Mobile phone model demographics vary by country

test123The Nielsen Company’s mobile research in 2013 identified the demographics of smartphone and feature phone users in each of the 10 countries they studied.

  • In Australia, smartphone owners tended to be younger, between the ages of 16 and 34, and split almost evenly between men and women. Feature phone users tended to be over 45.
  • In Brazil, smartphone users were overwhelmingly male, 43 percent, versus 27 percent female, and between 16-to 44-years-old. Feature phone users tended to be female, and over 45-years-old.
  • In China, smartphone users tend to be male, 76 percent male versus 57 percent female, and younger, between the ages of 16 and 34. The relatively small percentage of feature phone users tend to be female, and skew older.
  • In India, the vast majority of mobile users are feature phone users, who tend to be female and older. Only 12 percent of the mobile phone users are male, while 7 percent are female.
  • In Italy, smartphone ownership skews higher among men, 65 percent vs. 57 percent; and skews younger, 25-to 44-years-old. Meanwhile, feature phones tend to be owned by those ages 45 to 64.
  • In Russia, smartphone owners tend to be male, 44 percent vs. 31 percent female, and younger, 16-to 34-years-old. Feature phone ownership skews slightly female and are overwhelmingly devices owned by those 45 and older.
  • In South Korea, smartphone ownership is well matched between male and female, 68 percent and 65 percent, respectively; and skews younger, with 86 percent of those 16 to 34 owning a smartphone. Only one-fourth to one-fifth of the population owns a feature phone, and tend to be those older than 45-years-old.
  • In Turkey, feature phones are the dominant mobile phone, with 59 percent of males and 62 percent of females owning one, and 78 percent of those 45 and over owning one. Meanwhile, smartphone owners tend to be male, 21 percent, and between 16 and 24, 30 percent.
  • In the United Kingdom, 67 percent of males and 54 percent of females own a smartphone, especially those 16-to 34-years-old. Less than one-third of the population owns a feature phone, except for those over 45, who represent 46 percent.
  • In the United States, 55 percent of male and 53 percent of females own a smartphone, most notably, those who are 16-to 34-years-old. Forty-eight percent of those over 45 own a feature phone.

This data set is among the many trends highlighted in the annual Global Digital Media Trendbook. The 2015 GDMT executive summary is now available for free. The Trendbook itself is packed with 500 data sets, 70,000 words of analysis and 230 pages of digital media usage and revenue trends.

The executive summary captures the essence of the trendbook, with 20 pages of 2015’s hottest digital media trends in mobile, video, social media, Big Data and digital revenue streams. For more information, contact publisher Martha Stone at, or go to to download the executive summary.

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