Trends on Tuesday: Smartphone and Tablet Adoption Grows While Other Digital Devices Slump

Nov 17, 2015

Pew released a recent report tracking trends in digital device ownership and found smartphones and tablets have continued to grow in recent years, while other devices have stalled.

Mobile devices

The big headlines from the report are:

  • Cell phones are now in the hands of more than 92% of U.S. adults, although this trend started to flatten over the past 3 years. That elusive final 8% of U.S. adults might take a while to adopt (or die off, as adults over 65 were the smallest percentage of smartphone users at just 30% of that population, while 78% of them have a cell phone of some sort).
  • Smartphones are owned by 68% of the population and that percentage continues to grow at a high rate.
  • Desktop and laptop computer ownership over the past decade has remained pretty flat, with little to no growth.
  • Tablet computers have grown to 45% adoption, although in the past year that growth has slowed substantially. Tablet ownership is greater among those who have high incomes (51% of people with an income of $50,000 – $74,999 own tablets, and that rate is 67% for people who earn $75,000+) as well as those who have completed higher education (62%).
  • After surging in the 00’s, MP3 player growth has gone flat of the past 6 years.
  • While games remain wildly popular on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, the home gaming console market and portable gaming market has remained flat or lost a few percentage points of users.
  • <li style="font-weight: 400">
      E-book readers, after growing since 2009, hit their peak in 2013 and have since declined.
      Most of these trends can be attributed to smartphones and tablets becoming more powerful, with more varied and high-quality app experiences, which are able to serve many uses without compromising on quality native device experiences. This affects everything from e-books to MP3 players to gaming consoles. </span><span style="font-weight: 400">With the <a href="/2014/11/04/trends-on-tuesday-phablets-to-top-tablets-in-2015/">growth of phablets too</a>, smartphones are continuing to grow</span><span style="font-weight: 400"> and are likely cannibalizing some of the potential tablet growth. </p>
Originally posted by Will Sullivan on Nov 17, 2015
Nov 17, 2015