January 04, 2013

One out of five Puerto Rico residents owns a smartphone, according to this week’s Gaither International, WOSO Radio, CARIBBEAN BUSINESS poll, with more than 30,000 face-to-face interviews and a sampling error margin of plus or minus 0.5 percentage points, among an islandwide representative sample of adults.

This survey is part of Gaither’s Media Brand Profiles, the first multimedia brands, media and consumption daily monitoring study on the island.
The poll asked respondents: “Do you have a smartphone?” Results reveal that 21% of respondents, or about one in five—indicate they own one of these handsets, while 79% doesn’t. Looking at past measurements by Gaither, a significant increase can be seen over the years. In 2009, for example, only 3% of locals said they owned a smartphone.

The number rose to 7% in 2010, 11% in 2011 and reached 19% in 2012. Just in the beginning of this year, this number has topped them all, with 21%. “Apparently, someone had a nice Christmas present,” said Gaither Vice President Beatriz Castro.

Looking at the demographics of those who owned a smartphone, there are differences among subgroups. For starters, younger respondents were likelier than their older counterparts to own these phones. Thirty-five percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 did, compared with those ages 35 to 54 (24%) and those older than 55 (7%). More men (23%) than women (20%) have one of these mobile devices.

Not surprisingly, those with high incomes and education levels are likeliest to own a smartphone. Two out of five respondents, or 40%, of those with high incomes own a smartphone, whereas 28% of people with middle incomes and 21% with low incomes report having one.

Thirty-seven percent of those with college education have smartphones, while 21% of those with middle- and 10% of those with low-education levels have one.

“Considering how the mobile-phone industry is moving, where each time there are more cellphones available with Internet, GPS and other ‘smart’ technologies, it is expected that this trend concerning smartphone ownership will keep on growing through the years among islanders,” Castro concluded.

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