Nielsen: Apple iPhone grabs 34% of U.S. smartphone market; growth driven primarily by young adults and teens

As mobile manufacturers announce new phones in advance of the holidays, Nielsen took a snapshot look at the mobile market in the U.S. Smartphone penetration continued to grow in July 2012, with 55.5 percent of mobile subscribers in the U.S. now owning smartphones. This is a significant increase compared to July 2011 when only 41 percent of mobile subscribers owned smartphones.

Overall, young adults are leading the growth in smartphone ownership in the U.S., with 74 percent of 25-34 year olds now owning smartphones, up from 59 percent in July 2011. Interestingly, teenagers between 13 and 17 years old demonstrated the most dramatic increases in smartphone adoption, with the majority of American teens (58%) owning a smartphone, compared to roughly a third (36%) of teens saying they owned a smartphone just a year ago.

“Among most age groups smartphones represent the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers, but American teens were the age group adopting smartphones the fastest,” Nichole Henderson, a Nielsen analyst, in the press release. “As teens increase in their share of smartphone owners, mobile carriers and manufacturers should consider how to market to this growing group.”

Nielsen Smartphone Operating System Share, July 2012

Methodology: Nielsen’s monthly survey of 20,000+ mobile subscribers aged 13+ in the U.S. Mobile owners are asked to identify their primary mobile handset by manufacturer and model, which are modeled to be demographically representative of mobile subscribers in the U.S. Recent Acquirers are defined as consumers who obtained their handset within the last 3 months.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Buh bye, beleaguered RIM.


    1. Grab well over 2/3 of the profit while only having to build 1/3 of the handsets, and service only 1/3 of the market?

      Sounds like a business person’s dream business plan.

    1. iPhone only makes sense if your goal in life is to always aspire to reach greatness. Buy a Samsung phone and you have achieved greatness.

      Brought to you by the fine people at Samsung USA who along with our brethren own north of 58% of the American smartphone market. P.S. Watch us take over the PC and tablet market within 18 months.

    1. Totally amazing that a year-old product (based on a two and a half year-old handset) is still pulling in 1/3 of the entire industry’s handset sales — on the eve of the release of the newer version.

      Pent-up iPhone 5 demand is high. We’re probably on the verge of a huge shift in market share.

  1. The real demographic that they should be looking at is 12-14 year olds. If you (or your parents in this case) can afford a data plan, then you are getting an iPhone. The only droids being sold are the ones that can be counted in the droid column but without data; basically a droid interface for a feature phone. These kids all want iPhone; nothing else.

  2. Android’s growth is due to:
    – carriers who would rather sell Androids than iPhones since the iPhones actually get used and are gobbling their bandwidth.
    – carriers whose short term outlook ignores Androids heavy churn rate rather than building it upon loyal iPhone customers.
    – ignorance by carriers that the additive iPhone subsidy is more than offset by data charges.
    – carrier sales reps who are compensated to push Androids.
    – heavy advertisement by carriers to push Androids.

    This is all okay since Apple is taking most of the profit and will eventually get lots of Android customers who realized they’ve been had.

  3. I wondered why Apple’s share price plummeted today. Apparently, Wall Street feels that Apple is losing too much market share to Android. To Wall Street, market share is everything. Wall Street just docked Apple three weeks of hard-earned gains in a single day. That $700 call for the iPhone keynote continues to be rather elusive.

  4. My two kids (8-10) have iPod Touches, so once they NEED a mobile phone they`ll be getting an iPhone so they can keep using all their apps, music, games, etc…
    Apple has made a really amazing job delivering superior products and experience to us, so no wonder we´re already sold for apple´s future products.

  5. Apple and the carriers directly contradict this data. They told us first-hand that Apple had over 40 % of US sales for the last 9 months up to June. Why do Nielsen and Comscore ignore those reports and keep telling us Apple has only 30 or 35 % percent?

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