U.S. Mobile Phone Market Now Half-Smart

Published on March 29, 2012
by John Paczkowski

The smartphone market is about to reach a tipping point that you may have assumed it already hit: 50 percent of the U.S. mobile market. According to a new report from research outfit Nielsen, as of February, 49.7 percent of U.S. mobile phone users owned smartphones. That’s up from 36 percent a year ago.

So the trend line here is skewing upward, and at an increasingly steep incline. According to Nielsen, more than two-thirds of new phone buyers in the last three months opted for smartphones over feature phones.

And the choice of device they made is about what you’d expect: 48 percent went with an Android handset, 43 percent opted for an iPhone, and 5 percent purchased a BlackBerry. That breakdown is similar to the figures for all U.S. smartphones, but with one significant difference: The iPhone has grown more popular among new smartphone owners, rising 11 percent; while Research In Motion’s BlackBerry has declined, dropping 7 percent.

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