You may not believe it but the first smartphone in the US was launched as far back as 1993!

Of course, these mobile phones were designed for making phone calls and sending messages.

They looked like a brick and had a short battery life. 

But, they were an important stepping stone to the cell phone you know and love today.

They even had touchscreens and keyboard options

It should be noted that the first personal cell phones were developed and released in the 1970s.

They were produced for the military and the idea had no appeal to the public, until the internet came along. 

By 2001 the smartphone had a 3G connection, allowing video calls and large emails to be sent.

However, it can be argued that the real revolution in smartphones happened in 2007 when Apple launched the very first iPhone. 

The iPhone was the first phone to give you full access to the internet and started the next stage of the smartphone revolution. 

Today, many smartphones are more powerful than your laptop or tablet, you can perform virtually any task from them, and there are millions of apps available to make your life easier or more fun. 

In short, a smartphone is rapidly becoming an essential device as opposed to a luxury.

That’s happened in just 20-30 years; imagine what the smartphone will be capable of in the future!

It’s time to find out just how many Americans have smartphones and other interesting, related, facts.

Key Statistics

  • 91% of Americans own a smartphone
  • Adults aged 18-49 are most likely to own a smartphone
  • Roughly 47% of web traffic comes via a smartphone
  • There are over 116 million iPhone users in the US
  • The average smartphone users touches their phone over 2,500 times a day
  • On average, people in the US spend 2 hours and 25 minutes on their phone daily
  • 14% of Americans solely use smartphones
  • 82% of Americans shop via smartphone
  • Men & women are equally likely to have smartphones
  • There are 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world

How Many Americans Have Smartphones in 2024?

How Many Americans Have Smartphones?

1. 91% Of Americans Own A Smartphone

Just 10 years ago only 53% of American adults had a smartphone.

They were still seen as a luxury.

The majority of those with a smartphone were aged between 18-29.

In other words, adults that had been brought up with this technology. 

Fast Forward to today and 91% of Americans have a smartphone.

That’s approximately 300 million American adults with a smartphone. 

It’s the reason why the smartphone business is booming.

Owning one isn’t enough, most people change regularly to ensure they have the best model possible. 

Interestingly that smartphone penetration has slowed in recent years.

Between 2013 and 2018 the number of people with smartphones increased by 6% a year.

Since then, over the last five years, it has only increased by 2% a year. 

Part of this is the saturation point.

After all, the majority of US adults now have a smartphone.

Those that don’t may be unlikely to ever get one. 

A large part of the steady increase in popularity can be connected with the speed at which you can connect to the internet.

It has increased dramatically in the last 10 years and is now often faster than with a laptop, tablet, or even a desktop.


2. Adults Aged 18-49 Are Most Likely To Own A Smartphone

This fact isn’t overly surprising.

Current studies show that 90% of people aged between 18-49 have a smartphone and use it daily.

The youngest sector of this age group has never known life without the internet and smartphones.

Those closer to 50 have experience of life before smartphones, yet most of these adults still choose to own a smartphone. 

The rate of smartphone ownership drops with age.

Only 83% of those adults between 50-64 have a smartphone.

This number drops to 61% for adults over 65. 

Naturally, smartphones can seem confusing and perhaps overwhelming, which may be why the older generation is less likely to have one. 

It’s worth noting that approximately 96% of those aged between 18-29 have a smartphone, it’s simply the norm.


3. Roughly 47% Of Web Traffic Comes Via A Smartphone

Over the last ten years mobile devices have been slowly taking over from desktops.

Specifically, the percentage of people accessing the internet via mobile devices is increasing year-on-year.

2016 is the first year that mobile internet access overtook desktop.

Today, it’s estimated that 61% of all internet searches are conducted via a mobile device. 

Interestingly, the latest figures show that 47% of searches originate from smartphones, leaving just 15% to come from other mobile devices. 

It’s also worth noting that, in 2018 the reports showed 63% of website arrivals using PPC originate from a smartphone.  

In terms of numbers, 2021 figures show 178 million Americans accessing the internet via a mobile search. 


4. There Are Over 116 Million iPhone Users In The US

There Are Over 116 Million iPhone Users In The US

Apple is considered the top smartphone brand in America, and for good reason.

According to the latest figures more than 116 million iPhones are in use in the US. 

Apple currently dominates the US market with a 53% share.

To give you an idea of how impressive this is, Samsung is the closest to the market leader and has just a 26% share of the market. 

Lenovo takes the third spot with 12% and LG has just 3% of the smartphone market. 

In other words, when you look around a room and realize everyone is on a smartphone, at least half of the devices will be made by Apple. 

It’s worth noting that just 12% of Americans have a cell phone which isn’t classed as a smartphone. 


5. The Average Smartphone Users Touches Their Phone Over 2,500 Times A Day

During the pandemic most people discovered you touch your face, on average, 23 times every hour.

That sounds a lot until you consider how often you touch your smartphone. 

According to the latest study, the average person will touch their smartphone 2,617 times every day! 

Every time you touch your phone you’re likely to be picking up and dropping off bacteria. 

Of course, this is an average.

People who use their smartphones a lot, such as influencers, reportedly touch their phone as much as 5,400 times a day.

Since there are only 1,440 minutes in a 24-hour period, these people are touching their phones at least four times every minute!


6. On Average, People In The US Spend 2 Hours And 25 Minutes On Their Phone Daily

Following on from the number of touches, the same study from Zippia found that the average American spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on their smartphone daily

The survey also looked at how many sessions this included.

Interestingly, the average smartphone user has 76 sessions on their phone daily, equating to each session lasting approximately two minutes. 

iPhone users have an average of 80 sessions per day and appear to unlock their phones six or seven times per hour.

This still equates to approximately two minutes per session, although each session is fractionally shorter than non-iPhone users.


7. 14% Of Americans Solely Use Smartphones

A study by Zippia in 2021 found that 14%, or three in twenty Americans access their internet through a smartphone or other mobile device and have no other means of accessing the internet. 

This is the cheapest way to access the web, especially if your main intent is browsing or updating social media. 

A similar study in 2013 found that only 8% of Americans solely accessed the internet via smartphones.

That’s the percentage of people who have a smartphone and no broadband connection. 

While people of all ages can use the smartphone only approach, the ones most likely to adopt this approach are aged between 18-29.

The most recent figures suggest that 28% of people in this age range have smartphones and no other way to connect to the internet. 

It’s highly likely that the percentage of people accessing the internet solely via smartphones will increase dramatically in the next few years. 


8. 82% Of Americans Shop Via Smartphone

82% Of Americans Shop Via Smartphone

If you have a smartphone then you already know how easy it is to get online, find your preferred product, and order it.

Once you’ve created an account the entire process can be completed in minutes. 

The majority of Americans agree with you.

A recent study found that 82% of Americans will use a smartphone to help them shop. 

This means using the smartphone to find something and purchase it.

It also covers researching products on the web prior to buying and even comparing items using your smartphone, even when you’re physically in a store. 

Impressively, the survey found 36% of shoppers will use their smartphone to check product quality, availability, and price, while in a shopping mall.

Currently 82% of Americans admit to using their smartphone to help them shop.

However, this figure is likely to soon be 100%.

People may be accustomed to instant gratification but there are still plenty who like to ensure they are getting the best deal before they commit. 


9. Men & Women Are Equally Likely To Have Smartphones

According to the latest study by Pew Research men and women are equally likely to have smartphones.

The study showed 85% of men and 85% of women own a smartphone. 

It also showed 97% of men and 98% of women own a cellphone!

100% of people aged between 18-29 have a cell phone and 96% of these are smartphones. 

Between 30-49 100% of people also have a cellphone.

However, the rate for smartphones drops to 95%.

Even older generations are getting on board with phones.

97% of people between 50-64 have a cellphone with 83% having a smartphone.

When it comes to people over 65, 92% of them have a cellphone and 85% have a smartphone!

In fact, the lowest percentage of smartphones belongs to High school students and younger.

96% of them have cellphones but only 75% have smartphones. 

(Pew Research)

10. There Are 3.8 Billion Smartphone Users In The World

If you think the US has a lot of smartphones then think again! While over 300 million is a lot, especially when most of these are Apple iPhones, it’s a small fraction of the number of smartphones in the world. 

A Statista survey in 2020 showed there were 3.5 billion smartphones in use globally!

Interestingly, globally Samsung dominates the smartphone market.

In the US, Apple is the primary choice. 

Smartphone sales are rising annually, especially in some of the largest economies in the world, such as China and India.

This is fuelling the increase in smartphones and the change in how the internet is accessed. 

As an indication of how much the smartphone industry is likely to grow, a recent survey found that 99.3% of internet users in China will only use their smartphone to get online. 

As most people replace their smartphone as soon as a newer, and better, model is released, it seems likely that the number of smartphone sales and users will remain steady, if not continue to climb.

What is certain is that China, the US, and emerging Asian markets will continue to dominate the smartphone industry. 


Summing Up

Depending on which report you look at the exact percentage will vary.

But, 91% is a good average as an answer to how many Americans have smartphones.

That’s over 300 million smartphones in active use.

Each of these will have some sort of contract to allow internet access.

That’s why the industry in the US alone is worth 73 billion USD. It’s worth noting in 2010 it was worth just 18 billion USD.

In short, smartphones aren’t just here to stay, they are likely to replace most other types of computers, with the exception of those needed for work. 

If you haven’t got a smartphone you’re in the minority and should consider upgrading.


OberloResearch Impact at IUTechjury
ZippiaPew Research