As the typical smartphone user shifts from affluent and well-educated to more diverse and younger crowd, much of these devices are being used in place of a broadband connection at home.

One-third of all cell phone owners are using smartphones these days, according to Pew Research this month. As shown in "Smartphone Adoption and Usage" by Aaron Smith, owners of these devices have mostly positive things to say, as the study showed in an infographic we show in the article graphic, including "good," "great," "convenient," and "necessary," for example.

The general smartphone population is more represented by affluent, well-educated, young and non-white individuals. The study also explores how people are using the Internet while owning these devices.

For example, most smartphone owners access Internet or e-mail from their devices, 68 percent of whom do so daily. For 25 percent of smartphone owners, this device is their main access to the Internet - about one-third of this group lack home broadband connections. "Smartphone owners under the age of 30, non-white smartphone users and smartphone owners with relatively low income and education levels are particularly likely to say that they mostly go online using their phones."

Depending on operating system, demographics vary widely as well. Android has the largest share of cell owners (fifteen percent) and smartphone owners (35 percent), and these phones are more popular with young adults and African-Americans. BlackBerry and iPhone both have ten percent of cell owners and 24 percent of smartphone owners, are "most prevalent among college graduates and the financially well-off." Palm and Windows count only two percent each for cell owners, with six percent of smartphone owners for Palm, four percent for Windows.

This report was based on surveys conducted in April and May, and follows other reports that have tracked the smartphone's rise from niche geek gadget to industry-shaping mobile productivity machine. As the New York Times reports, a Nielsen study from last year saw smartphones with only 21 percent of mobile phone market share.

By Ivory King