General US smartphone ownership grew significantly between November 2011 and February 2012, with 104.5 million people in the US owning the devices during the 3 months ending in February 2012, up 14% from the prior 3-month period. This also represents 50% growth from 69.5 million owners a year ago. March data from Nielsen indicates that 49.7% of the US mobile subscriber population now owns a smartphone, as of February 2012, compared to just 36% in February 2011.
Apple Passes Motorola, RIM Out of Top 5 OEM
For the 3-month average period ending in February 2012, 234 million Americans ages 13 and older used mobile devices, flat from a year earlier. Apple saw the strongest gain, up more than 20% to account for 13.5% of subscribers, overtaking Motorola, which lost nearly 7% to 12.8% share.
Samsung retained its top spot, flat at 25.6%. LG lost about 5% of its share to 19.4%, while HTC grew nearly 7% to 6.3%, overtaking RIM, which fell out of the top 5.
Mobile Content Usage Keeps Rising
In February 2012, all forms of mobile content usage tracked by comScore showed higher rates of activity than in November 2011. For example, 74.8% of US mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 3% from 72.16%. Downloaded applications were used by 49.5% of subscribers, up more than 10% from the previous 3-month period, and representing more than 35% growth from a year earlier. Browsers were used by 49.2% of the mobile audience, representing solid 11% growth from the previous quarter, and up 28% year-over-year.
In addition, accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 9.4%, growing from 33% to 36.1% of mobile subscribers. Playing games increased 9%, from 29.7% to 32.3% of the mobile audience, while listening to music jumped more than 14% from 21.7% to 24.8%.
About the Data: MobiLens data is derived from an intelligent online survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 30,000 US mobile subscribers age 13 and older. Data on mobile phone usage refers to a respondent’s primary mobile phone and does not include data related to a respondent’s secondary device.