Nielsen: 58% of Teens Own Smartphones

Ahead of tomorrow's iPhone 5 launch -- perhaps they'll call it the "iPhone Cinq" -- there's lots of smartphone data flying around. Today Pew released some new demographic data about smartphone ownership (penetration higher among younger and more affluent users). And yesterday Nielsen discussed smartphone adoption among younger users:

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.

According to the US Census Bureau there are roughly 21 million teens in the US (according to 2008 data). Pew surveys have shown that 88% of US adults own mobile phones. Pew says that 77% of teens have mobile phones and 23% have smartphones. Nielsen is saying the overall teen smartphone number is much higher: 58% 

If 23% of US teens have smartphones that translates into roughly 4.8 million people. The Nielsen 58% figure equals roughly 12.1 million teens who own smartphones. If we average the two sets of numbers it comes out to 8.5 million teens with smartphones approximately. 

Using population data and the Pew survey figures, that would mean roughly 120 (or so) million US adults owned smartphones in the US today. Beyond this we can add 5 - 10 million more for teens. That would mean today we're looking at something like 125 to 130 million smartphones in the US.