iPhone, Android Drive Rise in Smartphones Popularity: Pew

Smartphones are owned by 46 percent of American adults, says the Pew Research Center. The fastest-growing segment is 18- to 24-year-olds, and iPhones are the most purchased.

Smartphone ownership continues to rise, especially among younger consumers and business users, says a March 1 report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The fastest-growing group of smartphone addicts was 18- to 24-year-olds, though it's 25- to 34-year-olds who continue to own the lion's share.

However, Americans who are over the age of 65 are still shying away from these devices, although the Pew report found some modest growth in ownership.

As of February, 46 percent of American adults owned smartphones -- an 11 percent rise from the 35 percent of Americans with smartphones in May 2011. Among all American adults, two in five own a mobile phone that's not a smartphone. Or so they say. Knowing what kind of phone one owns isn't crystal clear to everyone, but most folks are getting better at it -- only 8 percent of cell phone owners are now unsure about whether their phone is a smartphone, compared with 14 percent a year ago.

Consequently, Pew qualifies its results by adding that is what cell owners "say."

Still, what they're saying is that they're buying phones, particularly iPhones. While Android phones dominate, the percent of iPhone users during the survey periods rose by 90 percent, from 10 percent to 19 percent of Americans. Android phone ownership, meanwhile, rose by 30 percent, from being in the hands of 15 percent of Americans in May 2011 to 20 percent in February 2012.

BlackBerry ownership, meanwhile, fell from 10 percent to 6 percent of phone owners during the same period. The number of phone owners with Windows and Palm devices held steady, at 1 percent -- a statistic no doubt ready to change, with Nokia's introduction of new Windows Phone devices.

This article was originally published on 03-01-2012
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