Nielsen: Android continues to grow in the U.S., teenage smartphone ownership on the rise also

September 11, 2012
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You can always count on Nielsen to come up with the most interesting tech-related reports, and its latest such study is no exception to that rule. After seeing Android comfortably leading in the U.S. smartphone OS environment back in May, the company’s survey conducted in July revealed even more impressive numbers for Google’s mobile operating system.

Out of the over 20,000 mobile subscribers aged 13+ in the States questioned by Nielsen, no less than 51.9% stated that they owned a phone running Android. That’s more than half of the entire market (probably for the first time, although Nielsen fails to mention that), but also an over 3% rise over the number from May (48.5%).

Things are even better for Android in the “recent acquirers” department, with 58.6% of new smartphone buyers choosing a device powered by Google’s OS between the months of May and July. Apple’s iOS is second in both those rankings, with a 34.3% general market share and a 33% in “recent acquirers”.

The iPhones are only up roughly 2% compared with the Q1 2012 numbers, but that’s also not bad, considering that Apple had no new product to show off these past couple of months. RIM came in third in the ranks, with 8% of all smartphones, down from 11.6% in the first three months of 2012. Things are even more dramatic for Blackberries in “recent acquirers”, with just 2.7% of new smartphone buyers going for the once upon a time hugely popular devices.

Although Nielsen mentions that the survey respondents are asked “to identify their primary mobile handset by manufacturer and model”, the numbers related to market share by manufacturer are again left out for some reason. Back in May we were simply told that Apple had the U.S. lead, without any data on competitors being revealed. We’re still guessing Apple is first with Samsung second, although we would have definitely loved to hear about the gap between the two “giants”.

Nielsen’s report does provide us with some interesting numbers about the U.S. mobile phone market as a whole, including the continuing rise of smartphones against feature devices (or dumbphones, as some call them). If Q1 2012 saw smartphones narrowly beating feature phones for the first time in history, that lead seems to have now grown to a full 11%.

55.5% of mobile subscribers now own smartphones, up from 50.4% back in May. That’s surely an impressive rise, but wait ‘till you hear who’s had the leading role in it. It seems that teenage smartphone ownership has exploded recently, with 58% of “kids” between the ages of 13 and 17 now prancing around with such gadgets, up from 36% a year ago.

Young adults have definitely also played their part in this rise, although they haven’t grown as remarkable as teens. 74% of mobile subscribers with ages between 25 and 34 now own a smartphone, up from 59% in July 2011.

It’s pretty obvious that, even though Nielsen doesn’t spell it out for us, young people are more drawn into smartphones these days due to Android’s diversity and variety of choices, things that have allowed (or forced) carriers to lower prices. The prepaid rise might also have something to do with this, with only one conclusion that can be drawn from this report. Technology is now more accessible than ever to more people than ever, smartphones are the future, Android is the future.

Comments

  • http://twitter.com/George_av George av

    no shit im 14 and i have 2 android phones, the original galaxy s (sold) and now a s3 :) old news guys do some new stuff :D

    • Stian French

      If you’re 14, then you shouldn’t be talking like that young man!

  • Wes Myers

    Uh, most kids under 18 may have smartphone but they don’t own the devices as you must be at least 18 in the majority of states to enter into a contract. Title should read: “Nielsen: Android continues to grow in the U.S., Parents buy smartphones for their kids”