Almost 90% of US college students to own smartphone by 2016 compared with 58.5% of total U.S. population; 70% of college mobile phone users will own smartphones by end of 2012: eMarketer

Kendall Sinclair

Kendall Sinclair

Aug 28, 2012 – eMarketer

NEW YORK , August 28, 2012 (press release) – Nine in 10 college students to own a smartphone by 2016

A new eMarketer report finds that by the time the class of 2016 graduates, close to 90% of college students in the US will own a smartphone. Brands who reach this digitally savvy audience have the opportunity to mold mobile shopping behaviors—and in the short term, the chance to gain a share of students’ increased spending.

The new report, “College Students Put Mobile Marketers to the Test,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, answering key questions about how brands can best reach these mobile-centric students, including:

What percentage of college students own smartphones and tablets?
What type of digital content do they access?
How is mobile advertising perceived?
How are college students using mobile devices for shopping?

By years’ end nearly 70% of college mobile phone users will own smartphones. Despite the already high penetration levels of smartphone ownership among college students, eMarketer forecasts double-digit growth among the college set through 2015. By the end of 2016, eMarketer estimates nine out of 10 undergraduate students of all ages and enrollment types will own a smartphone, compared with 58.5% of the total US population.

The rate at which college students are buying tablets is surpassing that of smartphones: triple the number of backpacks were filled with tablets in January 2012 compared to the prior March. According to The Pearson Foundation, the nonprofit arm of testing company Pearson Education, 25% of US college students owned a tablet in January 2012, compared to 7% just 10 months earlier.

Marketers looking to reach this constantly connected audience need to hone their mobile efforts in order to be effective.

“Undergraduates are aware of and responsive to mobile ads. However, they’re quick to judge and are easily turned off by messages that are interruptive or irrelevant,” said eMarketer. “Marketers that push creative boundaries, deliver content that is fun to share and diversify the types of mobile ads used, will have the best odds of increasing engagement levels and brand perception among the college set.”

About eMarketer

eMarketer publishes data, analysis and insights on digital marketing, media and commerce. We do this by gathering information from many sources, filtering it, and putting it into perspective. For more than a decade, leading companies have trusted this approach, and have relied on eMarketer to help them make better business decisions.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.


About Us

We deliver market news & information relevant to your business.

We monitor all your market drivers.

We aggregate, curate, filter and map your specific needs.

We deliver the right information to the right person at the right time.

Our Contacts

1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #380,
Los Angeles, CA 90025

+1 (310) 553 0008

About Cookies On This Site

We collect data, including through use of cookies and similar technology ("cookies") that enchance the online experience. By clicking "I agree", you agree to our cookies, agree to bound by our Terms of Use, and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. For more information on our data practices and how to exercise your privacy rights, please see our Privacy Policy.