Feature Article

July 22, 2013

Everybody Has a Smartphone? Not So Fast, Says Analyst

While it may seem like everyone has a smartphone these days, Horace Dediu, an analyst and founder of Asymco, would beg to differ.

Citing figures from comScore, Dediu said that 98 million Americans over the age of 13 still did not have a smartphone. “That’s 41% of US mobile phone users,” he wrote.

“What’s more, 2.5 million more people first started using smartphones in the three month period ending May vs. the three month period ending in April.”

The rate of smartphone adoption has been about 583,000 a week, with an average of about 572,000 a week for the past 41 months.

The biggest gains in users have been in Apple’s iPhone, adding just under 3 million users in May of 2013, with a peak of under 7 million in January. The next biggest gains are Android and Windows Phone in a distant third place. BlackBerry has been losing users but the biggest net loss in users has been from non-smartphone owners as they upgrade their phones to newer platforms.

Smartphone penetration is estimated to be about 60 percent of the population of mobile phone owners and the market only seems to be growing.

“So not only is there no saturation, but there is no slowing of adoption of smartphones in the U.S., the most penetrated large market,” Dediu wrote.

Global smartphone adoption is less than half that in the U.S., with 4 billion people that could switch to a smartphone.

“Of course, they may not be willing to switch to what is currently offered to them in the market, but then again, the billion or so who adopted iOS and Android phones did not switch when the alternatives were BlackBerries, Palm, Symbian and Windows Mobile devices,” Dediu wrote.

Edited by Ryan Sartor

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