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Just over half (51%) of mobile phone owners over the age of 55 now have smartphones, up 10% from 1Q13, according to a recent report from Nielsen.

Overall, 70% of American mobile subscribers of all ages are smartphone owners, the analysis of 1Q14 survey data found. Moreover, smartphone penetration continues to grow, with 85% of recent buyers having selected a smartphone when purchasing their new handset.

The most popular operating system for US smartphones is Android (52% of all phones). Apple's iOS is the second most popular platform (42%), followed far behind by Windows Phone (3%), and Blackberry (2%).

Apple remains the largest smartphone manufacturer in the US, with 42.5% of smartphone owners using its devices.

Samsung is the second largest manufacturer (28.7% of all US smartphone handsets), and the most popular company that uses the Android platform. LG is the next most popular manufacturer (7%), followed by Motorola (6.8%) and HTC (5.7%).

Nokia's phones, which primarily use the Windows Phone platform, doubled market share over the past year (to 2% of all US smartphone handsets), surpassing Blackberry.

About the research: The report was based on data from Nielsen’s monthly survey of 20,000+ mobile subscribers aged 13+ in the United States.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. 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