Smartphones reaching saturation among millennials

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Pew survey: How many U.S. adults own a smartphone? A computer? Do people still buy e-readers?.

Uniting a country as large as the United States is hard work — just ask any of the dozens of men and women running for president this election season.You might think people are buying digital devices left and right, but a new survey says that while smartphones ownership continues to grow, it may be nearing a saturation point with some groups in the U.S.“These data suggest how the rise of smartphones has been a major story in the universe of connected gadgetry,” Lee Rainie, Director of Internet, Science and Technology Research at Pew Research Center, explains in the new report. “These changes in device ownership are all taking place in a world where smartphones are transforming into all-purpose devices that perform many of the same functions of specialized technology, such as music players, e-book readers or even gaming devices.” Indeed, more than two-thirds (68%) of U.S. adults now own a smartphone, according to Pew.

Among U.S. adults under 30, computer ownership is falling as smartphone ownership grows: 78 percent of Americans under 30 years old own a laptop or desktop computer, compared with 88 percent who did so in 2010. And while smartphone adoption has skyrocketed, it may have come at the expense of other gadgets and gizmos, as Pew found that “the adoption of some digital devices has slowed and even declined in recent years.” The ubiquity of smartphones is even more pronounced among certain age groups and demographics in the U.S. — unsurprisingly, younger generations are particularly attached to their iPhones and Androids, with 86 percent of individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 declaring themselves owners of such a device.

But among those adults ages 18 to 29, 86 percent already have a smartphone; the number for 30-to-49-year-olds is 83 percent; and for those living in households earning $75,000 and up annually, 83 percent. And as smartphones begin to replace the functionality of other devices, it seems that technology like laptops and e-readers have become less of a necessity.

The results are based on questions asked during telephone interviews conducted in English and Spanish between March 17 and April 12, 2015 among a national sample of 1,907 adults (age 18 and older). Pew suggests that “as smartphones came to prominence several years ago, younger owners perhaps did not feel as much of a need as their older peers to have other kinds of devices.” Today, according to the recent survey, an overwhelming 92 percent of American adults own a cellphone (which may or may not be a smartphone), making them the most popular devices available. The survey finds that ownership of MP3 players such as Apple’s iPod has stayed pretty much the same since 2013: 40 percent today vs. 43 percent then.

Photo: People look at the new iPad Mini 3, left, and iPad Air 2 on October 16, 2014 during an Apple event in Cupertino. (Glenn Chapman/AFP/Getty Images)

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