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US smartphone ownership hits record high

News, 29 May 2017
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WASHINGTON DC: Smartphones can now be found in a record 80% of US households, representing 6% growth on last year, a new survey has found.

Based on responses from more than 2,000 US adults polled in February 2017, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) also revealed that, overall, 27m more smartphones are owned by consumers compared with a year ago.

The CTA further reported that the total number of smartphones owned in the US has increased significantly to 238m, up 13% year-on-year.

With smartphones reaching a record level of household penetration, it means they are easily the second most frequently owned tech product in the US, although TVs continue to remain by far the most popular device.

Nearly all (96%) of US households own at least one TV, equating to 308m units, although there has been a slight decline of 3% over the past year.

While TVs have been dominant in US households for many years, CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said he expected smartphones to maintain their popularity.

"Smartphones are our personal hubs for innovative technologies like smart homes, connected cars and voice-recognition services," he said.

"And, as more of us recognise the ability of technology to change our lives for the better, smartphones will continue to be one of the most pervasive technologies owned in homes throughout the US," he added.

The survey, which forms part of the CTA's Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study, also examined the rise of emerging technologies in US households.

It found that 4K Ultra HD (UHD) television is seeing the fastest growth in ownership, with 16% of US households now owning one – up nine percentage points year-on-year – while 11% of US households plan to buy a 4K UHD TV in the coming year.

Other emerging technologies expected to experience significant year-on-year ownership growth over the coming year include voice-activated digital assistants, drones and virtual reality headsets.

And finally, almost half (45%) of US households now have at least one vehicle with a driver-assistance safety or communication system, such as back-up sensors, rearview cameras or hands-free calling.

"This report is further evidence that, despite that wariness, more and more drivers want innovations that help keep them safer on the road," observed Steve Koenig, the CTA's Senior Director of Market Research.

Data sourced from CTA; additional content by WARC staff

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