One of the concerns that often accompanies the usage of technology like smartphones for civic engagement is a fear that they only reach a small and sometimes over-represented portion of the population. Well, the good folks at Pew Research Center published a study last month that found we’ve made it past the 50% mark for smartphone ownership. In typical Pew fashion, there are some really interesting insights in the slicing and dicing of demographics in the report. For instance, only 9% of respondents reported not owning any cell phone (and yes they did include land line calls in the survey). Of course, cell phones are just one of many mechanisms for engaging stakeholders, and are probably best used as ways of augmenting conventional engagement approaches. While we’re still a good ways off from full adoption of smartphones, there’s good reason to be excited about mobile technology for crowdsourcing, outreach, and other purposes.
And in other news of smartphones and the people who use them, check out this map of smartphone usage by brand. Notice any breakdowns along other demographic features?