Smartphone Ownership Still Rising

Every time a new report is released, the numbers have grown even bigger. The smartphone craze is still full throttle. Even 42% of American mobile subscribers over 55-years-old now own smartphones.

That’s a whole lot of mobile Facebooking!

A couple months ago I provided you with an update about the digital devices we own, how many of us own them, and the rapid rate in which this number is increasing. Well… those numbers are still growing. Here’s a glimpse, according to the most recent June updates from Nielsen:

  • 61% of moble subscribers in the U.S. owned a smartphone during the most recent three month period (March-May 2013)
  • 53% of smartphone owners used Android
  • 40% use iPhones (but Apple’s smartphone market grew 7% and Android only grew 2%)
  • Woman make up the majority of smartphone owners
  • 78% of Millennial subscribers aged 25-34 own them
  • 75% of Millennial subscribers aged 18-24 own them

So what are they doing on these phones? Nielsen’s June 10th report about mobile consumers reveals…

  • smartphone users spent 87% of their mobile online time on apps
  • smartphone users spent 13% of their mobile online time on the web
  • iPad users spent half the time on their iPads that they do on their phones
  • Smartphone users spend over 9 hours a month on social networking platforms

With all this mobile… you’d think mobile devices dominate, right?

Wrong. TV still wins. This same Nielsen report reveals:

  • Traditional TV viewing has grown year after year.
  • The average American still spends more than 42 hours a week looking at screens
  • Almost 37 of those 42 hours are in front of a television set

These June reports didn’t note teen smartphone use. The last numbers I saw were September 2012, when Nielsen reported 58% of mobile subscribers age 12-17 as smartphone owners. This was over 20% growth from the year prior, so I can only assume those numbers are probably approaching 70% now.

That’s a whole lot of smartphones.

Are parents teaching their kids how to be responsible with these powerful little devices… or are they just experiencing buyer’s remorse a few months later and SMASHING their kids’ phones?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, and You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to Smartphone Ownership Still Rising

  1. David Hanson says:

    I think parents are largely ignorant about what their teens are actually doing on those smart phones. I think youth workers need to step in and offer guidance and direction. Quarterly email? Training session? Thanks for the post!

  2. Paul Loeffler says:

    I’m wondering how much of that rise in smart phone usage is due to cell phone companies not providing many options. Just a thought. I am currently wanting to replace my ancient (4-5 yrs. old!) EnV3, which I love, but it has begun to die. As a Verizon customer (w/o a contract, but not really wanting to give up my excellent and cheap plan, much to Verizon’s disappointment). In my hunting on Verizon’s site and at our local Verizon store, I could only find two relatively inexpensive (less than $50 with a 2-yr. contract) phones. Looking at getting a phone over $100 w/a contract, there weren’t many more – three that I can remember off the top of my head. Good marketing, but poor choice for those of us who simply want to use a phone for text and talking, with the occasional snapshot.