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Smartphone Demographics

April 13, 2009

The rise of the smartphone

The number of smartphone users in the U.S. is rocketing. Of the total number of U.S. cell phone users in the first quarter of 2008, 9.9 percent were smartphone users, up from 4.7 percent in 2007 (Nielsen Mobile Reseach study).  

Smartphone sales increased 12 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 from the previous quarter, accounting for 23 percent of all cell phone sales in the U.S. (C-Net).

According to an In-stat press release from March 2009, smartphones will double their market share—increasing 20 percent annually over the next five years—by 2013 and will make up 20 percent of all cell phone usage. One-third of the survey respondents planned on upgrading to a smartphone next time they purchase a phone. 

Who uses smartphones?

In 2007, a research study found that smartphone users work longer, 50 hours a week on average, and the average income is $94,000 a year. That’s 50 percent higher than the U.S. national average. U.S. users are on average of 35 years old. 54 percent have a college degreee; 61 percent have children (Digital Life America).

In 2008, 12 percent of male cell phone users had smartphones, and 8 percent of female cell phone users had smartphones (Nielsen Mobile).

U.S. smartphone users ages 18 and older in 2008: 

Graph by Hannah Kokjohn/MEDILL

(Data from Nielsen Mobile, graph by Hannah Kokjohn/MEDILL)

Types of smartphones

The breakdown of smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2008, reported by Alex Goldfayn at Technology Tailor LLC :

Graph by Hannah Kokjohn/MEDILL

(Data from Technology Tailor LLC, graph by Hannah Kokjohn/MEDILL)

Fort Wayne + Smartphones

We could not find statistics about smartphone users in Fort Wayne, but when researching Fort Wayne on the U.S. Census FactFinder, we found that the median household income in Fort Wayne $42,734, well below the median household income for the U.S. of $50,007. In Fort Wayne, 26.5 percent of 25-34 year olds, our subgroup, have attained a bachelor’s degree, 2.5 percentage points below the national figure. 

Since smartphone users tend to be wealthier and have a higher level of education, it is possible that there are fewer smartphones in Fort Wayne per capita than in the U.S.

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