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Smartphones now account for half of all mobile phones

New data out of Nielsen suggests that we've officially reached the tipping point for smartphone adoption.


Market research firm Nielsen today announced that half of all mobile phone subscribers in the United States now own a smartphone.

According to data compiled through February 2012, smartphones have grown to account for 49.7 percent of all mobile phones, up considerably from 36 percent just one year ago. What's more, in the last three months alone, two-thirds all handsets purchased were smartphones.


Neilsen also tracked which mobile platforms are popular. Of the handsets sold in the last three months, Android remains the top draw for new buyers with 48 percent of the market, but it's followed closely by iOS at 43 percent. BlackBerry mustered just 5 percent of the pie, with "other" operating systems at 3 percent.

Looking at all smartphone owners, Android holds the same 48 percent market share, whereas a third (32.1 percent) of smartphone users own an iPhone. Blackberry, for its part, still commands 11.6 percent of the smartphone market, followed by "other" platforms at 8 percent.

Considering that today's consumers can pick up a smartphone for well under $100, feature phones may eventually go the way of DVD. There always will be a segment of buyers who don't want to pay for data plans, especially in cases of multiple devices, but the idea of a pooled data bucket could sway those still clinging to "dumb" phones.