mobile researchSmartphones are a relatively new phenomenon. Nokia and RIM’s BlackBerry were the early pioneers in smartphones, but it was the iconic iPhone that pushed the smartphone into the mainstream. Google responded to the iPhone with the Android OS, and the rest is smartphone history. There were others along the way – remember the Palm Treo?

Research from Strategy Analytics (SA) suggests that the smartphone has reached a new milestone – one billion in use. SA says the milestone was achieved at the end of the third quarter in 2012.

“By the third quarter of 2011, we estimate there were 708 million smartphones in use worldwide. After a further year of soaring demand, the number of smartphones in use worldwide reached 1.038 billion units during the third quarter of 2012,” said Scott Bicheno, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

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SA also points out that while the one billion milestone is impressive, it still only represents one out of seven people on the planet (which in some ways is misleading considering that many people actually have multiple smartphones). That means there is a heck of a lot of growth left for smartphone penetration.

“The first billion smartphones in use worldwide took 16 years to reach, but we forecast the next billion to be achieved in less than three years, by 2015,” commented Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

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2 thoughts on “Smartphones: One Billion and Counting

  1. Given the current distribution, the "other 6 billion" will go to users for whom the device is increasingly their only online access.

    Combine that with the fact that "always-on, always-connected" is the norm for a growing segment (more & more under a certain age will never have known anything different), and that social networks are essentially their portal – for more & more people, Facebook IS "the internet" – we are already far along the shift to where the "internet" morphs to "the Social web".

    At the same time, transaction or task-based usage – someone sitting down at a PC with a specific need or goal, "getting on the internet" to find or accomplish their goal, then leaving and moving on.continues to shrink as a percentage.

    The entire landscape is being remade, and I believe it will be an even more profound change in the social fabric of the world than is even guessed at.

    Michael Ullman

  2. What a large number of smartphone users! Neil Mawston could be right Bernie. by the technology that we have now we could have another of smartphone in three years or less. Good post here, thanks a lot!

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