Smartphones are becoming an increasingly attractive option for mobile phone buyers in the US.
Smartphone ownership has grown to represent just under half (49.7%) of all mobile subscribers in the US, an increase of 38% from February 2011, when only 36 percent of the US mobile phone owning population had a smartphone.
“This growth is driven by increasing smartphone adoption, as more than two-thirds of those who acquired a new mobile device in the last three months chose a smartphone over a feature phone,” said market analyst Nielsen in a March 29 blog post.
Smartphone penetration is on the rise in the global market too. Smartphones are expected to be the key driver behind increased mobile phone shipments over the next five years; shipments are forecast to exceed ultra-low-cost, low-cost and feature phone segments combined.
Marketplace intelligence firm ABI Research said global mobile phone shipments will increase 29% from 1.7 billion in 2012 to 2.2 billion in 2016 in a report published on March 29.
Smartphone shipments will grow from 643 million in 2012 to 1.1 billion by 2016.
Smartphones running Google’s Android operating system continue to be the most attractive solution for consumers in the US, said Nielsen. There are now a large number of Android-powered devices available in the market across a wide range of price ranges, factors that have contributed to Android’s popularity within the country.
Close to half (48%) of all recent smartphone buyers in the US who purchased a device in the last three months chose a device running the Android operating system. A further 43% of recent acquirers bought a smartphone running Apple’s iOS. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry platform accounted for only 5% of all recent smartphone purchases.