New data from Nielsen released this morning takes a look at the typical U.S. smartphone user, specifically their age and income, as well as the penetration of smartphones into various demographic groups. Data like this can help developers, publishers and advertisers better understand who owns a smartphone, but it can also help to determine if the devices are successfully penetrating the low-end income brackets thanks to lower price points.
The answer to that latter question is yes: even those making less than $15,000 per year are likely to have a smartphone – but only if they’re young. Over half (56%) of this income bracket are smartphone owners, when aged 18-24. In the 25-34 age group, 43% of those at this income level are making room for a smartphone in their limited budgets. In the more pragmatic 35-44 age group, 31% of those making under $15,000 own a smartphone.
While these mobile users don’t necessarily live below the poverty threshold (it’s unclear if they are single, married, supporting families, etc.), they’re not far off. In 2011, a single person making $10,890 or less was living in poverty, for example. Just increase that by a few thousand annually, and all of a sudden, they’re smartphone owners.
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