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More than Half of American Adults Own Smartphones

The mobile market isn’t our future, it is our present.

A new study by the Pew Research Center has found that Americans have crossed the majority threshold with regards to smartphone ownership. 56% of American adults now own smartphones. Pew compared the number of Americans who own smartphones with the percentage of cell phone owners as a whole. 91% of Americans have cell phones, 61% of cell phone owners have smartphones, ergo, 56% of adult Americans use smartphones.

Pew laid out the data between 2011-2013 and found that the percentage of smartphone users increased by at least 10% each year. Americans have jumped from 35% to 56% in just two years. The percentage of Americans with cell phones has also grown to 91% from 83% in 2011.

6DE83111C21C45949BCF98098EFA409AThis data proves that we’re no longer in the early adopter stage of smartphones; it’s the late adopters who are playing catch-up. This also means that marketers who are now entering the market by developing a mobile-friendly site or building a presence on social apps are just following the trends set by innovators.

The survey by Pew also showed that smartphone use among younger demographics doesn’t vary by income level as much as older demographics. For annual income ranging from $30,000 to more than $75,000 there was only a 13% difference in smartphone ownership for users between the ages of 18-29. The 13% difference pales in comparison to smartphone use across incomes for all other age groups. For ages 30-49, 50-65, and 65+ smartphone ownership dropped as income dropped by a much larger margin. This data proves that smartphones are luxury items for older generations, but a necessity regardless of income of younger ones.

2D4817C52CFE4806AC3633EB39BB2E56Some businesses that should be thriving in the mobile market are watching their companies’ crash and burn as smartphones becomes the norm rather than luxury items for the elite. Earlier this week Zynga laid off 18% of its work force, EA isn’t doing much better. Both companies have been struggling ever since online gaming left third-party sites like Facebook and moved to mobile. Their resources will now be pooled towards investing in mobile and app development.

In our 2013 Content Marketing White Paper, we found that 9.2% of marketing professionals were going to make mobile their primary focus this year. Of all respondents who said mobile would be their 2013 focus, only 14% were carrying that focus over from 2012. That meant 86% of marketers who are making mobile their primary form of marketing in 2013 are just now getting into that segment.

The audience is definitely in the mobile market, and the fact that younger generations view smartphones as a necessity shows that this technology is more than a fad. So what are you waiting for?

About the author

Amanda Dodge