The number of people using smartphones in the United States now equals the number of people using feature phones for the first time, according to Nielsen.

While there’s no official definition of what constitutes a feature phone, the term is generally used to describe low-end devices that don’t run Android, BlackBerry or iOS.

Smartphone penetration in the United States - Feb. 2012

Almost half, 49.7%, of mobile subscribers in the United States own smartphones as of last month. Compare this to February 2011 when only 36% of mobile subscribers owned smartphones – a growth of 38% in 12 months.

Feature phones have been in sharp decline over the past few years. In February 2011, feature phones accounted for 64% of all mobile phones in the United States, compared to just over 50% in February 2012.

Among smartphones, Android is the most popular operating system, found on 48% of all devices. iOS follows with 32% and BlackBerry on 12%. In the past three month alone, 48% of smartphones sold were Android, 43% were iOS and 5% were BlackBerry.

It’s great to see smartphones penetrating the market so quickly, but it’s also obvious that Android and iOS are becoming increasingly dominant within it.

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