As if there were any real doubt, new reports show that the world is indeed becoming more connected and more mobile.

A Nielsen report released March 29 shows that 49.7 percent of all mobile phone subscribers in the United States own smartphones as of February 2012. That’s up from just 36 percent a year ago; the rate of growth suggests that by now, it’s likely that more than half of mobile users own smartphones.

Blackberry Qwerty KeyboardMore than two-thirds of new phones in the last three months were smartphones, so next year’s share is likely to be even higher.

Android devices comprised 48 percent of all smartphones currently in use as well as 48 percent of new smartphones acquired in the last three months. 32 percent of users have an iPhone, but the release of the iPhone 4S helped Apple capture 43 percent of the smartphone market in the last three months, eating into the market share of BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets. BlackBerry phones comprised 12 percent of all smartphones and just 5 percent of those bought in the last three months, consistent with RIM’s precipitous slide in recent years.

In total, nearly a billiPad Tabletion “smart connected devices” were sold worldwide in 2011, according to IDC. That number includes 494 million smartphones, 353 million PCs and 69 million tablets.

Although smartphones surpassed PCs in sales, IDC analysts still expect PC sales to increase through at least 2016. Smartphone sales will simply increase much more quickly, to over a billion in 2016, as more and more people use multiple devices.

Tags: Android, blackberry, iphone, Nielsen, smartphone, Windows Phone