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Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners 267

Posted by samzenpus
from the gentlemen-start-your-apps dept.
First time accepted submitter saiful76 writes "Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012, an increase of 11 percentage points over the 35% of Americans who owned a smartphone last May. Two in five adults (41%) own a cell phone that is not a smartphone, meaning that smartphone owners are now more prevalent within the overall population than owners of more basic mobile phones."
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Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners

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  • Rots your brain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RightwingNutjob (1302813) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:14PM (#39242965)
    Other than the "convenience" of being able to get at your email, a crutch for a stunted sense of direction, and a safety net for poor before-hand planning, the only reason I can see for having a smartphone is for keeping yourself entertained on the go. That brings me to: are people's minds so empty that they can't stand just a bit of quiet time without outside stimulation? Somehow we've been doing it for millennia without going completely bonkers, just sayin'.
  • Only 10% (Score:1, Insightful)

    by pro151 (2021702) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:17PM (#39242983)
    Of that 46% know how to use their smart phone to it's full potential. Most of them just have them because it is the "in thing" to own.
  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:20PM (#39243003) Journal

    When electronic calculators started surfacing back in the 1960's/1970's, students stop memorizing the multiplication tables

    Now it's the turn of the smartphone that will affect a whole new generation of people

    Used to be that we know the address of a friend of ours

    No more

    With smartphone/tablets, you don't need to remember anything - by just tapping on the glass panel you will get all the info that you need

    The more gadgets we surround ourselves, the dumber we will become

  • 46% eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:26PM (#39243037)
    The other 54% must have realized that the offerings in this country are so third world they might as well just go with the cheapest, most basic offering because their peers expect them to have a cell phone. The other 46% think they're actually getting a good deal paying $80 or more a month for bandwidth caps, high latency, and cell phones with half their features turned off because America's mobile infrastructure is so crappy it can't handle what would, in the rest of the first world, be considered basic service.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:30PM (#39243065)

    Everything now is a bloated smartphone with poor reception and even poorer battery life

  • by NixieBunny (859050) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:33PM (#39243079) Homepage
    At some point, this market will reach saturation. Then the service providers will have to compete on something like price or service to keep market share up. Hopefully, this will be good for the users of these fine machines.
  • by dougisfunny (1200171) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:40PM (#39243109)

    Their address?
    And their phone number?
    And their work phone number?
    And their cell phone, pager, work cell?
    And their work address?
    And their email address?
    And their work email address?
    And their birthday?
    Etc etc.

    And for how many friends did you know this? And businesses you frequent? Acquaintances?

    Instead of memorizing a rolodex, which is subject to change and being forgetten, carrying an easily accessible one with you is dumber?

  • by simplexion (1142447) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @07:43PM (#39243123)
    Yes, because being able to look up information at a whim is going to make people more stupid. Is memorising your friends address and phone number really that important to intelligence?
    I find these days that someone tells me something that sounds rather dubious, I look it up using my smartphone, find the truth and memorise that. I find that in checking facts when people tell me something, I am more likely to remember it later on.
  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @08:04PM (#39243275) Journal

    In the past, your friends would draw you a simplified map of the neighboring streets using a device known as a pen on permanent non-volatile memory surface known as paper. The really neat thing was that as long you kept it dry, the information would be retained permanently. If you were really lucky, they might photocopy part of a map and place a photograph of their house. These too were really neat in that they stored street numbers, so you knew what end to travel too.

    Sometime they might even leave the front porch light on, place balloons outside the entrance, or place candles along the driveway like landing lights, so you knew you were heading in the right direction.

    A smartphone is really that much of a dumb-down

    It's the over-reliance of gadgets that are making us more and more lazy

    And the most dangerous part is, we are at the verge of being so lazy that we may become too lazy to think, to memorize, to use our own brain

    5 or 6 generations ago, the whole world could go on functioning without electricity

    3 or 4 generations ago, human beings started relying on electricity

    And now, if there is a black-out, you see people started panicking

    3 or 4 generation ago, banks could go on functioning without computers

    Now? If the "system down" sign is up, there is a sure bet that you won't be able to do almost any transaction in a bank

    Human nature, being human nature, we should know when to put a stop before it becomes too late

    Over-reliance on the smart phone will only get us into yet another pitfall --- what if the smartphone breaks down? What if the GPS gadgets break down? Are we able to function without them?

  • by icebike (68054) * on Sunday March 04, 2012 @09:03PM (#39243625)

    I find these days that someone tells me something that sounds rather dubious, I look it up using my smartphone, find the truth and memorise that. I find that in checking facts when people tell me something, I am more likely to remember it later on.

    This!

    It Seems to me, having once gone to the effort you remember longer, even if the effort is small. (Someone will look this up and prove me wrong, but that's why I said it "seems".)

    Of course the real beauty of this is the instant calling of BS (in the nicest possible way of course) when BS is spewn.
    This prevents a lot of cockamamie rumors from ballooning out of control. I've been at a table of 6 when dubious stuff floated and seen 4 smartphones light up. (I've since practiced the phrase "I stand corrected" more frequently).

  • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @09:11PM (#39243673) Homepage

    It's the over-reliance of gadgets that are making us more and more lazy

    That's just another way of saying effective. Time gained by offloading unimportant tasks to machines is time that can be better spent on more important goals. And yes, "having fun" fits too.

    And the most dangerous part is, we are at the verge of being so lazy that we may become too lazy to think, to memorize, to use our own brain

    I suppose you're demonstrating that by making big claims without showing the evidence that supports them?

    5 or 6 generations ago, the whole world could go on functioning without electricity

    3 or 4 generations ago, human beings started relying on electricity

    And now, if there is a black-out, you see people started panicking

    3 or 4 generation ago, banks could go on functioning without computers

    Now? If the "system down" sign is up, there is a sure bet that you won't be able to do almost any transaction in a bank

    Human nature, being human nature, we should know when to put a stop before it becomes too late

    Over-reliance on the smart phone will only get us into yet another pitfall --- what if the smartphone breaks down? What if the GPS gadgets break down? Are we able to function without them?

    So? Worse things have happened and we've pretty much always survived. Occasional blackouts are just a nuisance, nothing more than a drop in a bucket compared to the advantages of these systems, and if shit really hits the fans and the systems go down permanently, our survival instincts will kick-in.

    If members from the nobility who were used since birth to have servants to take care of their every need are able to do whatever it takes to eat and survive, I think we can l live without GPS or smartphones. Well, I still do, but it's not because I share your concerns.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 04, 2012 @09:22PM (#39243737)

    Well, we can clearly see you're well named, Anonymous Coward.

    So why don't you carry your white ass into the black ghetto and see how welcome you are?

    Then and only then, tell me how unreasonable I am for wanting nothing to do with them. But you won't try this little experiment. You already know what will happen and you are too afraid to see if you are wrong. Yeah just keep on blaming me.

  • by Jazari (2006634) on Sunday March 04, 2012 @10:12PM (#39243955)
    For police, smartphones are the DNA or fingerprints of the 21st century. Soon every crime investigation will start with "any DNA on scene?" followed by "Who do the tower logs say was in the area at the time of the crime?"
  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Sunday March 04, 2012 @11:48PM (#39244373) Homepage Journal

    Albert Einstein refused to memorize telephone numbers because they could be written down. Clearly, he was an idiot.

    Are you suggesting some people actively try to memorize phone numbers? For me, if it's someone I care about, and I dial it a few times, it just sticks.

    Did he actively try to not remember them? Like my credit card number from the 80's - I have to agree with Einstein that it's a waste of resources, but it's just stuck in there - nothing I can do about it.

  • by mapkinase (958129) on Monday March 05, 2012 @12:19AM (#39244575) Homepage Journal

    What is this obsession with "smartness"? With the ability of multiplying two digit numbers in your head? With memorizing ten digits on the fly?

    Those skills are just tools, like calculators you mention or abakuses.

    I used to call overseas directly 7-8 years ago, when VoIP did not pick up yet, and I used my phonebook. I did not have to memorize a single number, I lost the ability to memorize. It was very hard and took enormous amount of time to memorize numbers when I needed.

    After that I switched to phone cards: dial local number, punch in a 10-digit code, punch another 10 digit number. It was impractical to store all of those in one number: not all phones supported that, my workphone addressbook was unmanageable, so I had to regain the ability to memorize those numbers, and I did. It takes me to look on the number I get from RussianSeattle for 5-10 sec, I can start dialing it right away.

    Those abilities are not here, because they are not needed. If a human needs something he learns something very quickly.

    We did not lose anything. We did not lose anything by stopping learning obligatory Greek and Latin post-Victorian England. We did not lose anything by stopping learning how to multiply with a slider.

    Stop obsessing with rudimentary skills. Smartphones do not make us dumb. If anything, they make us even smarter. I learn about stuff faster than before, because I am surrounded with people with a data plan (I am still lingering on my old Samsung pre-data plan smartphone), and instead of forgetting about an atom of knowledge that I wanted to learn I am asking nearby brother in the mosque to check it out in Wikipedia.

    I can imagine how much more stuff that I need I could learn by actually subscribing to one of those data plans.

    I talked to an older brother from the mosque - he just got himself one of those and now is constantly reading Quran from it. "Why don't you go to the shelf pick a nice Mushaf and read from it?" I asked. "He said, it's too far and I will lose my place in the first row".

    The revolution of a data plan is simply amazing and you people are talking about getting dumb?

    I consider myself a neo-luddite with my aversion to technology, but _you_ are beating me hands down.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 05, 2012 @12:59AM (#39244733)

    Or more likely SHE couldn't tell the difference between 610 Jefferson St and 610 E Jefferson St and forgot to enter the E on her "stupid" GPS. The same mistake would easily have been made on the ancient technology of the map based on the even old faulty tech of the brain.

  • by vlm (69642) on Monday March 05, 2012 @08:19AM (#39246567)

    I chose to have a house down-payment rather than spending ~$1000/year on a phone...

    I believe this is another example of early adopter-itis

    True, at one (recent) point if you wanted a iphone you were writing a check for $120 per month for 2 years plus $500 upfront is more like $1500/year. So, I heard the price and "Forget about it, I'm priced out so I don't care anymore". Much like I don't bother following the price of sailboats over 50 feet long, or the new Ferrari market.

    I "upgraded" in December from paying about $7/month for a dumb phone to a shocking $20/month for an android phone. So far so good.

    Another example of early adopter-itis is when first released a picture window sized TV would have cost more than a (cheap) new car, so I ignore the entire market for years. To my complete amazement last fall when my old SD CRT was failing after 25 years of service, a picture window sized TV only costs about as much as a picture window, so I bought one. The TV shows and movies continue to suck, but now they suck in higher res, and my wife is happy, and it was very cheap.

    I intentionally removed myself from the market when first released because the price was insane. Now its cheap and I'm shocked to be in the market. This happens over and over...

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