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Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the gentlemen-start-your-apps dept.

Handhelds 267

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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267 comments

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It's time. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39242961)

It's time for us, humanity, to return to Gamemakerdom.

Are smartphones making us dumb? (3, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243003)

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

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243053)

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

The more niggers there are in an inner city the more crime there is. Funny, that. Must be total coincidence.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243241)

And this racist thought of the day has been brought to you by the letters K, K and K, and the numbers 8 and 8.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243513)

And this racist thought of the day has been brought to you by the letters K, K and K, and the numbers 8 and 8.

So you will gladly walk into the inner city ghetto, flashing cash or bling, asking for directions because you are lost? I am sure the gang members will show you mercy because of how not-racist you are. Really, try it. Then get back to me.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243617)

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

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (5, Interesting)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243067)

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

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243517)

Only an Asian could memorize the 300-some numbers in my contacts anyways.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (5, Insightful)

dougisfunny (1200171) | more than 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (4, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243589)

What is this "pager" thing of which you speak? And why do I have to remember it?

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (5, Insightful)

simplexion (1142447) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#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).

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243169)

you arent too far off, I dont know about others, but I cant even remember my own house phone number (although i know my grandparents number that they have had since the 60s)

plain and simple, there is no need to memorize strings of numbers when a phone will hold them all for me, and this was pre smart phone just simply cell phone

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243201)

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.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243249)

These too were really neat in that they stored street numbers, so you knew what end to travel too.

Yeah, good job.

A smartphone is really that much of a dumb-down.

It used to be that native English speakers understood the most basic grammar. Now there are sloppy, lazy idiots who can't be bothered to proofread. I am sure there is "it's too hard!" or "it's not worth the whole, gigantic 2 seconds of effort!" or some other bullshit excuse for failing something so easy. It is really that much of a dumb-down.

If you want to be so self-reliant and elitist, do it correctly. Enjoy the taste of your own medicine.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243275)

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?

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243441)

Well, I'm an electrical engineer, so my paycheques would stop. On the upside, so would the cheques of the people who would be coming to collect the payments...

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (2)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243587)

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

Since when has knowing when to stop ever been part of human nature? We'll stop when the oil runs out, or when the Y2.038k bug has reduced us all to cannibalism (whichever comes first)... and not a moment before. :^P

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243655)

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

Since when has knowing when to stop ever been part of human nature? We'll stop when the oil runs out, or when the Y2.038k bug has reduced us all to cannibalism (whichever comes first)... and not a moment before. :^P

Can't argue with that :)

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243673)

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.

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (2)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243227)

Well, I think your argument is self-negating. Intelligence is not the rote memorization of facts, unless you consider books and computers to be the most intelligent things around.

But aside from that - as usual, I think the truth is somewhere in between your view and the others writing rebuttals.

I have absolutely no problem with conveniently storing data for which it serves no benefit to memorize. And there's far too much data for it to be reasonable to memorize even a small portion of what will be of use to you. That's why we have books and computers... and relevant here, the internet with wireless access. And that can present a trade-off. Before the internet was prevalent, when something broke, I might invest some time figuring out how it works, designing a robust fix, and implementing it. Now, I could save a lot of time by just searching the internet for it - chances are someone has done it before. And the critical thinking and abstractions and everything that would have gone into my solution are lost to the step-by-step directions the internet provides me.

Some will say that technology isn't limiting us in that scenario, because someone still had to figure it out. But that someone wasn't me. Many like me didn't have to. Fewer people will need to, and it's possible society will become more and more dependent on the internet rather than their own abilities. Now, the other side of it is efficiency - time savings. You could argue I could use all the time I save to do something more interesting to me with the same benefits. But I'd hazard a guess that society on the average will use the extra time to stare at a movie or TV show or video game.

Which all assumes, of course, we don't take the more cynical view that most people would just throw their hands up in the air at the problem instead of trying to fix it themselves at all.

On "intelligence" (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243343)

Well, I think your argument is self-negating. Intelligence is not the rote memorization of facts, unless you consider books and computers to be the most intelligent things around

I totally agree with you that rote memorizing of facts does not represent "Intelligence"

But "Intelligence" must still start from a base point

You see, "Intelligence" includes "Imagination", "Thinking", "Problem Solving"

How do you start imagining?

Often that not we start imagine something when we are not satisfied with the thing that we are facing in our real lives

When our wives ain't sexy no more, we start to imagine ourselves with very sexy girlfriends

When our house gets to crowded, we start to imagine having a bigger house

See a pattern here?

Yes, we must have a starting point to imagine, to think, to ponder, to begin to solve a question, and that "Starting Point", my friend, is a FACT

If we can't even remembering a FACT, if we relegate the roll of remembering all the facts to a gadget, please tell me how would we improve our intelligence if we can't remember all the important facts?

Re:On "intelligence" (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243425)

The things you described aren't just facts, in the abstract - they are problems.

Knowing the king in the 1300s in the isles now known as Great Britain is a fact, not an actionable problem.

Fighting to remember and organize phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, etc., is a fact, but more importantly, a problem. Ironically, it's a problem we're mitigating by using our intelligence and creativity to make devices that make this information easily accessible and searchable.

Re:On "intelligence" (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243687)

But "Intelligence" must still start from a base point
You see, "Intelligence" includes "Imagination", "Thinking", "Problem Solving"
How do you start imagining?

I start by knowing (not imagining) what it is I want to KNOW ABOUT, and having the best and most efficient tools around to get at that knowledge.

Smartphone, Computers, Books and Encyclopedias (even if obsolete), and Libraries, in that order.

Being able to use the most efficient tools to gather knowledge is more a sign of intelligence than is rote memorization.
 

Re:Are smartphones making us dumb? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243321)

Yes.

We've entered an age where people are stupid enough to think rote memorization should pass as intelligence.

Clearly this is due to smartphones.

Rots your brain (5, Insightful)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 2 years ago | (#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'.

Re:Rots your brain (3, Informative)

cheaphomemadeacid (881971) | more than 2 years ago | (#39242991)

Read history, we DID go completely bonkers, just sayin'.

DragonballZ SuperSayin! He said it so I must too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243141)

Read history, we DID go completely bonkers, just sayin'.

Just sayin', just sayin'.

Re:Rots your brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243001)

the only reason I can see

Luckily many of us are not as intellectually crippled.

Re:Rots your brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243005)

What you say? Besides being very useful, it can also be used for games? As opposed to posting to Slashdot, which is purely useless?

Re:Rots your brain (0)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243341)

Some like me may argue that participating in an actual unique discussion, even in a static forum, is a lot less useless than playing the same crappy game on a tiny-ass screen...again.

And, for the record, I happen to be an outspoken anti-smartphone guy, likening them to Linus' security blanket. Might as well be suckin' your widdle thumbs, too.

Sucking my thumbs.. (3, Funny)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243435)

And, for the record, I happen to be an outspoken anti-smartphone guy, likening them to Linus' security blanket. Might as well be suckin' your widdle thumbs, too.

God damn it... I went to answer a call and I just got slobber all over my iPhone again.

Re:Rots your brain (1)

PessimysticRaven (1864010) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243007)

Damn straight! And watches are for people who have a poor grasp on sundials!

Re:Rots your brain (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243115)

And sundials, a crutch for those with a stunted sense of the time of year and ability to judge the position of the sun.

And depending on one's observations of the solar cycle, a crutch for those not well enough in tune with their own circadian rhythm.

And maps, for those with a stunted sense of being able to predict where one will be in the future, and failing to prepare by memorizing maps of the area.

And the internet, just a crutch for those who haven't properly prepared their activities - you should always have several back-ups plans, so you never need to look up a restaurant or anything while out and about.

Anyway. Despite the Neanderthal slant of the GP, I don't disagree that some people use them to escape thinking and any sort of down time, and I don't disagree that that is a bad thing.

Re:Rots your brain (1)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243299)

I don't know how much of this is a luddite streak of "I didn't grow up with it, therefore it's evil", but I remember when I was a wee lad 15-20 yrs ago, when you went on a road trip, you *did* study a (paper!) map of the area so you knew roughly what was where; when you wanted to go out, you *did* have to plan ahead more that 15 minutes; when you went to the supermarket, you *did* have to do some mental arithmetic to avoid ripping yourself off. Maybe it's unsubstantiated nostalgia, but it seemed that people *had* to be more responsible in the dark ages of the 1990's, because there were fewer technological crutches to remove the disincentive against ADHD thinking patterns and general inattention to detail.

Re:Rots your brain (2)

dumuzi (1497471) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243403)

People had to be more responsible 200 years ago when inattention to the details of your stockpile for winter meant death for your family. Crutches like supermarkets have alleviated that responsibility. The result is freedom.

Re:Rots your brain (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243477)

Oh, I totally agree with you that those are still good and useful things to do.

It's simply a tool, a tool which will improve over time. It's not a cure all, nothing ever is. It can fail, and awareness of your surroundings and common sense are still good things - and always will be. That's no reason to deny the benefits of the tool and decry the users of it.

Re:Rots your brain (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243205)

excellent entailment abilities, sense of direction, and imagination are all still hallmarks of a strong mind. they are not sundials in a watch age.

Re:Rots your brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243009)

My lawn...get off of it.

Re:Rots your brain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243091)

Yeah. I was saying pretty much the same about laptop computers back in the '90s, and look how far downhill we've come since. It's clear our civilization is on a downward spiral.

Re:Rots your brain (1)

Erpo (237853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243105)

I can't speak for other people, but it trips me out to be walking through the supermarket chatting online. My inner ten-year-old is so happy. Other than that, I like using it as a music player on trips, an audiobook player, an ebook reader and a geocaching toy,

Re:Rots your brain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243177)

You're right! This is why I do not use computers. They make us way too dumb. I mean just look at the post I'm replying to - Clearly the world is full of major fucking idiots.

Work? (2)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243251)

Call me crazy, but I use my phone to have constant access to my Exchange Server so I can... get ready... work! I don't understand why people, who don't need to be connected 24/7 get these things. I'd much rather have a cheap-o, simple cell phone than what I have now, but, as it is, I need to be available all of the time to my company. I'm not going to squint to watch videos on it, and I certainly don't need to know what's going on on Facebook all the time, so I really can't explain why most people would get one other than keeping up with the Joneses. I think the situation is comparable to people who drive giant SUV's and trucks to commute to an office job... there's simply no sane reason for taking on the added expense and hassle unless you're obsessed with what other people think about the shit you own.

Re:Work Sucks Black Cock? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243337)

Call me crazy, but I use my phone to have constant access to my Exchange Server so I can... get ready... work! I don't understand why people, who don't need to be connected 24/7 get these things. I'd much rather have a cheap-o, simple cell phone than what I have now, but, as it is, I need to be available all of the time to my company. I'm not going to squint to watch videos on it, and I certainly don't need to know what's going on on Facebook all the time, so I really can't explain why most people would get one other than keeping up with the Joneses. I think the situation is comparable to people who drive giant SUV's and trucks to commute to an office job... there's simply no sane reason for taking on the added expense and hassle unless you're obsessed with what other people think about the shit you own.

I guess the rest of us don't have jobs that are as Supremely Important (TM) as yours. So we don't need to be able to work 24/7 from a portable, mobile device.

Re:Work Sucks Black Cock? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243469)

You're right. "The rest of you" probably don't own your own multi-million dollar business.

Only 10% (2, Insightful)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Only 10% (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243021)

not a problem. I don't use my cell phone to its full potential either, just for phone and alarm clock. when my company gives me a smart phone in the next week, I'll additonally use the GPS and look up transit routes but fuck the rest of that shit. it's just a tool

Re:Only 10% (5, Funny)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243545)

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.

... and if you think that's shocking, just wait until you hear what percentage of computer owners have yet to write their first computer program. Or what percentage of car owners haven't entered a single road rally.

46% eh? (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:46% eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243081)

You forgot about people that do not give a crap about cell phones at all or chose not to have them. People like RMS.

46% means that majority of cell users have smartphones. I expect death rates on roads to increase (it already has where I've lived, especially on highways with headon collisions)

Re:46% eh? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243187)

since when is 46% the majority?? has there been some new math findings i am unaware of?

Re:46% eh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243213)

You are dumb. 46% of Americans have one. 41% of Americans have a non-smart phone. Therefore a majority of cell phone users have a smartphone as grandparent post says.

Re:46% eh? (1)

HarrySquatter (1698416) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243345)

That would be a plurality not majority. A majority by its very definition is a subset of more than half of the group. 46% is not more than half.

Re:46% eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243415)

46% of all adults have a smart phone. 41% of all adults have a non-smart phone. Therefore, 46+41=87% of all adults have a cell phone (assuming those two groups are actually distinct) and 46/87=52% of those with a cell phone have a smart phone. 52%>50%, so it is a majority.

Re:46% eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243475)

Except for the fact that 'the group', in this case, is 'cell users'. According to the statistics, 87%, or 46% + 41%, of those surveyed have cell phones. 46% divided by 87% yields 52.9%, which is indeed a majority of the group in question.

Re:46% eh? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243353)

Oh yeah. Your name is ganjadude. I guess that explains why you are so fucking stupid.

Re:46% eh? (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243363)

Sprint doesn't have bandwidth caps. I'd agree with the rest though.

Re:46% eh? (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243577)

Actually I am a bit surprised by the number. These are luxury items after all, and I'd suspect at least 25% of American just can't afford them even if they wanted them. The survey shows 13% of older Americans have the phones which should be the largest group in the demographics (or else my social security is safe after all). Thus numbers just don't feel right. Maybe they're defining "smart phone" in a simple way; ie any mobile phone that has any application at all, which includes what most kids would call dumb phones?

Good god! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243047)

It's worse than we ever suspected...
My friends, my family.. Every one of them could potentially be a smartphone owner.
I could be a smartphone owner myself and not even know it!

And 10% have no cellphone at all. (4, Funny)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243057)

Yay, us.

Yeah because you can't buy a normal phone anymore (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243065)

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

Re:Yeah because you can't buy a normal phone anymo (-1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243599)

No shit! Mod parent up.

So when will the price come down? (3, Insightful)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243079)

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.

Re:So when will the price come down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243121)

There are smartphones for less than $80, no contract or lock. How much cheaper do you want them to be? Do you realize that even the simplest smart phone is a far more powerful computer than the computers which people used when the Internet became available to households?

Re:So when will the price come down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243211)

I think parent was referring to the massive price gouges for shitty service that pass for cell plans in this country. Smartphone prices are fine.

Smartphone service costs five times as much (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243569)

There are smartphones for less than $80, no contract or lock.

Dumbphone service on Virgin Mobile USA, a Sprint company: $7 per month for occasional use. Smartphone service on the same carrier: $35 per month minimum. No, they won't let me activate a dumbphone plan on a smartphone, so I have to either carry two devices (a dumbphone for making calls and a smartphone for running applications on Wi-Fi) or pay $28 per month for minutes that I won't use just for the privilege of consolidating the devices

Re:So when will the price come down? (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243135)

Is price keeping people away? As the user of an older non-smart phone I procured to let me text easily (it has a keyboard) while avoiding a smart phone, price is the issue. Not the price of the phone, but the price of the service. Why buy a smart phone when I have to pay an extra $30 a month min for a paltry amount of bandwidth?

Re:So when will the price come down? (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243461)

The price of data service is what I'm talking about. Right now, the providers can upgrade old-phone customers to pay $30 more per month for a data plan, and this boosts their revenue year over year. Eventually they'll run out of upgraders. That's when the pricing fun begins.

Re:So when will the price come down? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243193)

The price of the phone is nothing really. It's the damn contract that costs your ass. I refuse to pay out the ass for 3G data that is about the same speed as a dial-up modem in actual practice and is choked even harder once you actually use it for anything other than checking e-mail and browsing a few youtube vidz. All for more than my 20mbps always on and never throttled connection at my house. I just can't bend over and take it like that.

Re:So when will the price come down? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243633)

Well I won't pay more for a data plan than my high speed internet costs while being forbidden to use it as an internet gateway. Give me a smart phone that will do wifi without 3g crap and I'll be happy, until then the dumb phone is still far more than I need.

And if I can check email chances are it will be the stupid phone's email and not the address I've been using for 16 years, and I just don't want to browse through web mail on a screen that small, no matter how many kids quiver at the thought of the marketing scam called retinal resolution.

Re:So when will the price come down? (4, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243501)

The price came down a couple years ago. You can get an Android slider for $99, and Virgin Mobile unlimited data (they've been threatening to cap it for some time) with about 300 minutes included for $35/month. Boost Mobile is $40-55/month. Other pre-paid services are nearly as cheap.

If you're paying $80/month for your cell phone service, you're probably an idiot, who is a slave to advertising and doesn't know how to shop around.

Re:So when will the price come down? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243581)

$35/month

Please read my reply to Anonymous Coward [slashdot.org] .

Re:So when will the price come down? (1)

Keychain (1249466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243619)

no at that point marketing will invent the next "must have" gimmick and it will start all over again

What's a smartphone anyway? (2)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243093)

I have a phone that has a Web browser, can send and receive e-mail, has a full QWERTY keyboard, and run Java apps. But I'm pretty sure it's considered a "dumb" phone. What exactly is it that makes a phone "smart"? Gestures? Siri? Android or iOS? My dumb phone would have been considered "smart" just 12 years ago, when the first Blackberry was introduced!

Do you think your phone is a Smartphone? (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243175)

If so, it would have been counted as one.

From the full article:

45% of cell owners say that their phone is a smartphone, up from 33% in May 2011
49% of cell owners say that their phone operates on a smartphone platform common to the US market,1 up from 39% in May 2011

So the criterion is whether the user says their phone is a smart phone.

Personally, I think a more interesting poll question would be if phone owners use the `smart' functions on their phones or just use them as old fashioned feature phones.

Re:What's a smartphone anyway? (2)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243197)

Actually tony, They call those "feature phones" these days, not a "dumb phone" but not a "smart phone"

Re:What's a smartphone anyway? (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243313)

I guess the "feature" isn't having to pay monthy data fees even if you bought the phone at full cost.. My mom will be feature phone user as long as somebody is will to make them. The trick is to find a feature phone that has wifi and a usable browser for smartphone at hotspots, dumbphone everywhere else. If my phone wasn't an addiction I would seriously considering following her lead.

Re:What's a smartphone anyway? (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243649)

But the survey does not necessarily check out your phone. In 2011 survey it seems 1/3 of respondents just claimed they had smart phone, only 2/5s were identified as smart phone based on the brand or platform. So some of those surveyed could have just reported something different than the term that kids use. Language is fluid, and marketing language is super-fluid. "Feature phone" is a term I had not even heard less than a year ago.

and the rest of the majority (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243107)

Couldn't care less about the features of a smartphone.

Re:and the rest of the majority (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243151)

Me either. I just upgraded two days ago to the LG Extravert (hate those stupid names). It is a dumb phone, but with a physical keyboard. I do end up texting a lot with family all over the states, and even the boss. My old phone was 6 years old (but state of the art for a dumb phone then) and I would still be using it if texting with it didn't drive me crazy.

On the upside, this $79 (with contract) phone cost me nothing since Verizon gave me a 100 buck credit for not changing phones in forever.

Re:and the rest of the majority (2)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243209)

I've noticed the vast majority of smartphone users simply browse facebook all day long. How smart does a phone need to be to do that?

Re:and the rest of the majority (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243265)

I don't think that in this case it's a matter of a smart phone, but dumb users.

Re:and the rest of the majority (1)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243523)

Not very. My Sony Ericsson "feature phone" has a built-in Facebook app that I've been trying to remove. When I have a text or media message to send to a contact, the first phuqn option in the "Send" menu is "To Facebook" or "To YouTube." Annoying as hell.

On the Other Hand (4, Funny)

rueger (210566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243183)

A significant number of those people aren't as smart as their phones...

Re:On the Other Hand (2)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243401)

that's true even for most dumbphone users.

Recurring Costs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243189)

It's the monthly recurring cost which is most discouraging. In my area this is $70.00/month which equates to $840.00/yr. The problem I see is that there is not enough competition between the carriers to drive the recurring costs down and this coupled with demand will keep prices high for the foreseeable future. This won't change until there's something else to replace the smart phone which changes the demand side of the equation.

I have a CDMA dumb cell phone on a grandfathered plan Sprint introduced in 1997 where there is no monthly cost, and air time is 0.35 cents per minute, and I still have telephone sets in every room of the house. I don't subscribe to standard POTS, and instead use Asterisk and VOIP termination.

damned lies ... urm ... statistics (1)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243191)

From the article ...

About the Survey

This report is based on the findings of a survey on Americans' use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from January 20 to February 19, 2012, among a sample of 2,253 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,352) and cell phone (901, including 440 without a landline phone). For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. For results based Internet users (n=1,729), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

So 41% (conveniently rounded down to "two in five") is 5 percentage points below 46% (conveniently rounded up to "nearly half" when it would have also been rounded down to "two in five" if a consistent quantum of 20% had been used). Five percentage points is *just* above the sampling error of 4.6. Yes, statistics mavens who know more than me, that means significance obtained at p < 0.05, but it also means that the actual values could just as easily have been 43% and 44%, which isn't a very big difference.

My read: about 40% of the adults have an old-style phone; slightly more have a new-style phone. But what do the remaining nearly 20% have?

Re:damned lies ... urm ... statistics (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243339)

My read: about 40% of the adults have an old-style phone; slightly more have a new-style phone. But what do the remaining nearly 20% have?

They're unemployed and on the verge of being homeless.

Re:damned lies ... urm ... statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243433)

No, far from. Cellphones are a "necessity" for homeless people. Search for "homeless cellphone" on [google.com] . Almost everyone I know who refuses to have a cell phone is making over $100K/yr. Yes, there's a blatant sampling error in my observation; I have one because I've been forced to have one by work.

Re:damned lies ... urm ... statistics (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243391)

What's this "consistent quantum of 20%" nonsense? If you round to the nearest 10%, which is much more common, you get 40% and 50% percent, respectively. Now, if you were to express 40% as a ratio, what would be the most normal way to do so? That's right, two-fifths. Which is where the "fifths" comes from. To assume that that means that all the other ratios have to be expressed as fifths is silly. Nobody says "four-tenths". We automatically simplify that. But when it comes to 50%, we simplify that to...get ready for it...one half. Which is exactly what they did.

Other than that, though, your post was a good one. Except for that last question: obviously the remaining "nearly 20%" (or about 13%, which is closer to 10%) have no cell phone at all.

Recharge 1 / week ? (1)

gustep12 (1161613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243255)

I have a dumb phone, but I only need to recharge it about once per week to once every ten days. It doesn't weigh down my pocket, and It works really well as a phone, too. For everything else, I use real computers.

Smartphones cost $72,381 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243263)

Smartphones are devastating to savings: Lifetime use of an iPhone at current rates will cost one $72,381. Take a look: http://www.kerryonworld.com/technology/total-cost-of-lifelong-ownership-for-iphone

Why does a *phone* cost so much?

Re:Smartphones cost $72,381 (2)

c1t1z3nk41n3 (1112059) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243351)

This estimate is retarded for many reasons. But the simplest is that the author fails at basic math. He states a monthly cost of $105 when the options he's listed would only cost $85.

Re:Smartphones cost $72,381 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243395)

You will be lucky if that iPhone lasts the three year contract.

Re:Smartphones cost $72,381 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243451)

Not when my company pays for it. I never even bothered to own a cell phone until they offered to pony up.

Smarts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243303)

Everyone else is smart enough not to own a smart phone.

they have smartphones because they were given one? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243371)

more like half people, or half of half people are talked into getting a smartphone, because it's "cheap" as it's almost offered when renewing the subscription, or maybe because smartphones crash in price and soon are to the $100 mark, or because they believe their blackberry look-a-like with a music player and web browser is a smartphone. endless reasons. study doesn't say how many people own a smartphone for text and voice only, and never hook it up to a PC, never plug the proprietary ear buds in, and never use the internet function except for checking a train schedule or something every two weeks.

And the other half... (3, Funny)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243413)

...has a Windows phone :-)

Been around the computer block... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39243467)

I've been into computer's since before my Commodore 64, spent over $2,000 for a 300mhz pentium compaq model in the late 90's. Now I just found out from Toshiba repair that my newish $400 Win7 laptop, which after a 'friend' returned to me DOA, had liquid spilled in it. It'd cost me $375 to fix!
      So, a couple of month's ago, I buy a decently reviewed OptimusV from Amazon for $95. And it's great! Really!
        As a 50+ layman user, I get easy access to my email, google navigation (I still have my Garmin, but don't 'need' it now.), some very cool free games, my music all stored on a cheap mini SD card, free classic kindle books, ...
        It's a 600mhz portable computer with a phone app! WI-FI, 3G, accelerometer, and even has a decent 3.5mp camera. I come from the bad old, expensive days of tech. I've even dropped the sucker a few times, no problem! A VirginMobile $25 per month, unlimited (?) 3g,300 minutes plan! (I'm 'grandfathered' in), why wouldn't I want this!

       

Going the other way (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#39243499)

I'm planning to buy a iPad this year; and, once that's happened, I'm giving my Android phone away and moving back to a "dumb" phone. Smart phones are just too compromised in too many ways.

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