The number of global smartphone users will surpass 2 billion in 2016, driven by rapid growth in developing countries
The number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion in 2016, according to new figures from eMarketer, representing over a quarter of the global population.
That number is expected to grow to more than 2.56 billion people, or a third of the world’s population, in 2018 – by which time smartphones will finally have overtaken feature phones in the telecommunications world.
A vast amout of the growth in smartphones will come from China, where there are already over 500 million smartphone users. This number is expected to rise to over 700 million by 2018.
India, which is currently third on the list of countries ranked by total number of smartphones users, will overtake the United States in 2016 to become the world’s second largest smartphone market, with over 200 million smartphone users.
Meanwhile, Russia will surpass Japan as the fourth largest smartphone user population in 2015, with 58 million users, only to be overtaken itself by Indonesia in 2016, with 69 million.
The number of smartphone users in the UK is forecast to rise gradually from 36 million in 2014 to 46 million in 2018.
“Inexpensive smartphones are opening new opportunities for marketing and commerce in emerging markets where many consumers previously had no access to the internet,” said eMarketer in its report.
“Meanwhile, in mature, established markets, smartphones are quickly shifting the paradigm for consumer media usage and the impressing the need for marketers to become more mobile-centric.”