March 1, 2012 at 12:10 PM ET
In the past year, smartphone ownership among Americans has increased from 35 to 46 percent, says the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The jump is attributed, in part, to the ongoing Android-iPhone invasion: 20 percent of cellphone owners say their phone uses Android's operating system, up from 15 percent last May; 19 percent say they have an iPhone, up from 10 percent last May; and 6 percent say they have a BlackBerry -- down from 10 percent last May.
"Two in five adults (41 percent) own a cellphone that is not a smartphone, meaning that smartphone owners are now more prevalent within the overall population than owners of more basic mobile phones," Pew said in its study, done Jan. 20 to Feb. 19 of 2,253 adults ages 18 and older.
While the younger and more-monied set tend to dominate smartphone demographics, something noted both by Pew and by Nielsen recently, the "overall increase in smartphone ownership is relatively widespread," Pew said in its report.
Two groups that aren't represented in that growth: Those ages 65 and older, with just 13 percent now owning a smartphone, up from 11 percent last year; and those without a high school diploma. Among those who didn't graduate from high school, smartphone ownership went from 18 percent last year to 25 percent now, said Pew.
Having a high school -- or college -- diploma doesn't mean everyone knows what a smartphone is (generally one with its own operating system, like Android, iOS, BlackBerry or Windows).
"To be sure, there is still some confusion around this term, as 8 percent of cell owners are still not sure if their phone is a smartphone," Pew noted. However, this is a significant decrease from the 14 percent of cell owners who were not sure if their phone was a smartphone or not" last year.
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