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Cell phone statistics 2023

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When Motorola introduced its first mobile phone in 1983, the company hoped for a frenzy. But even the best marketers couldn’t have predicted the success of mobile phones. Today, mobile phones are an essential part of daily life, as more humans depend on them for everything from communication and work to social networking and online shopping.

Key Insights

  • About 92% of Americans own a smartphone.
  • The average American spends 4 hours and 25 minutes on their mobile phone each day and checks their phones 144 times per day.
  • Nearly 57% of Americans consider themselves "mobile phone addicts."
  • Almost all Americans (97%) own a mobile phone. This translates to about 325.4 million people.
  • Children, on average, get their first phones at 11.6 years old. By 15, almost all children have a cell phone.
  • About half (50.6%) of the world's internet traffic comes from mobile phones.
BrandShare of ownership
Apple 57.79%
Samsung 26.29%
Lenovo (Motorola) 4.34%
Google 2.11%
LG 1.47%
Others 5.99%

Mobile phone ownership by age

Almost all Americans (97%) own a mobile phone. This translates to about 325.4 million people. Those aged 65 and over are the least likely to have a phone.

Children, on average, get their first phones at 11.6 years old. The sharpest increase in kids getting a phone happens between 10.7 and 12.5 years of age. By 15, almost all children have a cell phone.

Phones vs. other electronic devices

American households have, on average, nearly six internet-connected devices. Generation Z is more “connected” than their older counterparts, having 6.6 devices in the home on average.

  • Among smartphone owners in the US, 17% of people reside in “smartphone-only” households. Just 8% of households own four types of connected devices (a smartphone, laptop, tablet, and smartwatch)
  • Many (42%) of American households own two connected devices: a smartphone and either a  a laptop, tablet, or smartwatch/wearable.
  • Though 91% of Americans have access to the internet (via home broadband or a smartphone), the rising cost of broadband service is a concern for many. As a result, 15% of adult Americans are dependent on their smartphone for internet access.

A shocking number of people upgrade their phones every year (11.89%), and 4.28% purchase a new phone every six months.

  • Most cell phone users (55.47%) upgrade their phones every two to three years.

Mobile phone usage and habits

Caught in an endless cycle of notifications and pings, Americans are feeling tied to their phones now more than ever.

  • Cellphone users look at their phones 144 times a day on average.
  • Americans spend an average of 4 hours and 25 minutes on their phones per day, up 52% from 2022, when Americans used their phones for 2 hours and 54 minutes per day.
  • The most common phone activities are checking email, taking photos, and surfing the internet.
ActivityUsage %
Email 83%
Photography 83%
Internet surfing 76%
Navigation 73%
Ecommerce/online shopping 71%
Social media 67%
Music/podcasts 66%
Watching clips/short videos/messages 65%
Banking 60%
Video calls 59%
Shooting videos 58%
Reading the news 58%
General purpose apps 57%
App-based gaming 52%
Streaming (TV/videos) 44%
Online video gaming 35%

Self-professed smartphone addictions (fear of being without a mobile phone) are becoming increasingly common as more people rely on technology for relationships, work, learning, and entertainment.

  • Nearly 57% of Americans consider themselves "mobile phone addicts."
  • Three in four admit to feeling uncomfortable without their phones.
  • One in six sleep with their phones at night.
  • Almost half (47%) say they panic when their battery drops below 20%.

Mobile shopping

By 2025, mobile phone sales (known as m-commerce) are forecasted to double, amounting to approximately 710 billion dollars. By comparison, m-commerce sales topped 360 billion in 2021.

  • Roughly half, or 50.55%, of internet traffic comes from mobile phones.
  • Three in four Americans (76%) have bought something online using mobile phones. Those under age 50 are most likely to buy online (92%).
  • About one-third (32%) of the US population uses their phone to buy something online at least once a week.


How many people use mobile phones in the US?

About 97% of the US population own a smartphone or feature phone. 85% of these owners own a smartphone, while 11% own a feature phone.

What is the difference between a smartphone and a feature phone?

A feature phone, also called a dumb phone or a brick phone, doesn't have many features and is usually used for calling and texting. A smartphone on the other hand has extended functionality for apps, social media, photography and videography, video streaming, and a lot more.

How old do people start using mobile phones?

About 25% of children have their first phones at 10.7 years old, while 75% have one by 12.6 years old, according to a study by Stanford Medicine.

Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
  1. Pew Research Center. Mobile Fact Sheet. Pew Research Center. Published April 7, 2021. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/mobile/ .
  2. US Smartphone Market Share (Sep 2023). Bankmycell. Evaluated September 15, 2023. https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/us-smartphone-market-share .
  3. White MJ. A Surprising Number Of People We Polled Said They Upgrade Their Phone Every Year. SlashGear. Published August 18, 2022. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.slashgear.com/970484/a-surprising-number-of-people-we-polled-said-they-upgrade-their-phone-every-year/ .
  4. U.S.: smartphone ownership by gender 2022. Statista. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.statista.com/forecasts/1363291/smartphone-ownership-by-gender-us .
  5. Vogels EA, Gelles-Watnick R, Massarat N. Teens, social media and technology 2022. PEW Research Center. Published August 10, 2022. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/08/10/teens-social-media-and-technology-2022/ .
  6. Digitale E. Age that kids acquire mobile phones not linked to well-being, says Stanford Medicine study. News Center. Published November 21, 2022. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2022/11/children-mobile-phone-age.html .
  7. Multiple device ownership means more smartphone usage. cdne.kantar.com. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://cdne.kantar.com/north-america/inspiration/technology/multiple-device-ownership-means-more-smartphone-usage .
  8. Perrin A. Mobile Technology and Home Broadband 2021. Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. Published June 3, 2021. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2021/06/03/mobile-technology-and-home-broadband-2021/ .
  9. 2022 Cell Phone Usage Statistics: How Obsessed Are We? Reviews.org. Published January 24, 2022. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.reviews.org/mobile/cell-phone-addiction .
  10. Understanding Mobile Phone Use and 5G Expectations. The Northridge Group. Published 2021. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.northridgegroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/NRG-2021-Telecom-Survey-Report-1.pdf .
  11. What Percentage of Internet Traffic Is Mobile. Published June 13, 2023. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://dataprot.net/statistics/what-percentage-of-internet-traffic-is-mobile/ .
  12. Faverio M, Anderson M. For shopping, phones are common and influencers have become a factor – especially for young adults. Pew Research Center. Published November 21, 2022. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2022/11/21/for-shopping-phones-are-common-and-influencers-have-become-a-factor-especially-for-young-adults/ .
  13. Mobile commerce in the United States. Statista. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.statista.com/topics/1185/mobile-commerce/#topicOverview .
  14. Lawrence N. Hate smartphones? Consider basic connectivity with a dumb phone. Reviews.org. Published January 18, 2023. Evaluated September 13, 2023. https://www.reviews.org/au/mobile/dumb-phone-vs-smartphone/ .
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