Smartphones now more attainable, desirable for Americans: comScore

Smartphones now more attainable, desirable for Americans: comScore

Summary: Feature phone owners are upgrading more to smartphones -- and mostly those running on Android -- according to a new report.


The number of U.S. mobile phone subscribers switching from feature phones to smartphones is almost at the halfway mark, according to a new report from comScore.

Roughly 110 million Americans owned a smartphone device as of April 2012, an increase of 44 percent from the previous year. Specifically, 47.5 percent of feature phone owners switched to a smartphone when buying a new device in April -- up from 38 percent at the same time in 2011.

At the same time, American consumers that upgraded from an old feature phone to a feature phone shifted decreased from 60.6 percent to 50.7 percent. That's a drop of 9.9 percent compared to the increase seen with smartphone ownership of 9.5 percent. That disparity of U.S. consumers that upgraded any mobile device is hardly negligable, although it might be curious to know why those few consumers gave up cell phones altogether.

Neverthesless, Mark Donovan, comScore's senior vice president of Mobile, remarked in the report that smartphone ownership is becoming the norm for a few reasons that revolve around one concept: money.

The growing number of smartphones available to consumers, accompanied by the decrease in price points and surge in mobile media content, have made smartphone ownership possible and desirable for many more. Within the year, we expect to see smartphone owners become the mobile majority, a milestone that represents not only the evolution of the mobile landscape but highlights the enormous potential for marketers as these powerful, ubiquitous devices open new opportunities to reach a growing audience of consumers.

Out of the group of consumers upgrading to smartphones, most of them are interested in Android. Approximately three out of five (61.5 percent) of first-time smartphone buyers are opting for Android, while 25.2 percent went with an iPhone.

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 trailed way behind in third with 7.1 percent of new smartphone owners, while RIM represented 4.8 percent. However, those last two placements switch and change dramatically when you account for existing smartphone owners upgrading to a new device. In that case, RIM accounted for 9.6 percent of acquired devices, while Microsoft represented 3.0 percent.

Topics: Mobility, Mobile OS, Smartphones

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  • Ouch...

    There are more new adopters of Windows Phone 7 than Blackberry? Can the news get any bleaker for RIM?
  • Here's my 2c

    That number will drop dramatically when the Verizon "share everything" plan becomes the mandatory plan and AT&T follows suit (you know they will). When our wallets become part of the "share everything" plan, I predict flip phones will start looking awfully sweet.

    Also, the number of Windows Phone 7 users upgrading is low, because there is no upgrade path!
    (this makes me LOL)
    • LOL

      LOL at the "Share Everything" comment, kinda fits our gov't's philosophy these days....
    • Then go with T-Mobile!

      They got a few billion from the failed AT&T acquisition and are using that to fill in the network gaps.
  • Cool

    Smartphones are cool. From the word itself smart, it really helps on our everyday internet needs. Though I miss the simple phones before, not complicated at all.
  • open new opportunities to reach a growing audience of consumers

    The exact reason why I only want a phone that makes and receives calls, and can get and receive text messages.. I have computers at home, and several thousand I have to deal with at work.. when I am in between, out on the Wing.. I don't need a tiny computer on my hip.. riding the Wing I am not going to answer it anyway.. I have better things to hold my attention and occuppy my time.