There were 119 million U.S. smartphone owners at the end of the third quarter, up from 87 million a year prior, according to comScore. The increase of 32 million smartphone owners year-over-year was essentially flat compared to the prior quarter, but down from a growth peak of 35 million net year-over-year additions reached in the last quarter of 2011.
Overall, comScore measured smartphone penetration at 51 per cent. As we’ve discussed before, U.S. smartphone growth will slow as early drivers of growth— early adopters, the young, the moneyed— are increasingly tapped out. In fact, the U.S. year-over-year net addition curve is beginning to resemble a standard adoption curve.
Globally, the smartphone revolution is just getting started with enormous upside potential in many large markets. However, it is important to remember that growth will not maintain its breakneck pace to saturation and, given the cost of the devices, smartphones will remain inaccessible for a significant portion of the global mobile market.
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