According to Pew Research, 91% of the adult population now owns some kind of cell phone, with 56% of Americans now smartphone owners. About 35% have a “dumb” cell phone, and 9% of Americans do not own a cell phone whatsoever.
“Every major demographic group experienced significant year-to-year growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013, although seniors—defined as those 65 and older—continue to exhibit relatively low adoption levels compared with other demographic groups,” says Pew.
Age is far more significant than income for smartphone ownership, says the study. Some 81% of the 25-34 year olds own smartphones while only 18% of Americans age 65 and older own a smartphone. That figure was 13% in February 2012.
The rates at which American cellphone users have traded in their devices for more advanced models have declined over the last few years, according to analysts at UBS.
They turned negative last year, when about 68 million people upgraded their phones in the U.S., down more than 9% from a year earlier.
The Wall St Journal reports T-Mobile US Chief Executive John Legere believes new technologies will inevitably emerge and spur more growth.
“I heard this same assessment by the equipment manufacturers right before Apple launched the iPhone that we’ve seen everything we could see,” said Mr. Legere, a telecom industry veteran. “There is a whole new generation of wearable devices coming that are going to have some impact on the industry.”
Strategy Analytics estimates 48% growth in smartphone shipments this year in emerging markets.
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