Smartphones: Democracy Now!

Smartphones are moving in status from high-end toy to practical device for the common man.

Regardless of income, U.S. consumers are increasingly adopting smartphones like Apple’s handset, according to ComScore. The commoditization of handsets is near now and marketers had better have campaigns to reach consumers on these devices.

ComScore reports that the strongest growth of iPhone users occurs among those earning less than the “median household income”–that is, between $25,000 and $50,000–at an increase of 48 percent. When it comes to smartphones in general, that same demographic of users grew by 5 percent, compared to the 3 percent growth of the overall smartphone market.

“One actually realizes cost savings when the device is used in lieu of multiple digital devices and services, transforming the iPhone from a luxury item to a practical communciation and entertainment tool,” said analyst Jen Wu. Added another analyst, Mark Donovan, “Lower-income mobile subscribers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to access the Internet, email, and their music collections.”

I’ve mentioned how mobile is poised to become the de facto form of the Internet in a previous post. Specifically, I noted that the number of people using the Web via their phones instead of a PC was likely to rise. Nice to see firm figs that support this.

One odd figure: The number of people using their phones to listen to music actually dropped. Overall growth in this category was negative 0.3 percent. Seems like people don’t necessarily want an iPod blended into their phones. Instead, they want a handset that lets them use the Internet, check email, and be free from their computer.