How Many Americans Have Smartphones (2011–2021)
With mobile commerce sales on the rise year after year, there’s no question that smartphones are one of the best ways ecommerce business owners can reach consumers.
But before heading to the drawing board to plan your mobile marketing strategy, there are key facts around smartphone usage you need to know. This includes the question: How many Americans have smartphones?
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Percentage of Americans With Smartphones
The latest US cell phone ownership statistics by year show that the percentage of Americans with smartphones has been increasing over the past decade.
Back in 2011, smartphone penetration in the US was at just 31 percent. In other words, fewer than one in three Americans owned a smartphone. Today, that number has nearly tripled to 88 percent.
Despite the jump, these statistics also show that the increase in smartphone ownership has been decelerating in recent years. From 2012 to 2016, smartphone penetration in the US increased at an average annual growth rate of 20.18 percent. From 2017 to 2021, however, this rate slowed to just 2.99 percent.
The fastest year-over-year increase in the past decade came in 2012 when the percentage of Americans with smartphones rose to 44 percent from 31 percent in 2011. The slowest increase was from 2020 to 2021 with a one-percentage-point rise from 84 percent to 85 percent.
One of the main drivers behind the uptick in smartphone penetration in the US is the fast mobile internet connection speed its mobile operators offer. The latest data shows that mobile internet connection speeds in the US average at 88.08 Mbps (megabits per second) – much faster than the worldwide average of 55.34 Mbps.
Connection speeds also vary from operator to operator. According to the latest statistics from Q2 2021, T-Mobile offered the fastest speeds, reaching a median download speed of 54.13 Mbps.
US Smartphone Penetration Demographic Breakdown
Smartphone penetration in the US appears to be higher among the younger age group. In fact, 96 percent of US adults between the ages of 18 and 29 and 95 percent of those between 30 and 49 own smartphones.
This number decreases as we advance through the age groups: 83 percent of US adults between 50 and 64 years of age own smartphones, and this figure decreases to just 61 percent for those aged 65 and above.