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Over half of global mobile phone users will have smartphones in 2018

The number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass two billion in 2016 after nearly getting there in 2015. In 2015, there will be over 1.91 billion smartphone users across the globe, a figure that will increase another 12.6 per cent to near 2.16 billion in 2016, according to figures from eMarketer.

For the first time, more than one-quarter of the global population will use smartphones in 2015 and eMarketer estimates that by 2018 over one-third of consumers worldwide, or more than 2.56 billion people, will do so. That 2018 figure also represents over half—51.7 per cent—of all mobile phone users. This means that feature phones will become a minority in the telecommunications world.

Inexpensive smartphones are opening new opportunities for marketing and commerce in emerging markets where many consumers previously had no access to the internet.

Meanwhile, in mature, established markets, smartphones are quickly shifting the paradigm for consumer media usage and impressing the need for marketers to become more mobile-centric.

The study highlights that Russia will surpass Japan as the fourth-largest smartphone user population in 2015. India will exceed 200 million smartphone users, topping the US as the world’s second-largest smartphone market by 2016. Indonesia will pass 100 million smartphone users, firmly established as the fourth-largest smartphone user population in 2018.

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.