About 60 percent of smartphone owners are now routinely using news apps on their smartphones according to the latest mobile media survey from the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). About 40 percent of the owners who use smartphone news apps are using apps branded by newspapers.

In the week prior to participating in the survey, men used an average of 3.1 smartphone news apps of which 1.7 were newspaper apps. Women used an average of 2.8 smartphone news apps of which 1.5 were newspaper apps (see charts 3.2 and 3.3). Among RJI’s other findings about the use of smartphones:

  • Men and women are now nearly equal in their ownership of smartphones (see chart 3.1).
  • About half (49 percent) of smartphone owners had Apple iPhones, 44 percent had Android-powered brands, and 7 percent had other types. Among those who used Android-powered smartphones, more than half had Samsung Galaxy models. The RJI survey found that women are much more likely than men to have Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy models (see chart 3.4).
  • Smartphones are used frequently or very frequently by 9 in 10 owners (see chart 3.5).
  • About two-thirds of smartphone owners said they used their smartphones everywhere throughout the day (see charts 3.6 and 3.7).
  • More than 4 in 10 smartphone owners overall said they also used a media tablet. The RJI survey found that women are much more likely than men to use media tablets with their smartphones (see chart 3.8).
  • More than half (55 percent) of smartphone owners overall indicated a preference for scrolling long stories on their smartphones, 30 percent indicated a preference for page swiping, and 15 percent had no preference (see chart 3.9).
  • Nearly 3 in 10 current smartphone owners said they were likely to purchase a new smartphone before the end of 2014. 16 percent said they were likely to purchase a new large tablet and 6 percent a new mini tablet. The Apple iPhone and iPad continue to be the most popular brands (see chart 3.10).

Nearly 1,200 randomly selected U.S. adults participated in RJI’s third annual Mobile Media News Consumption survey between Jan. 1 and March 31. This phone survey focused exclusively on the use of smartphones and touch-screen tablets with mobile operating systems. RJI’s previous surveys included questions about the use of e-readers and other Internet-enabled mobile devices, such as netbooks, tablet PCs, hand-held computers, and ultra-light notebooks.

Roger Fidler  
Program Director for Digital Publishing (Retired)


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