Nielsen: Smartphone Penetration In US Crosses 50% Barrier

March 29, 2012 by Dave Haynes

At some point in the last few weeks more U.S. mobile subscribers were on smartphones than on “dumb” feature phones, the research firm Nielsen is reporting.

As of February, the penetration rate was at 49.7% and unless something really weird happened, that percentage would have continued to rise this month.

Nielsen says this marks an increase of 38 percent over last year. A year ago, only 36 percent of mobile subscribers owned smartphones. This growth is driven by increasing smartphone adoption, as more than two-thirds of those who acquired a new mobile device in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone.


The accelerated growth is not likely to end anytime soon and you will likely see most people – even people who have barely sorted out how to do more than answer and dial their phone – walking around with pocket PCs. They don’t have to look at digital screens when they have better, directly relevant and personal sources of information and entertainment and ubiquitous connectivity. However, they also have options to refer to and even interact with larger screens.

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