Smartphones will grow from one in three today to two out of every three mobile connections globally by 2020, according to GSMA Intelligence, the research arm of the GSMA.
It forecasts that the number of smartphone connections will grow three-fold over the next six years, reaching six billion by 2020. Basic phones, feature phones and data terminals such as tablets, dongles and routers will account for the remaining connections. The study excludes M2M from the connections totals.
“The smartphone has sparked a wave of global innovation that has brought new services to millions and efficiencies to businesses of every type. In the hands of consumers, these devices are improving living standards and changing lives, especially in developing markets, while contributing to growing economies by stimulating entrepreneurship.,” said Hyunmi Yang, Chief Strategy Officer of GSMA.
The developing world overtook the developed world in terms of smartphone connections in 2011 and today accounts for two in every three smartphones on the planet, according to the new study. It is predicted that by 2020, four out of every five smartphone connections worldwide will come from the developing world.
Asia Pacific today accounts for about half of global smartphone connections, even though smartphone penetration in the region is currently calculated at below 40 per cent. The Asia Pacific total is boosted by the inclusion of China, the world’s largest smartphone market, with more than 629 million smartphone connections.
The top five countries worldwide with the highest smartphone adoption rates today (as a percentage of total connections) are Qatar, the UAE, Finland, South Korea, and Norway.