Smartphone Penetration in US Crosses 70%

In roughly March 2012 US smartphone ownership crossed the symbolic 50% threshold. In March of this year it reached 70%.

Media measurement firm comScore said that in March 166 million Americans (over age 13) owned smartphones. The firm says that amounts to 68.8% penetration. However historically comScore has made its penetration estimates using a base of 234 million mobile subscribers.

The number of mobile subscribers or smartphone owners hasn't declined in the past couple of years. Indeed, Pew survey data report that 90% of US adults now own mobile phones.

A denominator or base of 234 million smartphone owners divided into a numerator of 166 million translates into 70.9% penetration, not 68.8%. Since Q3 2013 Nielsen hasn't publicly released new smartphone penetration figures to my knowledge. However, in the past, Nielsen's smartphone penetration numbers have been more bullish and aggressive than comScore's figures.

All of this together suggests that US smartphone penetration has crossed the 70% line. It took two years to go from 50% to 70%. It's thus reasonable to assume that by 2016 the figure will be approaching 90%