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How iPhone and Android Ownership Varies by Demographic

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
June 13, 2013

Android and iPhone owners are now equally common within the cellphone owner population as a whole in the United States, but the ownership ratio differs widely across demographic groups, according to a recent report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. 

Cellphone owners over a broad range of educational and income levels have similar levels of Android adoption, but those from the upper end of the income and education spectrum are much more likely to own an iPhone. Nearly half (49%) of cell owners surveyed with a household income of $150,000 or more said their phone was an iPhone.

Android and iPhone ownership rates also differ across gender, age, and race.

Below, additional finding from the Smartphone Ownership 2013 report.

Ownership Rates by Platform

  • The proportion of cell owners who said they own a Blackberry device fell from 10% in 2011 to just 4% in 2013. 
  • Android owners now account for 28% of all cellphone owners (up from 15% in 2011). 
  • iPhone owners now constitute 25% of the cellphone owner population (up from 10% in 2011). 

Majority of Adults Own a Smartphone 

  • 56% of all American adults are now smartphone owners. 
  • 35% have some other kind of cell phone that is not a smartphone. 
  • The remaining 9% of Americans do not own a cell phone at all. 

Seniors Still Lag

  • Every major demographic group experienced significant growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013.
  • Seniors continue to exhibit relatively low adoption levels compared with other demographic groups.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Ritchie Thu Jun 13, 2013 via web

    With Apple's level of innovation falling over the years, I expect Android adoption to increase significantly over the coming years - especially since they're backed by tech giants like LG, Samsung, and HTC. As a marketer, it is important to consider how users on Android and iPhone view your website on their devices. Some marketers use a concept called 'responsive design' so that their website's content adapts to the user's screen size. To learn more about responsive design, check out our digital marketer cheat sheets (

  • by Ann Thu Jun 13, 2013 via web

    So--as the younger demographic earns more money could be bad news for iPhone. Still I'd never count Apple out--that's happened before and they came back strong.

  • by Rebecca Thu Jun 13, 2013 via web

    Do you have any insight on how this data is replicated in the UK?

    Are the breakdowns similar or do they vary dramatically. This information could potentially be very useful for us but we are at present only UK focused so need to know the data I'm using is relevant.

  • by Ayaz Nanji Thu Jun 13, 2013 via web

    Rebecca: Unfortunately this study just looked at consumers in the States, so not sure whether the breakdown is similar in the UK. I'll keep a lookout for any European data.

  • by Gracious store Fri Jun 14, 2013 via web

    What is the significance and relevance of the study of the demographic possession of iPhones and Android phones?

  • by katy Tue Jun 18, 2013 via web

    I can't give exact numbers for second quarter, but based on mobile operator data (sim sales/activation) number of android smartphones almost doubled in Georgia compared to 2011.

  • by webflutter Sun Jan 26, 2014 via web

    Study fails to acknowledge higher incomes and higher education are first adopters of technology. The apple came before the android thus greater popularity.

  • by Jean Schaeffer Thu Feb 12, 2015 via web

    I would like to see some information about B2B mobile email usage. How often do they use mobile for business emails. I believe the mobile numbers are heavily weighted from a consumer perspective. Owning a smartphone does not translate to using it for all business email. What stats are available for B2B?

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