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How Many People Own Smartphones? 80+ Smartphone Stats

by Josh Howarth
July 5, 2022

Smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous in developed nations across the world. In fact, nearly three quarters of the top 10 developed countries’ populations own a smartphone.

Globally, almost 90% of cellular phones are smartphones. And the majority of the world’s population currently owns one.

There are currently over 6.5 billion smartphones worldwide — a number that’s projected to increase in the coming years.

In fact, worldwide smartphone sales grew a considerable 10.8% in Q2 2021 alone.

For further information on the state of the smartphone market from a user perspective, read on.

Here’s a summary of what you’ll find below:

Smartphone Ownership Statistics (Top Picks)

  • There are approximately 6.57 billion smartphones in the world.
  • Worldwide smartphone users have increased year-over-year by at least 5% over the last five years.
  • There are upwards of 10.47 billion IoT connections worldwide
  • China has the most smartphone users in the world
  • Germany has the most smartphone usage per capita
  • College graduates are most likely to own a smartphone
  • Android is the leading mobile operating system worldwide

How Many Smartphones Are There?

Worldwide, there are approximately 6.57 billion smartphones. To put that into perspective, that figure accounts for almost 85% of the 8 billion global population.

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However, it should be made clear that this does not mean that 80% of people across the globe own a smartphone. In fact, just one country (Germany) has a smartphone penetration rate above 80%.

This is because many people own more than one smartphone. And certain businesses own thousands of phones. To highlight this fact, it is estimated that approximately 10 billion mobile-connected devices are currently in use.

Sources: Statista, Newzoo, OuterBoxDesign

Smartphone Ownership Demographics

The top 20 countries by smartphone users each have upwards of 30 million active smartphone users.

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China has the most smartphone users worldwide - almost 1.5x more than any other country.

Of the countries listed, the Germany has the largest proportion of its population actively using smartphones (80%).

Here is a full breakdown of New Zoo’s active smartphone users by country:

Rank Country Smartphone Users Total Population Smartphone Penetration
1 China 865.04 million 1.44 billion 59.4%
2 India 606.57 million 1.39 billion 43.5%
3 United States 240.15 million 332.92 million 72.1%
4 Indonesia 178.96 million 276.36 million 64.8%
5 Brazil 131.73 million 213.99 million 61.6%
6 Russia 102.24 million 145.91 million 70.1%
7 Japan 94.78 million 126.05 million 75.2%
8 Mexico 77.31 million 130.26 million 59.4%
9 Nigeria 72.03 million 211.4 million 34.1%
10 Philippines 67.37 million 111.05 million 60.7%
11 Germany 67.14 million 83.9 million 80%
12 Vietnam 66.55 million 98.17 million 67.8%
13 Bangladesh 61.64 million 166.3 million 37.1%
14 Turkey 59.54 million 85.04 million 70%
15 Iran 53.56 million 85.03 million 63%
16 Egypt 49.82 million 104.26 million 47.8%
17 Pakistan 48.54 million 225.2 million 21.6%
18 Thailand 45.79 million 69.95 million 65.5%
19 Italy 45.34 million 60.37 million 75.1%
20 South Africa 32.51 million 60.04 million 54.1%

Despite these staggering figures, many people do not (and cannot) have access to a smartphone. This is because approximately 1.1 billion people (roughly 1 in 8 people) do not have access to electricity.

US Smartphone User Breakdown

Taking a closer look at US statistics, 95% of the population have some form of a cell phone.

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According to PewResearch data, the average smartphone user in the US:

Is male

In total, 80% of males own a smartphone compared to 75% of females in the US. There is a 3% difference in favor of females when it comes to owning a non-smartphone cell phone.

Is 18 to 29 years old

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the youngest adult age group features the highest proportion of smartphone users (94%).

The next highest proportion of smartphone users are 30 to 49-year-olds (89%), followed by 50 to 64-year olds (73%), and rounded off by the 65+ age group (46%).

Lives in an urban area

Again, there’s no surprise in the fact that a larger proportion of US citizens living in urban areas use smartphones (83%) compared to suburban residents (78%) and rural citizens (65%).

Is white/hispanic

Data shows that ethnicity made very little difference in terms of smartphone users. Around three quarters of white (77%), hispanic (77%), and black (75%) populations own a smartphone.

While 98% of black US citizens own some form of cell phone compared to 97% of the hispanic population and 94% of the white population.

Graduated college

Meanwhile, the level of education showed a positive correlation to smartphone ownership. And a negative correlation to non-smartphone ownership.

Here are the details:

Education Level Cell Phone Ownership Smartphone Only Ownership Non-Smartphone Only Ownership
Less than high-school 90% 57% 33%
High-school graduate 92% 69% 24%
Some College 96% 80% 16%
College graduate 97% 91% 6%

Earned upwards of $75,000

Lastly, there was also a positive correlation between smartphone ownership and annual salary.

Two thirds of people earning under $30,000 a year (67%) own a smartphone. There was a small increase between the number of US citizens earning $30,000-$49,999 with a smartphone (82%) and US citizens earning $50,000-$74,999 (83%).

Americans earning over $75,000 a year are most likely to own a smartphone (93%)

Sources: Newzoo, Quartz, PewResearch

Smartphone Ownership Over Time

In the space of half a decade, smartphone users worldwide have increased significantly.

Back in 2016, there were approximately 3.67 billion smartphone users. Since then, this figure has increased year-over-year by at least 300 million.

From 2016-2021, the number of smartphone owners has increased by 73.88%.

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The following table shows smartphone usage growth since 2016:

Year Smartphone Users Growth Over Previous Year Percentage Growth Over Previous Year
2016 3.668 billion - -
2017 4.435 billion + 767 million + 20.91%
2018 5.095 billion + 660 million + 14.88%
2019 5.623 billion + 528 million + 10.36%
2020 5.924 billion + 301 million + 5.35%
2021 6.259 billion + 335 million + 5.65%
2022* 6.567 billion + 308 million + 4.92%

*estimated

Sources: Ericsson

Smartphone ownership is expected to continue to grow over the next 4-5 years.

It is predicted that the number of smartphones worldwide will exceed 7 billion in the next two years. And the proportion of smart phones to cell phones will only become larger.

By 2025, it is predicted that 72% of internet users will exclusively use mobile devices to access the internet.

Here is a look at the forecasted data for smartphones worldwide between 2021 and 2027.

Year Number of Smartphones Number of Mobile Devices Proportion of Smartphones
2021 6.37 billion 14.91 billion 42.7%
2022 6.57 billion* 15.96 billion* 41.17%
2023 6.84 billion* 16.8 billion* 40.71%
2024 7.07 billion* 17.72 billion* 39.9%
2025 7.30 billion* 18.22 billion* 40.07%%
2026 7.51 billion* - -
2027 7.69 billion* - -

*estimated

Source: Ericsson, The Radicati Group

Smartphone Market Share

The smartphone market split has diversified over the last decade.

In 2012, Samsung claimed almost one third of the smartphone market - the largest single share that year. Besides Apple, (who claimed an 18.7% market share) no other brand claimed more than 4% of the market.

By 2020, five different brands claimed a market share of at least 8%.

Here’s a breakdown of the smartphone market split for select brands since 2012:

Year Samsung Apple Huawei Xiaomi OPPO vivo Lenovo
2012 30.3% 18.7% 4% - - - 3.3%
2013 31.3% 15.3% 4.9% - - - 4.5%
2014 24.4% 14.8% 5.7% 4.4% - - 4.6%
2015 22.3% 16.1% 7.4% 4.9% 3% 2.6% 5.2%
2016 21.1% 14.6% 9.5% 3.6% 6.8% 5.3% -
2017 21.7% 14.7% 10.5% 6.3% 7.6% - -
2018 20.8% 14.9% 14.7% 8.7% 8.1% - -
2019 21.6% 13.9% 17.6% 9.2% 8.3% - -
2020 20.6% 15.9% 14.6% 11.4% - 8.6% -

The two major mobile operating systems (OS) used in smartphones are Android and iOS.

As of July 2022:

  • Android has a 72.34% OS market share

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  • iOS has a 26.97% OS market share
  • Samsung has a 0.45% OS market share
  • KaiOS has a 0.06% OS market share
  • Windows has a 0.02% OS market share
  • Nokia Unknown has a 0.01% OS market share
  • Series 40 has a 0.01% OS market share

However, in the US market, iOS leads the way with a 55.14% market share. While Android claims a 44.56% market share.

Sources: IDC, StatCounter

Conclusion

That concludes our roundup of smartphone ownership statistics.

Smartphone adoption continues to grow and is increasingly becoming more widespread across the globe.

There is still some way to go in developing countries, but in the most developed nations, smartphones are becoming near-omnipresent.

If you enjoyed these smartphone statistics, we have pages for: in-demand mobile apps and mobile app development trends.