Given the growth of mobile commerce, it’s become increasingly important for ecommerce business owners to focus their efforts on mobile marketing. In order to understand how many people have smartphones, let’s look at the available smartphone user statistics.

Latest figures show an increasing number of smartphone users year after year. In 2020, the number of global smartphone users is projected to total 3.5 billion, marking a 9.3 percent increase from 2019. 

The current global population of 7.7 billion people means the smartphone penetration rate is at 45.4 percent. In other words, more than four out of every ten people in the world are currently equipped with a smartphone. 

However, the average year-on-year growth of smartphone users is expected to slow down. From 2016 to 2019, this figure came in at 9.7 percent, but is forecast to dip slightly to 8.2 percent between 2019 and 2021.

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Number of Smartphone Users in Advanced and Emerging Economies


The number of smartphone users is rather disproportionate in its distribution across different economies. As expected, smartphone ownership is significantly higher across advanced economies including most European countries and the US, Australia, South Korea, and Japan. 

An average of 76 percent of adults in these countries report owning a smartphone, with the highest usage coming from South Korea, where nearly every single adult (95 percent) is a smartphone user.

In emerging economies, however, smartphone usage drops significantly. This is especially true in Latin American and African countries. In these markets, just 45 percent of adults own a smartphone, the lowest of which is India, with fewer than one in four adults reportedly owning a smartphone.

One of the biggest contributing factors to the low number of smartphone users in emerging economies is their high rates of poverty, which renders smartphones unaffordable and beyond the reach of many. 

Several smartphone makers have come up with solutions to this widespread problem by launching low-cost smartphones in these markets

In an effort to penetrate these markets, Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi, Zopo, and Mogu are shipping their smartphones abroad to gain a foothold in the low-cost smartphones market share of these emerging countries. 

And in India, local smartphone manufacturers are pricing their products at as low as $20 in a bid to attract first-time smartphone users.

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