Forty-six percent of adults in the U.S. owned a smartphone as of February 2012, up from 35% in May 2011, according to survey by Pew Research Center

LOS ANGELES , March 2, 2012 () – According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 46% of adults in the U.S. owned a smartphone as of February 2012, up from 35% in May 2011, Internet Retailer reported March 1, 2012.

Pew’s findings broadly concur with figures provided by the Nielson Company. Nielson said that, as of January 2012, 48% of mobile phone owners in the U.S. owned smartphones. During the first quarter of 2011, 36% of all mobile phone owners in the U.S. owned smartphones, up from 23% during the same period the previous year.

“For several years we’ve been saying it’s ‘the year of mobile,’” said online and mobile marketing firm Acquity Group LLC digital strategy and design Vice President Tom Nawara, “It is time to put that phrase away and understand that mobile is here to stay and simply one part of an overall omnichannel strategy retailers need to embrace. With smartphone penetration hovering around the key 50% inflection point, the question for retailers can no longer be, ‘Should we include mobile in our mix?’ It has to be, ‘How do we most effectively build mobile experiences into our omnichannel plans?’”

According to a pew survey that examined of 2,253 adults in the U.S., almost every demographic—including both urban and rural residents, younger and middle-aged adults, individuals who were less well off, the wealthy, men and women—showed a noticeable increase in smartphone adoption levels over the last year. For adults with an annual household income of at least US$75,000, college graduates, or people between the ages of 18 and 35, smartphone adoption levels are higher than 60%. Smartphone adoption rates for the elderly lag behind the curve. Only 13% of people either at or above 65 years of age own a smartphone.

According to the IMRG Capgemini Quarter Benchmarking Index, m-commerce sales as a percentage of total sales in the U.K. rose from 0.4% in Q4 2009 to 5.3% in during the same period in 2011.

The Benchmarking Index also revealed that, year-over-year, visits to British online retail sites via either tablets or smartphones rose from 2.6% to 8.2% in 2011.

The primary source of this article is Internet Retailer, Chicago, Illinois, on March 1, 2012.

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