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Smartphone, Tablet Uptake Still Climbing in the US

Hispanic smart mobile device use exceeds averages

Smartphones and tablets continue to ingratiate themselves with mobile phone users. Smartphones became the norm in the past couple of years, and now tablets too are settling into that territory. That’s according to data from research company Frank N. Magid Associates, which found that the number of US mobile phone users who owned or used a smartphone this year reached 74%, up from 58% the previous year. The tablet ownership rate among this group saw an even more dramatic increase, reaching above half of mobile phone users in 2013, up from 33% in 2012.

The research company also found that Hispanics overindexed for smartphone and tablet ownership, with smartphone penetration hitting 87% among this group and tablet penetration reaching 60%. Those ages 18 to 34, unsurprisingly, also had significantly higher than average uptake rates for both smart devices.

The web-enabled smart mobile device has also supplanted other content delivery platforms among these younger users. Among those ages 18 to 34, 35% named a smartphone or tablet as their primary medium for entertainment, a shade more than the 34% that named a laptop or PC. Only 21% named television, demonstrating how that legacy media channel now trails behind internet-capable devices.

eMarketer projects smartphone user figures more narrowly—counting only those individuals who own at least one smartphone and use it at least monthly.

Although the smartphone market in the US is maturing, eMarketer projects that steady growth will continue over the next few years, with the total number of users climbing from 140 million in 2013 to 207.4 million in 2014. At that point, smartphones will have a 63.5% penetration rate among the overall population.


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