Smartphone Adoption Trends in 2012 (comScore): Smartphones accelerating among cost-conscious consumers

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The rate at which smartphone adoption is growing can be attributed to the spread of 3G & 4G networks, innovations in device functionality & applications, and affordable pricing, according to comScore’s 2012 Mobile Future in Focus report. The report expects that throughout 2012 the rate of adoption will accelerate “even faster” due to smartphones becoming more accessible in markets.

Smartphones are most popular amongst consumers, aged 25-34, in both the US and EU5 markets with penetration rates of 25.6% and 22%, respectively. A recent study from Nielsen found that among this age bracket, 43% of respondents who make less than $15,000 own a smartphone in the US. And among 18-24 year olds (who represent 17.2% of total smartphone users in the US), over half of the respondents who make less than $15,000 a year said they own a smartphone. And they aren’t the only consumers on a budget to adopt smartphones.

In the US, the fasting growing segment among smartphone users is 6-person households who experienced 99% growth*. Other segments growing quickly include households making less than $25,000, retirees, and consumers in the 55-64 age group. These segments are significant in that they are segments of the population that are cost-conscious and can be classified as “late adopters,” suggesting that the affordability of older smartphone models may be driving this growth.

These findings indicate that smartphones are seen as necessities rather than luxuries by an increasing number of consumers. With this mindset and other factors, the proliferation of smartphones will be prominent in 2012.

*Average calculated over a 3-month period ending December 2011

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