US smartphone adoption climbs to almost 50%

Smartphones are everywhere these days. Indeed, the latest numbers from Nielsen show that just about half (49.7%) of all mobile subscribers in the US are now using smartphones. That figure stood at just 36% in February of last year, and it won't take long to break the 50% mark, if that hasn't happened already. Nielsen also reports that smartphones made up more than two thirds of the mobile devices sold in the last three months.

Smartphones have been essential accessories in tech-savvy circles for years now, so I'm a little surprised the adoption rate isn't higher. Then again, both of my parents are perfectly happy with their dumbphones "feature phones" and don't even bother with text messaging. I suspect a substantial chunk of the population will stay away from smartphones until they have no other option when renewing a mobile contract.

Nielsen has some numbers for smartphone OS market share, and it looks like Android is doing reasonably well against iOS. The Google OS purportedly has a 48% share of both current smartphones and new purchases made in the last three months. iOS has 32% of the smartphone pie, and that figure climbs to 43% when we look at new purchases. Apple is gaining market share primarily at the expense of BlackBerry, but Nielsen's "other" category is also shrinking. That segment should include Windows phones, which may be why Microsoft is aggressively promoting Nokia's latest Lumias. Those handsets appear to be cheaper than their Android and iOS equivalents, and the upcoming Lumia 900 looks like it could be a pretty good deal if you're not already married to a bunch of apps only available on competing platforms.

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