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How Many People Have Smartphones

Global Smartphone User Base to Grow 19% From 2021 to 2026

Strategy Analytics predicts that the global smartphone user base will grow by +19% from 2021 to 2026. Among regions, North America will lead the market in terms of smartphone penetration rate during the forecast window, followed by Western Europe. How Many People Have Smartphones

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In terms of growth rate, Africa and the Middle East will enjoy the highest growth rate by smartphone user base, followed by Central Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific. Approximately 4.88 billion people will own a smartphone in 2024. How Many People Have Smartphones

How many people have smartphones worldwide now?

The latest data (April 2024) indicates there are 5.65 billion unique mobile phone users worldwide, according to GSMA Intelligence. This represents a growth of 133 million users over the past 12 months, with an annual growth rate of 2.4%.

It’s important to note that this figure refers to unique users, not the total number of mobile connections or devices. Many people own multiple mobile phones or have multiple subscriptions, so the actual number of mobile phones in use is higher. According to Ericsson, there are currently 7.2 billion mobile connections associated with smartphones.

This data highlights the continued growth and widespread adoption of mobile phones globally, with mobile devices becoming an integral part of people’s lives for communication, information, and entertainment.

Number of mobile connections How Many People Have Smartphones

The number of mobile connections surpasses the estimated global population of 8.045 billion, highlighting the prevalence and widespread adoption of mobile devices in modern society. This discrepancy is attributed to several factors:

  • Multiple device ownership: Many individuals own and use multiple mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for various purposes.
  • Dual SIM usage: In some regions, it’s common for people to use multiple SIM cards in a single device to take advantage of different service plans or providers.
  • IoT devices: The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to an increase in cellular-connected devices like smartwatches, trackers, and other sensors.

The rapid growth in mobile connections is a testament to the transformative power of mobile technology in various aspects of our lives, including communication, information access, entertainment, and commerce. It also signifies a significant shift in how we interact with technology and the world around us.

To put this in perspective, since the cell phones’ inception in 1973, mobile device connections have surpassed the number of people in the world, making it the fastest-growing human-made technology phenomenon ever. Fascinating technology growth!

How Many People Have Mobile Devices In The World?

According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, today, there are 5.27 Billion people who have a mobile device in the world. This means that 67.03% of the world’s population has a mobile device. Back in 2017, the number of people with mobile devices was only 53% and breached the 5 billion mark. Statista predicts that by 2023 the number of mobile device users will increase to 7.33 billion.

How Many Mobile Connections Are There Worldwide? How Many People Have Smartphones

According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, there are now over 10.97 Billion mobile connections worldwide, which surpasses the current world population of 7.86 Billion implied by UN digital analyst estimates. This data means there are 3.11 billion more mobile connections than people worldwide. It’s important to state that not every person in the world has a mobile device. We’re talking mobile connections that come from people with multiple devices, and a fraction with dual SIMs or other integrated devices like cars.

The adoption of smart cell phones isn’t the same in every country or region around the globe. Below we show the latest smartphone penetration data, showing the population versus the number of smartphone users by country.

Smartphone users and market penetration

Highest number of users: China is leading with the most physical smartphone users at 851 million only due to population size, with 59.9% market penetration

The lowest number of users: Switzerland has the lowest number of smartphone users at 6.2 million, with 72.9% market penetration

Highest market penetration: The United Kingdom has the highest smartphone penetration, with 82.9% of its population owning a smartphone, totaling 55.5 million.

Lowest market penetration: Nigeria has the lowest user-to-population ratio at 14.9%, with 30.0 million

73.47% of people in the top 10 developed countries own a smartphone

According to the latest Newzoo statistics featured above, 26.53% of people in the top 10 developed countries don’t own a smartphone, whether having a feature phone or nothing at all. Examples of countries included in this are the UK, UAE, United States, France, Spain, and Canada.

74.61% of people in the top 10 developing countries don’t have a smartphone

Another spin on the Newzoo data is that 25.39% of people in developing countries have a smart cell phone in their possession, leaving 74.61% of the population without one. Examples of countries included in this are Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and India.

Mobile Phone Data (2023-2024)
Category Statistic
Global Shipments (2023) 1.34 billion units (decrease from 1.39 billion in 2022)
Smartphone Users (2023) Nearly 70% of the world’s population (over 5 billion people)
Smartphone Subscriptions (2023) 7 billion (expected to reach 8 billion by 2028)
Best-Selling Smartphone (All-Time) Nokia 1100 (over 250 million units sold)
Best-Selling Smartphones (2023) iPhone 14 (Q1-Q3), iPhone 15 Pro Max (Q4)
Top-Selling Brands (Q1 2024) Apple (5 models), Samsung (5 models)
Top-Selling Models (Q1 2024) iPhone 15 series (top 4), iPhone 14 (5th), Samsung Galaxy S24 series, Samsung Galaxy A series
Market Share (Q1 2024) Apple (27.73%), Samsung (24.02%), Xiaomi (11.44%)
Additional Notes Apple dominated sales in 2023 and Q1 2024. Samsung remains a strong competitor. The market is shifting towards higher-priced flagship models.

Online Sales of Smartphones May Be Challenged by Offline Push How Many People Have Smartphones

  • The smartphone is becoming an important part of retail sales, as they are an ever-increasing part of consumers’ lives. E-commerce portals like Amazon, among others, attract end users with special discounts on smartphones and create an online buying culture. The online sale of smartphones has been further led by the holiday shopping culture across regions.
  • However, in regions such as India, where smartphone sales do not seem to slow down, smartphone companies including Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, and Oppo are aggressively expanding their offline stores into the Indian smartphone market to leverage the market opportunity.
  • Further, the share might be lost to other categories such as fashion fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and home products, among others, in regions with high smartphone penetrations. This is considering the increasing share of e-commerce and changing consumer attitudes toward online purchases. How Many People Have Smartphones


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Driven by wanderlust and a passion for tech, Sandra is the creative force behind Alertify. Love for exploration and discovery is what sparked the idea for Alertify, a product that likely combines Sandra’s technological expertise with the desire to simplify or enhance travel experiences in some way.