Posted by: Micah Pratt, social networking research & development
According to a recent story on CNN.com, smartphones still do not make up the majority of the U.S. market. However, we cannot ignore the value, power and influence of these mobile devices that are about to change the way we conduct business, review products, make buying decisions, and most importantly, interact with our friends.
Smartphones may attract nearly all of the marketing hype and news coverage, but comScore’s latest statistics show that smartphones still comprise only a minority of the U.S. mobile market — about 35%, as of July 2011.
The other 65% of U.S. mobile handsets in use are “feature phones” — which tend to be much less expensive to buy and own. Often, these phones do not require a pricey two-year wireless service contract with hefty early termination fees.
Even though smartphones cost much more, these devices have been getting popular with U.S. consumers, even in light of the country’s economic recession. After all, a 35% market share is nothing to sneeze at — especially considering that smartphones have only been widely available in the U.S. for about five years.
At some point, a majority of U.S. mobile users will indeed own smartphones. But that shift won’t happen as quickly as early forecasts anticipated.
Back in March 2010, the Nielsen Company proclaimed that smartphones would overtake feature phones by 2011. Specifically, they predicted that by the end of Q3 2011 (about a month from now), most U.S. mobile users would own smartphones.
That ambitious prediction doesn’t seem to be panning out.
For over a year, comScore has been publishing monthly mobile-market-share statistics that show the percentage of U.S. smartphones. I’ve been tracking these figures. Based on this data, it looks like it’ll be roughly October 2012 before smartphones actually take over as a majority of U.S. handsets.
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