Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

A little more than two out
of five cell owners (42 percent) owned a smartphone as of May 2011, according
to a new study from Pew Research. Since 83 percent of Americans own some kind
of mobile phone, this means that 35 percent of all American adults are
smartphone owners.

In its first standalone
measure of smartphone ownership, the Pew Research Center’s Internet &
American Life Project finds that 33 percent of cell owners said that their
phone is a smartphone. Just over half (53 percent) said that their phone is not
a smartphone, while the remaining 14 percent do not know if their phone is a
smartphone or not.

Additionally, 39 percent of
cell owners said that their phone operates on a smartphone platform common to
the U.S. market, according to the Pew study.  (This includes the iPhone and Blackberry, as well as phones
running the Android, Windows or Palm operating systems.)

What’s more, 13 percent do
not know what type of phone they have, while the remaining responses included
those that were not smartphones (i.e. “basic cell phone,” “cheapest phone” or
“flip phone”) or that were not easily classified into a particular category
(i.e., Samsung, Nokia, Verizon or AT&T).

According to the study,
phones operating on Google’s Android platform are currently the most prevalent
type of smartphone, followed by Apple iPhones and BlackBerry devices. Android
phones are especially common among young adults and African-Americans, while
iPhones and BlackBerry devices are most prevalent among college graduates and
the financially well off.

The report also found
smartphone users own a wide range of devices in addition to their phones. Eight
in ten smartphone owners also own a laptop computer, and e-book readers and
tablet computers are much more prevalent among smartphone owners than in the
general population.

Nearly nine in ten
smartphone owners (87 percent) use their phones to access the Internet or
email, with 78 percent of these users saying that they go online using their
phone on a typical day, the study found. Put differently, that means that on a
typical day 68 percent of all smartphone owners go online using their phone.

Although smartphone
ownership varies significantly based on demographic factors, within the
smartphone owner population, there is relatively little variation when it comes
to using one’s phone to go online. Age is the primary differentiator: 94 percent
of smartphone owners ages 18 to 29 use their phones to go online, with 81
percent doing so on a typical day.

The study is based on a
national telephone survey of 2,277 adults conducted April 26-May 22, 2011.