How Many Smartphone Users Are Officially Addicted? - eMarketer

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How Many Smartphone Users Are Officially Addicted?

The majority of smartphone users check their phones at least a few times an hour

July 31, 2015

eMarketer estimates that this year, there will be 190.5 million US smartphone users of all ages, representing 73.4% of internet users and 59.3% of the population. By 2019, the smartphone audience will reach 236.8 million, or 85.5% of internet users and 71.4% of total consumers in the country.

US Smartphone Owners Who Cannot Imagine Life Without Their Smartphone, by Demographic and OS, May 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

Based on recent research, these users may be bigger addicts than they think. Among US smartphone owners polled in May 2015 by Gallup, 52% of smartphone owners said they checked their phones at least a few times an hour, with 11% doing so every few minutes. One-fifth looked at their devices about once an hour. About a quarter did so at least a few times a day.

However, further results indicated that many of these users were in denial about just how much they relied on such devices. Fewer than half (46%) of smartphone owners said they couldn’t imagine life without their phones. Females were 10 percentage points more likely than males to say they couldn’t picture living without their smartphones, and the younger the respondent, the more likely he or she was to feel this way.

iOS users were more likely than others to be unable to picture life without their smartphones. And this group is an appealing one, as users of Apple’s operating system are keener on upgrades. Fully 51% of iPhone users said they upgraded when their provider allowed it, vs. 40% of Android users who said the same. Meanwhile, nearly six in 10 Android users stuck with their phones until they stopped working or became obsolete, vs. 47% of those with iPhones.

US Smartphone Owners Who Would Feel Anxious Losing Their Smartphone for a Day, by Demographic, May 2015 (% of respondents in each group)

While respondents were split on whether or not they could picture life sans smartphone, 42% were frightened about the idea of losing their phones for just one day—which makes sense when one considers just how frequently they check them on a daily basis. Young females were the most likely to say they’d feel somewhat or very anxious losing their smartphones for a day, while women ages 30 to 49 were the second most likely to feel the anxiety come on. Among males, feelings of anxiety over lost smartphones were highest among 30- to 49-year-olds, followed by those ages 18 to 29.

This year, US advertisers will invest $28.72 billion in mobile advertising across devices (including tablets). This represents year-over-year growth of 50.0%, or 49.0% of digital ad spending.

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