American ownership of mobile devices absolutely exploding

2 Nov 2015

The number of adults in America that own a smartphone has almost doubled in just four years, with tablet ownership skyrocketing too. Laptop and desktop ownership, though, remains stagnant.

While owning desktop or laptop computers has proved stable since 2011, almost 70pc of American adults now own smartphones (up from 35pc) and 45pc own tablets (up from 3pc).

That’s according to the latest figures from the Pew Research Centre, with the 18-49 age group at saturation point across both handheld products.

Pew’s study actually looked across a whole range of devices, with game console ownership fairly steady since 2009 (40pc), MP3 ownership performing almost identically over that time frame and desktop and laptop ownership at the same level it has been at for over a decade.

Interestingly, e-book readers are now owned by 19pc, plummeting down from 32pc last year.

This means that, in purely business terms, selling mobile devices can prove far more profitable for manufacturers as their popularity is soaring.

It can be safely assumed, too, that mobile device lifecycles are far shorter, ensuring a continual purchasing pattern from ardent consumers.

This is something that desktop or even laptop manufacturers can only dream of.

The report is compiled on the back of researching seven different device types, with Pew saying it looks at these because they affect how people connect with each other, with information and with media.

“They also impact the way people spend their time. And each kind of device has its own attributes of how people use them and engage with the material they provide,” reads the report.

“Thus, device usage has notable social and cultural implications, and there are sometimes important political and macroeconomic consequences to the way people use their gadgets.

“For instance, every major media industry – those built around video, audio and text – has been disrupted by these devices.”

Friends using a tablet image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic