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Half of Mobile Phone Owners Always Have Their Device Within Arm’s Length

by MarketingCharts staff
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That rises to 59% among Americans aged 18-34.

The study reveals that smartphone penetration continues to steadily rise, up from 44% of Americans aged 12 and up last year to 53% this year. (Recent comScore estimates indicate that 55% of mobile phone subscribers owned a smartphone during the 3-month average ending in January 2013, up from 42.7% the previous year.)

Over the past year, smartphone penetration has grown most quickly among older groups, according to the Edison Research and Arbitron study, with these demos tending to have the most “catching up” to do. But, penetration is up across all age groups, including:

  • 11% growth among 12-17-year-olds (60% vs. 54%);
  • 14% growth among 18-24-year-olds (75% vs. 66%);
  • 16% growth among 25-34-year-olds (74% vs. 64%);
  • 28% growth among 35-44-year-olds (69% vs. 54%);
  • 24% growth among 44-54-year-olds (51% vs. 41%);
  • 26% growth among 55-64-year-olds (34% vs. 27%); and
  • 55% growth among the 65+ group (17% vs. 11%).

The most popular activities on smartphones, per the report, are making or receiving calls (97%), sending or receiving text messages (94%), taking pictures (90%), browsing the internet (83%) and using social networking sites (63%), with QR code scanning (21%) on the other end of the spectrum of identified activities.

Sorting by daily usage, the top 2 activities remain the same, but browsing the internet (61%) and using social networking sites (46%) leapfrog taking pictures (39%).

About the Data: In January/February 2013, Arbitron and Edison Research conducted a national telephone survey offered in both English and Spanish language (landline and cell phone) of 2,021 people aged 12 and older. Data were weighted to national 12+ population figures.