Three out of every four U.S. adults have a smartphone now

Research firm Nielsen is out with a new survey this morning that focuses on the U.S. smartphone buyer. According to the findings, three out of every four U.S. consumers (75 percent) age 25-34 now have a smartphone in their pocket, an increase over 59 percent measured in July of last year.

And if you believe comScore, one out of every three who own a smartphone have an iPhone. The fastest-growing segment are teenagers between 13 and 17 years old who file as the nation’s quickest smartphone adopters.

In July of 2012, 58 percent of polled teens said they had a smartphone, compared to roughly a third, or 36 percent, of teens saying they owned a smartphone just a year ago…

According to a post over at the Nielsen blog, youngsters are the driving force behind the rapid smartphone adoption.

Overall, young adults are leading the growth in smartphone ownership in the U.S., with 74 percent of 25-34 year-olds now owning smartphones, up from 59 percent in July 2011.

Interestingly, teenagers between 13 and17 years old demonstrated the most dramatic increases in smartphone adoption, with the majority of American teens (58%) owning a smartphone, compared to roughly a third (36%) of teens saying they owned a smartphone just a year ago.

Also interesting, 55.5 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers now have a smartphone versus just 41 percent this time last year. The remaining 44.5 percent is comprised of the owners of dumb phones and feature phones.

Naturally, Google, Microsoft and Apple will all want to target these first-time smartphone buyers, though Apple isn’t best poised to lure them because it doesn’t have an inexpensive current-generation iPhone in its offering.

As for the platform share, Android over the last three months accounted for 58.6 percent of all smartphone purchases versus 33 percent for Apple’s iOS platform. Android in the U.S., according to Nielsen data, sits at 51.9 percent overall share versus 34 percent for iOS.

BlackBerry? Reduced to an eight percent platform share and only three percent of recent acquirers.

Here’s your chart.

Apple, of course, is well aware of this.

That’s why the company gets them while they’re young with the affordable iPods and the inexpensive iPod touch. As the kids exposed to Apple gadgets enter their teen years, many demand an iPhone.

Some parents happily oblige, committing their soul to their carrier to please their children – that’s part of the reason Apple’s keeping the $0 iPhone 3GS in its offering while slashing the handset’s no-commit price below $200.

Aware some parents won’t budge and get an iPhone – or any smartphone for that matter – to their kids, Apple has cleverly designed the iPod touch to be an iPhone without the phone part and a lengthy wireless contract.

In stark contrast to Apple, major U.S. carriers don’t appear to have grasped that teenagers are growing their smartphone share. Sadly, the carriers’ marketing aimed at this lucrative target group appears to be virtually non-existent.

No wonder Steve Jobs hated carriers with passion.

Are you a parent yourself?

When do you think the time is right for your kids to carry pricey iPhones on themselves?

Would you buy an iPhone 5 to your junior?