Data show why newspapers still need to look good on smartphones

Today Pew announced research showing that one-third of American adults own tablets. And while tablets can be wonderful ways to experience newspapers’ online offerings, publishers should not forget the far less sexy, and increasingly common, smartphone.

Last week Pew reported that more than half of Americans have smartphones, and half of smartphone owners with household incomes over $150,000 have iPhones.

Android and iPhone owners are equally common within the cell owner population as a whole, although this ratio differs across various demographic groups. Cell phone owners from a wide range of educational and household income groupings have similar levels of Android adoption, but those from the upper end of the income and education spectrum are much more likely than those with lower income and educational levels to say they own an iPhone.

Why is that nugget important for newspaper publishers to know? Because of previous Pew research. Last fall, Pew reported newspaper readership correlates with income level. Even though their ranks are falling, 48 percent of people who made more than $150K reported reading a newspaper the day before.

But in that same September 2012 report, Pew said African Americans have the second-highest level of newspaper readership, a measure that has nothing to do with income …

… And African Americans, Pew’s latest report says, are far more likely to own Android phones:

(Both the September data on African Americans and wealthy readers measure print and online use.)

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