Teens grab up smartphones faster than other age groups

A new study shows 58 percent of U.S. teen mobile owners have a smartphone instead of a feature phone. Overall, smartphone owners opt for Android devices over iPhone and BlackBerry.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Even though it doesn't really come as a surprise to hear that teenagers love smartphones, there's now new data to back up all previous assumptions.

Young adults aged 25 to 34 own smartphones more than any other age group with 74 percent of the market, according to a new study by Nielsen, which included interviews with 20,000 mobile users in July. However, teens aged 13 to 17 are grabbing up smartphones at a much quicker rate than young adults.

"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," the Nielsen study says, "compared to roughly a third (36%) of teens saying they owned a smartphone just a year ago."

Also, it seems like users are just getting younger. A study in done in April by the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center found that 20 percent of third grade students have cell phones and 90 percent of them are online, while 83 percent of children in middle school have a mobile device.

Overall, 55 percent of mobile users in the U.S. now have a smartphone -- 51.9 percent own an Android device, 34.3 percent own an iPhone, and 8 percent own a BlackBerry. Just one year ago, only 41 percent of U.S. subscribers owned a smartphone.

Nielsen came out with another report in July that showed that two-thirds of all new mobile buyers are opting for smartphones over feature phones.

With numbers like these and the next generation set on smartphones, it seems like feature phones are quickly heading the way of the pager.