all adult mobile phone owners now do most of their online browsing using their phone, Pew finds.

Since 91% of U.S. residents are mobile phone owners, this means that 57% of all U.S. residents now go online using a mobile phone, Pew says.

“A majority of the public now owns a smartphone, and mobile devices are playing an increasingly central role in the way that Americans access online services and information,” says Aaron Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. “For many, such as younger adults or lower-income Americans, mobile phones are often a primary gateway to online content—a development that has particular relevance to companies and organizations seeking to reach these groups.”

The Pew findings are based on a national telephone survey of 2,252 adults age 18 and over.


Aaron Smith, m-commerce, Mobile, mobile commerce, mobile statistics, Nielsen, Pew Center, Pew Internet Project, smartphones