In August 2011, 84% of U.S. adults reported having a cell phone, and of that group, 38% have downloaded an app to their phone. Overall, that means that 32% of all U.S. adults have downloaded an app to their cell phone. This is a significant increase since May 2010, when 29% of cell phone users (representing 23% of all U.S. adults) reported downloading an app to their phone. And it is almost double the percent of adult cell phone users (22%) who reported downloading apps in September 2009.
In addition, the number of cell users purchasing phones that come preloaded with apps is also on the rise. In May 2010, 38% of cell owners indicated that their phone came preloaded with apps—that figure now stands at 43% of cell owners, representing 37% of all US adults.
Taken together, that means that half (50%) of cell phone owners (42% of all US adults) now have apps of some kind on their phone—either apps they downloaded themselves, or those that came with their phone when they purchased it. Many cell owners (32%) have both; the overall figure for cell phone app users counts these adults just once.
Overall, the current survey shows a seven percentage point increase in the portion of cell phone owners who have apps on their phones since May 2010, with most growth coming from those who themselves have downloaded apps to their phone.