Smartphone adoption continues to increase, with users now topping 107 million, according to a new study from the Online Publishers Association, which released the results of its March 2012 online survey Monday. The number of mobile smartphone users jumped by about 33.8 million in 2012, up from a total of 73.2 million users in 2011, representing a 44 percent year-over-year increase.

The study, which reached 2,540 Internet users ages 8 to 64, shows that Android phones lead the pack in the smartphone race, claiming 46 percent of users, with Apple’s iPhone taking second with 35 percent of the market. Research In Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry holds about 16 percent of the market, and Windows Mobile Phone takes 7 percent, trailed by Nokia, Palm and others.

The number of Android users increased from 38 percent to 46 percent from 2011 to 2012, with the number of iPhone users increasing by almost 10 percent, from 26 to 35 percent during the same time span. The number of RIM Blackberry users decreased by about 10 percent, going from 25 to 16 percent.

According to the OPA, the smartphone user’s demand for quick, available content and information is a benefit to publishers who can use these expectations to advance their mobile sites and apps. Excluding phone calls, 93 percent of the smartphone users surveyed say they use their devices to access information and content most when compared to any other activity.

Over half of smartphone owners access information and content everyday. Accessing the Internet and checking e-mail follow as the second and third most used smartphone features after content and information activity, with 59 percent and 58 percent of users using these features, respectively. Weather, news and sports come in as the top three most popular content types accessed.  

Results show that smartphone users are more willing to pay for content, with 24 percent of users saying that they have bought some type of content for viewing on their smartphones. About 14 percent of all downloaded smartphone apps this year were paid apps, but almost all (96 percent) smartphone content consumers downloaded apps in the past year, averaging to 36 apps individually. iPhone content consumers, the study found, spend more on apps when compared to those who use Android phones.

The OPA study also reveals that 79 percent of content buyers took action after they saw a smartphone advertisement in the last six months. Overall, people who paid for smartphone content proved to be a more active audience, with 31 percent clicking through an ad, 30 percent using a special offer or coupon, 27 percent making a purchase on a PC and 24 percent buying at a store due to an ad. Generally, smartphone owners come from higher income households, with 53 percent earning a household income of $50,000 or more.

According to the OPA, the number of smartphone users is expected rise to by 13 percent to 57 percent in 2013 to an estimated 142.3 million users.