155 million American mobile phone users don't use smartphones

ComScore’s latest survey data shows the following net user gains in the US smartphone installed base:

In summary, the key data points for June:

  • 2.8 million new smartphone users in three month period ending June (vs three month period ending May)
  • Of the total 78.5 million users, about one million switched platforms
  • RIM had a net loss of about 600k users
  • WebOS lost about 195k users
  • “Other” (mostly Symbian) lost 273k users
  • Windows Mobile/Phone reversed two months of decline and added 100k users
  • iPhone added 452k users (considerably below its approximately 1 million/month run rate for last four months)
  • Android gained 2.2 million users, consistent with average over 7 months.
  • Platform “churn” was at 1.36%, about average over three months

Installed platform shares for the US market are shown in the following chart

Platform Installed base vs. non-smart devices is shown below:

The penetration of smartphones slowed down in June (though that seems to be seasonal). The following chart shows weekly smartphone adds (or feature phone losses as total user base has held constant.)

Averaging the adoption rate over six months gives a “tipping point” forecast (50% penetration) of October 1st, 2012. That still means that 155 million American mobile phone users don’t use smartphones.

  • Shouldn't the Platform Install Base Total (3rd graph) be increasing, as the overall number of smartphones in use is increasing? With the level top to the graph, it appears to be a Percent of Installed, or something similar.

    • Alan

      That's the installed base of ALL mobile phones (smart and non-smart combined). The smart phones only are increasing and are up to around 75M vs. the 230M total.

      • Yes, but it's a bit hard to imagine that the installed base of mobile phones has been perfectly flat for 2 years. No perceptible change at all?

      • asymco

        That's what ComScore reports. There are other red flags as well but the value is in the overall trends.

    • arvleo

      Not really…because the penetration of wireless in US was around 96% in 2010 ( most of the smartphone gains would be at the cost of non-smart phones

  • Luis Masanti

    "The penetration of smartphones slowed down in June (though that seems to be seasonal)."

    Maybe, the delay in the June's expected introduction of iPhone 5 (and some copycat from Google) also can explain this.

  • roo44

    Could the Windows 100k sales bump be an indicator that June's slow down is predicated by the fact the market is eagerly anticipating the "Mango" release? ; )

    • Hamranhansenhansen

      Most phone buyers do not know what operating system is on their phone, let alone what version of that operating system, let alone what future versions of that operating system are coming out. And if anyone were excited by the features in Mango, they would have bought those features in an iPhone in 2008.

      • Perhaps we can be charitable to roo44, and allow that 100,000 MS fans were eagerly anticipating Mango.

        As far as ordinary users not knowing what OS is on their phone, I'm beginning to suspect this is the case. Twice in the past week I've asked two people what phone they were using (they were using some type of touchscreen that I suspect was android based) and they both told me it was an iPhone. I wonder if iPhone will be the next Jello, Xerox, or Kleenex. (I'm in a Latin American country, if that matters.)

    • EWPellegrino

      Of course then you'd have to explain why Nielsen's numbers give MS losing 500k subscribers over the same period.

  • iosweekly

    Numbers look a bit fishy – what is the 200k additions of 'Other' in the month of April 2011?

    What is in the 'Other' category of smartphone operating systems being used in teh US? Symbian? Bada?? what else???

    • Hamranhansenhansen

      Symbian and Bada would be enough.

      • Iosweekly

        So in the space of one month symbian + bada gained more users than the entire previous 12 months combined – and then the following 2 months continued to rapidly lose users???

        That makes zero sense without some sort of big phone launch in that month, of which I can't thnk of one.

      • EWPellegrino

        I believe that Horace is calculating Other as (100% – other platforms). Platforms are all rounded to the nearest .1%, so in fact the inaccuracy in the 'other' number, just from rounding errors is significant.

        Effectively in one month 'Other' added around it's error from rounding sources, and then subsequently lost it again. Don't worry too much about it.

    • asymco

      The numbers are very fishy if you look at the methodology (survey data.)

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  • MRW

    Of course 1/2 the US population doesn’t use smartphones. They’re broke.

    • asymco

      By that measure, the number of "broke" people in the US is decreasing rapidly because smartphone adoption is increasing rapidly.

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