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 latest smartphone users statistics.

The latest figures show an increasing number of smartphone users year after year. In 2020, the number of global smartphone users was 3.6 billion, marking a 5.9 percent annual increase. 

It is also over three times more than the number of smartphone users there were in 2012, less than a decade ago.

In fact, from 2013 to 2020, the total number of global smartphone users grew at an average of 16.86 percent annually, with the biggest growth coming in 2016. That year, the number of smartphone users grew by 34.4 percent.

Smartphones are also the most popular type of mobile handsets. The latest smartphone users statistics show of all the mobile handsets being used today, more than 75 percent are smartphones.

Reports estimate that the number of global smartphone users will continue to increase and hit 4.3 billion by 2023.

Given an expected global population of eight billion by then, that means that the smartphone penetration rate in 2023 will be at 53.8 percent. In other words, more than half of all people in the world will be equipped with a smartphone.

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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 that they own 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 usage in emerging economies is their high rates of poverty, which renders smartphones unaffordable to many.

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