Smartphone adoption statistics seems to get a lot of media coverage and open up debates about how businesses need to adopt their models to the new world of the mobile consumer and the 'second screen.'
What the research seems to ignore is that most smartphone owners have very small data allowances that render the device no better than a $30 Nokia flip phone from 2002.
Case in point was TEDx Sydney last weekend. It was a fantastically well run event let down a tad by the lack of open WiFi at the venue. If the premise of TED is to share ideas then surely WiFi would have enabled much greater amplification?
I was on a reasonably large local data plan and could tweet and post photos freely (when the 3G reception held together). Many attendees had dragged along a full suite of smartphones, tablets and laptops, only to find they couldn't connect. Relative to the 800-odd people at the event, I thought the online streams were pretty quiet and a great opportunity was lost to invite in a global online community.
So perhaps now we need to concentrate our efforts not on the hardware but on data enablement.
Statistically, younger people are more likely to publish to social networking sites but they are also less likely to have expensive company data plans. User-generated content is the holy grail of social media so any investment to enable photo and video sharing will surely be worth your while.
Without data, smartphones are pretty dumb regardless of how many people have them.