Roughly one of every seven American households (15%) owns at least one smartphone, according to survey findings from Nielsen's Convergence Audit, an annual survey of 32,000 respondents online and via mail.
Sketching out trends in technology adoption and use patterns, Nielsen's findings also confirmed that younger adults are dropping landlines in favor of cell phones at an increasing rate.
In terms of relative penetration, market share among smartphones skews heavily toward BlackBerry, at least at the household level. Of the 15% of households that own at least one smartphone, over half (8% of all respondents) own a BlackBerry, versus 4% for Apple's iPhone.
Also, 88% of all respondents belonged to a household thst owned a wireless phone, and 21% said they did not have a landline, relying exclusively on mobile devices for their household phones.
The latter number represents a significant increase from 18% of all respondents last year -- and 15% the previous two years. According to Nielsen, the 2009 figure includes households that used to have a landline but dropped it, and new households started by young adults that never had a landline in the first place.
The Nielsen Convergence Audit for 2009 also contained testimony to the rapid rise and wide penetration of next-generation gaming systems, with the percentage of households owning an Xbox 360, PlayStation or Wii jumping from 13% in 2007 to 33% this year. During the same period, penetration by DVR or Tivo increased from 28% to 32%. Nielsen noted that the popularity of the gaming consoles seems to be due in part to their versatility, which allows non-gamers (read: parents) to use them for consuming digital media, including video on demand.