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Smartphones Are All the Rage in Germany

Over half of consumers in Germany now use a smartphone, compared with 41% in 2013

Smartphones are in the ascendant in Germany. In a May 2014 BITKOM survey conducted by ARIS, 55% of consumers ages 14 and older said they used a smartphone at least occasionally, compared with 41% a year earlier. In fact, this surge in usage had made smartphones more widespread than feature phones, which were used by 52% of respondents.

Between 2013 and 2014, smartphone usage rose dramatically in all age brackets. Among consumers ages 14 to 29, penetration grew from 65% to 78%, and 30- to 49-year-olds had also embraced higher-end phones, pushing penetration from 49% to 70%. Usage climbed from 40% to 47% among respondents in the 50-to-64 bracket, and among those ages 65 and older, penetration more than doubled, from an admittedly low 7% to 17%.

Overall, 92% of consumers in Germany said they owned at least one mobile phone, whether smartphone or feature phone. As the figures above suggest, seniors 65 and older were still the least likely to have any kind of mobile: One in five didn’t have a mobile phone. By contrast, among the 14-to-30 age bracket, just one in 100 had no phone.

More widespread smartphone use is also driving up mobile web access. According to the “Connected Consumer Study” conducted by TNS and Google, 63% of consumers in Germany ages 16 and older went online via smartphone each day in Q1 2014—a rise of 11 percentage points since Q1 2013. Daily web access via PC fell below the rate of daily smartphone access for the first time ever.

2014 is already set to be a landmark year for Germany’s smartphone users as the total surpasses the equivalent group in the UK. eMarketer estimates that 34.7 million people in the country will own at least one advanced handset this year and use it once a month or more. Germany will maintain this leading position through 2018, thanks to its larger population.

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