Apple is expected to introduce an iPhone 5 at its planned Sept. 12 event, and what follows, by any number of accounts, should be dramatic. JPMorgan Chase analyst Michael Feroli has suggested that the smartphone's arrival could actually boost the entire U.S. economy by up to half a percent. Topeka Capital analyst Brian White has predicted that its arrival will usher in the "biggest upgrade in consumer electronics history," while Jefferies' Peter Misek expects nothing short of the "biggest handset launch in history."
Certainly, then, Apple's new iPhone could also bring about a few feature phone converts. On the eve of Apple's announcement, the Pew Research Center released a study offering a snapshot of where we currently stand without it.
In Pew's Aug. 7 through Sept. 6 survey of 3,014 adults, it found that 45 percent of all American adults currently own a smartphone. Among young adults, those 18 to 29 years old, and all adults in households with incomes of $75,000 and higher, that figure rises considerably, to 66 percent and 68 percent, respectively.
"These latest figures show that smartphone ownership has increased from 35 percent in May 2011 to 45 percent," Pew said in the Sept. 11 report. More notably, it added, "There has been no change in smartphone ownership from figures ... in a survey at the beginning of the year."Read More