A Smartphone in (Almost) Every Pocket
According to the Pew Research Center, as of early 2015, 64% of American adults own a smartphone, up from 58% the previous year and 35% four years ago. In fact, most Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 have a smartphone (79-85%). The majority of smartphone adult users are, as you might expect, college-educated. Most also live in a household with a median annual income of $75,000 or more.
Pew also identified a group of adult users who are almost entirely dependent on their smartphones for access to the Internet because they lack broadband hookup at home or otherwise have limited access on other devices. These smartphone-dependent people comprise 7% of overall smartphone users — a small number on paper, but representing more than 10 million individuals. Pew found that the smartphone-dependent slice comprised a different demographic than overall smartphone users. They tended to come from lower income households, be people of color, and be younger adults (18-29 years old).
Escalating smartphone usage means mobile apps are a great way to connect with millions of consumers via in-app advertising. Because some users are completely dependent on their smartphones for Internet access, the stakes are even higher for mobile app developers and advertisers.
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