With mobile commerce sales on the rise year after year, there’s no question that smartphones are one of the best ways ecommerce business owners can reach consumers.

But before heading to the drawing board to plan your mobile marketing strategy, there are key facts about smartphone usage you need to know. This includes the question: How many Americans have smartphones?

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Percentage of Americans with smartphones

The latest US cell phone ownership statistics by year show that the percentage of Americans with smartphones has been increasing over the past decade.

In 2013, smartphone penetration in the US was at 53%. In other words, just over half of all Americans owned a smartphone. Today, that number has surged to 91%.

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Despite the jump, these statistics also show that the increase in smartphone ownership has been decelerating in recent years. From 2013 to 2018, smartphone penetration in the US increased at an average annual growth rate of six percentage points. From 2018 to 2023, however, this rate slowed to two percentage points.

The fastest year-over-year increase in the past decade came in 2015, when the percentage of Americans with smartphones rose by 10 percentage points from 61% in 2014 to 71%. The slowest increase was from 2021 to 2022, when smartphone penetration in the US held steady at 88%.

One of the main drivers behind the uptick in smartphone penetration in the US is the fast mobile internet connection speed its mobile operators offer. The latest data shows that mobile internet connection speeds in the US average 82.27 Mbps (megabits per second)—much faster than the worldwide average of 39.77 Mbps. 

Connection speeds also vary from operator to operator. According to the latest statistics from Q1 2023, T-Mobile offered the fastest speed, reaching a median download speed of 165.22 Mbps. This is followed by Verizon Wireless, with 75.4 Mbps.

US smartphone penetration demographic breakdown

Smartphone penetration in the US appears to be higher among the younger age group. In fact, a survey shows that more than 90% of US adults between the ages of 18 and 49 own smartphones.

This number decreases as we advance through the age groups: 83% of US adults between 50 and 64 years of age own smartphones, and this figure decreases to just two in five (61%)  for those aged 65 and above.

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