Hello, dear netizens!
Are you reading this on your smartphone?
Statistically, at least one out of every two of you is.
Today I can present you with an amazing smartphone statistics list. If you’ve searched other stats about smartphones, you’ve already noticed that most of the researchers publish the same outdated stats.
If you want to know:
How many smartphones are in the world today?
How many people own them?
Which is the most popular smartphone brand?
How much money does the industry generate?
Are there smartphones outside our planet?
Keep reading to find out, because at Techjury we aim to be perfectionists, so we’ve made the effort to give you some fresh and juicy stats.
Out of This World Smartphone Statistics
- In 2020, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users around the world
- 77% of Americans have smartphones
- 47% of US smartphone users say they couldn’t live without their devices
- 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase on the device
- There were 204 billion apps downloads in 2019 worldwide
- Smartphone users worldwide will reach 3.8 billion in 2021
- The top 10 vendors contribute almost 77% of the global smartphone market
- Mobile apps are projected to generate 188.9 billion US dollars in revenues in 2020
So, let’s start with the basics and see how smartphone technology influences our lives:
1. In 2018, there were around 1.56 billion smartphones sales worldwide.
With the world’s population at over 7.691 billion, these smartphone numbers show approximately 20% of all people got a new smartphone in 2018.
2. In 2019, 56% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones.
(Source: Digital 2019)
That amount will continue to grow, especially with the adoption of 5G networks.
3. There are 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world today (2020).
Almost every third person worldwide owns a smartphone.
4. There are 14 million jobs directly related to the mobile industry.
(Source: GSMA, The Mobile Economy 2019)
Smart phone statistics show there are 17 million other jobs that also benefit from this industry. It may not look like much, but a major part of those are high-paying jobs.
5. 66% of smartphone users are addicted to their phones.
If you are interested in smartphone addiction (also known as nomophobia) stats, I suggest you read my “45 Smartphone Addiction Statistics 2020”. There’s bound to be one or two stats that will raise your eyebrow!
6. In 2018, there were 7.9 billion mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide.
(Source: Ericsson Mobility Report 2018)
Smartphone usage statistics in 2018 show global mobile subscription penetration reached 104% in Q4 2018. In 2022, the number of mobile broadband subscriptions is expected to reach 8 billion. Of course, there are some inactive subscriptions and some users own multiple devices, but still, the number is mind-boggling!
7. Almost 10 billion mobile devices are currently in use.
This kinda explains the previous stat. I know it looks a lot, but consider this – my girlfriend and I each own two smartphones (one personal and one for work). We also have a tablet at home. That’s five mobile devices right there.
These numbers stack up really fast, which can explain some of these smartphone statistics. Keep in mind, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you haven’t lived in a cave for the last decade, you already at least suspected most of what I’ve told you thus far. I can assure you there are also many things you don’t know. If you want to enrich your knowledge, keep reading, the exciting part is ahead.
What Do We Have On This Page
- 1 Fascinating Facts About Smartphones
- 2 Smartphone Usage – or “How the Smartphone Saved Christmas”
- 3 The Smartphone Ownership Statistics 2018-2020
- 4 So, How Many Smartphones Are There in the World?
- 5 How Much Money Does the Mobile Ecosystem Generate?
- 6 How Many People Will Own Smartphones in the Future?
- 7 Exciting and Funny Smartphone Statistics
- 8 Conclusion
Fascinating Facts About Smartphones
8. China is the leader in the smartphone market share with 106 million smartphones shipped.
The smartphone statistics from Canalys report India as the second major player, with 40.4 million units, followed closely by the US with 40 million.
While we’re on the subject of China, let me tell you that:
9. By December 2017, 97.5% of Chinese netizens accessed the Internet via their mobile phones.
(Source: China Internet Network Information Center)
Almost every internet user in China is accessing it through their phone. Bye, bye desktop.
Although China has some internet restrictions, you can bypass them via VPN. If you want to find the best one – check our reviews.
The next stop on our virtual journey through Asia is:
10. South Korea, the leader in smartphone ownership.
(Source: Pew Research Center)
I bet you never wondered how many people in South Korea own a smartphone. The answer will surprise you – 94% of adults own a smartphone, and 6% own a non-smart mobile phone. This means that every adult in South Korea owns a mobile phone!
Let’s take a look at where the other countries stand on the smartphone world map:
11. 78% of adults in the UK own a smartphone.
(Source: Ukom, 2018 UK Digital Market Overview report)
And 29% are exclusive mobile internet users. This amounts to approximately 12.5 million adults.
The stats for users across the Atlantic are almost identical:
12. In 2019, 81% of American adults owned a smartphone.
(Source: Statista, Pew Research Center)
The US smartphone use in 2019 places Americans at #6 on the global scale. 13% own a non-smart mobile phone.
13. 67% of internet users worldwide visit the Web on a mobile device.
(Source: Stone Temple)
Desktop computers are far behind at 33%. Is this the beginning of the end of computers? With smartphones, IoT and AI on the rise, maybe desktop computers will become obsolete for personal use.
But browsing the Web isn’t all we do with our smartphones. In fact, it represents a tiny percentage of our smartphone use:
14. We spend 90% of media time on mobile devices in apps and 10% on the mobile web.
We don’t need smartphone statistics to know that almost every mobile website has an app. Even if we exclude games, social media, and so on, we spend more time on the Web via apps.
So, how many apps do we have?
15. There were 204 billion apps downloads in 2019 worldwide.
The lion share of apps downloads goes to mobile games. Nowadays almost all of the major games studios have a mobile games department.
Later on, I will show you some impressive stats on apps and how much money we spend on them. So, stay with me on this one – you won’t regret it. I have some exciting surprises in store.
Once we dig deeper into smartphone use statistics, we see that:
16. Тhe average device split for searches stabilized at 60% for mobile and 40% for desktop in 2019.
(Source: Search Engine Land, Hitwise)
In 2017, mobile got 72% of searches, which left 28% for desktop. You might wonder why I am pointing out a stat from 2017. Because so far 2017 has the most smartphones sold. Smartphone users were, let’s say, not so enthusiastic about 2019.
And of course we all know what our favorite search engine is:
17. Google produced 96% of US mobile organic search visits.
(Source: Merkle Digital Marketing Report: Q4 2018)
This is some of the most exciting smartphone data you’re likely to come across on the Web. I know they are all big numbers that sound amazing, but how are they relevant to us? During my research for this article, I gathered hundreds of facts about smartphones. More than 90% were about companies, countries, and money. They are important, and I’ll get to them in a minute. But first I’d like to tell you about us, the users. To reverse the famous quote from The Godfather – it’s not strictly business, it’s personal.
To achieve that, I will tell you a fictional story. It will be the Christmas story of an average family, represented by James, his wife Mary, and their daughter Jennifer. According to statistics the US average household consists of 3.14 inhabitants, so let’s say Mary is one-month pregnant, to be statistically correct.
Here we go:
Smartphone Usage – or “How the Smartphone Saved Christmas”
James doesn’t care about statistics. He’s just a regular guy with a Samsung smartphone.
18. The most popular smartphone brand in the world is Samsung.
The South Korean company dominates around 20% of the smartphone market. Its closest competitors are Apple and Huawei.
With only five days till Christmas, James suddenly realizes he hasn’t bought presents yet. So, he tells his wife and daughter he’s off to the mall. Jennifer is obviously on the phone.
19. Female college students spend 10 hours daily on their cellphones.
Most boring sorority parties ever.
After James gets a mumbled “Bye, daddy.” he gets in the car and drives to the mall for last-minute gifts. Unwittingly, he represents a large percentage of people with smartphones who check their phones while driving.
20. 88% of smartphone owners use their phone while driving.
And the average phone use per driver every day is 3.5 minutes/hour.
On the way to the mall, James decides to grab a coffee at a local coffee shop. While waiting for his order to be completed, he decides to check his email.
21. We read almost half (49.1%) of all emails on mobile devices.
(Source: 2018 Marketing Benchmark Report IBM & Watson)
This is an average percentage because smartphone ownership statistics show significantly lower use of smartphones in certain parts of the world.
With the coffee in his hand, James gets back in the car and drives on to the mall. Once there, he starts looking for the perfect gifts for his family. He decides on a new smartphone for Jenny but can’t choose the model. So, he does a bit of online research.
22. 80% of shoppers use a mobile phone in a physical store.
Smartphone stats show most shoppers look up product reviews and compare prices.
Despite the tempting sales in the physical store, James finds a better deal online and decides to go for it.
23. During the 2018 holiday season in the US, users purchased almost 40% of all e-commerce products via a smartphone.
And FYI online purchases comprise 10% of all retail revenue.
In less than 3 minutes Jenny’s gift is purchased at a lower price, and it will be delivered in a couple of days. In fact, James likes the site so much, he decides to shop there again. So, he downloads the app of the e-store, not knowing that according to cell phone statistics:
24. People view 4.2x more products per session within apps, compared to mobile sites.
With Jenny’s gift already taken care of James focuses on his wife. It’s quite tricky, and James has some problems finding the perfect gift. After hours in the mall, he finally decides on a vacation as a gift. This should make her happy. So, once again the smartphone is there to save the day.
25. 85% of travellers use mobile devices to book travel activities.
Now the only thing left is for James to think of a way to put the digitally purchased vacation under the Christmas Tree. He’ll probably Google an idea, because smartphone usage statistics show that it’s where people look for creative suggestions.
26. 75% of smartphone owners turn to search first to address their immediate needs.
And boy, people search for a lot of crazy stuff. Just start typing “I hate it when” in Google and see the suggestions (user discretion is advised).
James is now all set for Christmas Eve. He comes back home, sits on the couch, and watches YouTube videos of the destination he’ll take Mary to.
27. YouTube was America’s’ favorite mobile app in 2018.
This is a particularly interesting stat. Smartphone usage statistics define Youtube as the most used app with 81.9%, followed by Facebook with 75.7%. Next in line are Google search, FB messenger, Google maps, Gmail, and Google Play. Do you notice anything? Two companies own the top 7 apps.
With James on the couch, guess what his wife Mary does? She can be quite forgetful, at times, and she didn’t buy gifts for James and Jennifer either. So, she spent the last couple of hours on her phone searching for presents, just as her husband did. She also doesn’t care about cell phone usage facts. Therefore, she doesn’t know there is a reason why she spends so much time on her phone.
28. Adults with children spend a greater share of their time on mobile devices.
Parents spend more time on their phones than adults without children. Moms aged 25-54 have a 76% share by minutes on a mobile device, compared to 59% for females without kids. Dads are in the statistic too – they spend 65% of their time on mobile devices, while men who have no children spend only 59%.
The family is all set for Christmas now, thanks to the little gadget known as a smartphone.
I doubt I’ll win a Nobel prize for literature for my little story, but it indicates how the users generate smartphone statistics. If enough people do the same thing over and over again, it becomes a statistic.
Thanks to the magic of statistics and my fascinating way of presenting them to you (standing ovations are welcome, thank you), we already know a few things. Let’s move on and see how the brands are doing worldwide and what the preferred OS is. I suspect most of you already know the answer to the latter.
I’m proud to present to you:
The Smartphone Ownership Statistics 2018-2020
I gave you a fact about Samsung in the story above, so it seems only fair to bring up their nemesis at this point.
29. The Samsung Galaxy A50 was the best-selling smartphone in 2019.
Samsung dominated in Europe during 2019, especially after the launch of the competitive A series.
Their competitive, Apple, is doing another thing right – counting on its loyal user base:
30. Apple iPhone shipments declined by 4% during 2018, but overall revenues for iPhone grew by 6%
(Source: CounterPoint Research)
In general, here’s what Apple does – it sells fewer units at a higher price.
US smartphone use in 2017 and 2018 shows that:
31. Apple continued to dominate the US market in 2019, with a 42% share.
This is mostly thanks to the iPhone X. Samsung is second with 25%.
Let’s include Australia in the list to illustrate Apple’s dominance:
32. Australia remains a smartphone market dominated by Apple, with a 42% share.
Again, Samsung is second with a 35% market share.
Although Samsung is second in these stats, you’ll soon find out it actually makes more money than Apple. Thanks to Apple no less! So stay tuned.
But before we get there, let’s go back to the leader for a while.
Smartphone ownership statistics show:
33. Samsung is the dominant power in three major smartphone markets.
Europe – 30%, Latin America – 36%, and the Middle East and Africa – 25%. Samsung also has an 11% market share in Asia, where Apple doesn’t make the top 5.
Although Samsung has its problems, it still dominates the world. Now, let’s see how the other players fare.
34. Huawei and Xiaomi were among the fastest growing brands.
These two Chinese brands increased their market share by 40.9% and 48.8% respectively.
I contributed to these smartphone ownership statistics 2016 / 2017 when I bought my first Xiaomi Redmi S3 phone in December 2016. Back then it was fairly cheap (around $150) and only meant to be temporary.
Keep in mind that Xiaomi wasn’t all that popular a couple of years ago. Long story short – I fell in love with this phone. It’s still my primary mobile device.
By the way, I accidentally dropped my phone in the toilet two months ago, and it still works! This was the moment when I decided I’ll stick with it until it dies on me or until I buy a foldable one. By the way, I’ll look into these models later on, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, I can choose from millions of models:
So, How Many Smartphones Are There in the World?
Most of the brands (except Apple) flood the market with new models every year.
35. There are over 3.36 billion active smartphones today.
(Source: Newzoo 2018 Global Mobile Market Report)
Of course, Samsung holds the lion share, followed by Apple, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Huawei.
But what is really interesting is that:
36. The top 10 vendors contribute almost 77% of the global smartphone market.
Thereby they leave over 600 brands to “fight” for the remaining 23% of the market.
In terms of smartphone facts statistics, we’ve come to a logical conclusion:
37. Smartphones with Android are the most popular amongst users.
Smartphones that run the Android operating system are currently the most popular, with an astonishing 81.7% share of the global market.
And this percentage is going to increase further because:
38. In Q1 of 2019, around 88% of all smartphones sold to end users were phones with the Android operating system.
Nowadays, the once popular OS Symbian is all but forgotten. The king is dead – long live the king!
But there’s more:
Smartphone statistics show another curious fact about Android.
39. Android is the most popular operating system on all devices.
Android holds 40.47 of the operating system market share worldwide, followed closely by Windows with 34.2%. iOS is in third place with 14.92%. Linux accounts for only 0.83%.
Okay, we’ve seen the market share of the brands and, respectively, their OS. But how much money does the mobile industry generate?
Let’s take a closer look.
How Much Money Does the Mobile Ecosystem Generate?
Now that we know how many people have smartphones, we can consider how much money they spend on them.
40. From 2013 to 2018, global smartphone sales were valued at $522 billion.
By 2017 the global revenue amounted to $478.7 billion. 2018 alone didn’t score many sales, because the brands didn’t provide any revolutionary improvements in their models. Consumers are looking forward to 2019 and waiting for more innovative smartphones.
41. The global mobile ecosystem generated $1.1 trillion in 2018.
Mobile operators account for 60% ($690 billion) of this incredible sum.
If they were a country, they’d be richer than Argentina, which by the way is one of the fastest growing tech markets.
By the way, here’s an interesting fact:
Almost half of the Argentinian smartphone owners have a Samsung smartphone – 48.83%
But thankfully, according to smartphone statistics, the mobile industry gives back:
42. In 2018, the mobile ecosystem contributed more than $500 billion to the funding of the global public sector.
This number shows only direct taxation. The amount will go higher if we include charity and other activities.
Let’s see what happened with our money so far. First, we purchased a smartphone. Then, we paid for our subscription plan. Now, where do we spend our hard earned cash?
43. The App store’s revenue was $92.1 billion in 2018.
(Source: Newzoo 2018 Global Mobile Market Report)
76% of the income comes from games. Buy a gem here and there (microtransactions) and make the developers happy. The other 24% come from apps.
The app store revenue is set to reach $139.6 billion in 2021.
Smartphone ownership statistics show us some more interesting trends:
44. In 2020, mobile apps are projected to generate 188.9 billion US dollars in revenues.
Thanks to the app stores and in-app advertising.
45. In 2019, mobile ad spent worldwide amounted to $190 billion.
This amount is expected to reach $280 billion by 2022.
Although fewer smartphones were sold last year compared to 2017, the industry is expanding at a steady rate.
The total number of users is unlikely to decline, considering how many people own cell phones. Maybe customers are waiting for the next big thing.
46. Smartphone shipments in China fell approximately 12-15.5% in 2018.
I decided to give China as an example because it is the biggest smartphone market in the world. Researches expect smartphone shipments in China in 2019 to dip below 400 million for the first time since 2014.
We’ve already learned a lot. We’ve mastered the present, and the time has come to look ahead.
How Many People Will Own Smartphones in the Future?
Before I answer this question, I’d like to highlight a few more trends you may find interesting:
47. The mobile industry will contribute to $4.8 trillion to world GDP in 2023.
48. There will be 6.83 billion smartphone subscriptions in 2022.
I can almost hear mobile operators CEOs singing “Money makes the world go round” right now.
49. 80% of global connections will be smartphones by 2025.
The research predicts that smartphone connections in Sub-Saharan Africa will more than double in the next five years.
The future looks bright for the smartphone industry.
50. Smartphone users worldwide will reach 3.8 billion in 2021.
The number of smartphone users in the world in 2018 was 2.53 billion. An estimated 20 million people join the club each year.
51. There will be 1.5 billion 5G enabled smartphones in 2025.
(Source: Strategy Analytics)
Whenever I hear of 5G I think of Kanye West’s song “Stronger” – 5G is bigger, better, faster, stronger. It’s coming soon, and it’s supposed to improve all mobile services. The first phones with 5G support already came out in 2019.
That’s all folks. This was the main course. But don’t go anywhere just yet: I’ve got some apple pie for dessert:
Exciting and Funny Smartphone Statistics
Have you heard this joke:
“What did our grandparents do to kill time, when there were no smartphones?”
“I don’t know; I’ll ask mom, her four sisters, and five brothers.”
Have you ever considered what you would give up instead of your smartphone? Some people have:
52. More than three in 10 would stop seeing their friends in person.
(Source: The Boston Consulting Group)
53. Almost a third of Americans would give up sex for a year.
(Source: The Boston Consulting Group)
Here are some interesting smartphone ownership statistics and facts:
54. The number of traffic accidents with smartphones involved in Seoul has tripled over the last five years.
In an effort to limit these accidents:
55. In South Korea, there are street signs warning of the danger of using a smartphone when walking.
(Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government)
But South Korea isn’t the only country which tries to protect its smartphone zombies:
56. In Germany, there are traffic lights on the ground for distracted phone users.
The sidewalk lights warn oblivious smartphone users of incoming trains.
And one more in the series of smartphone zombie facts:
57. In China, there are designated lanes for “petextrians”.
The Chinese have created pedestrian lanes specifically for cellphone users. I doubt people stop bumping into one another, but it’s a start.
Different countries have different ways of dealing with phones. My personal favorite is:
58. In Finland, there is an annual “mobile phone throwing” championship.
Finland, the home of the iconic Nokia brand, pioneered this international sport back in 2000. The goal is to throw a mobile phone as far as you can. I just loved it when the 2012 champion revealed the secret to his success – “Drinking in the night before the championship.” Cheers!
I guess the Finns are trying to decrease cell phone ownership by year. By the way, they also have a “boot throwing” championship, so let’s just say they like to throw things and leave it at that.
This is crazy:
It looks like Earth isn’t enough for the smartphone, because:
59. There are smartphones in space.
In general, NASA uses a smartphone (the first was Nexus One) as a satellite’s onboard computer. The project was called “PhoneSat.”
I’ve prepared two more amazing “Did you know” facts before I let you go:
60. Samsung makes more money from Apple than from its mobile phones.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
Consider how many smartphones in the US alone are iPhones. Now consider this – every iPhone has a display and other components manufactured by Samsung. The Korean technology giant makes $110 from each sold iPhone X.
Only one smartphone fact left. I proudly present the icing on the cake:
61. 78% of Twitter users are active on their mobile.
This number proves to be significant if we consider the fact that Twitter has a value of somewhere around 18 billion.
62. You can use your urine to charge your smartphone.
(Source: New York Post)
But don’t rush to the toilet with your phone. There’s a bit more to it:
UK scientists created a device which transforms urine into electricity. Fancy that.
These were the most interesting finds I discovered. A few more words, and you can browse the other pages in TechJury. I can promise you’ll find some fantastic articles.
Now we know some interesting facts, like “What percentage of Internet traffic is mobile in 2019?” and many more. I hope you enjoyed this article and it was helpful in some way.
If you are curious about more facts, make sure you check out my Smartphone Addiction Stats.
We are lucky to be alive in this day and age. 2020 will be a great year in smartphone history. 5G is just around the corner, and brands like Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi have released foldable smartphones. Nokia is back in the game, showing good results year on year. There are so many exciting things waiting to happen. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to update my Smartphone Statistics list in 2021.
- Digital 2019
- GSMA, The Mobile Economy 2019
- Ericsson Mobility Report 2018
- China Internet Network Information Center
- Pew Research Center
- Ukom, 2018 UK Digital Market Overview report
- Statista, Pew Research Center
- Stone Temple
- Search Engine Land, Hitwise
- Merkle Digital Marketing Report: Q4 2018
- 2018 Marketing Benchmark Report IBM & Watson
- Counter Point Research
- Newzoo 2018 Global Mobile Market Report
- Newzoo 2018 Global Mobile Market Report
- Strategy Analytics
- The Boston Consulting Group via Aiden.ai
- The Boston Consulting Group
- Seoul Metropolitan Government and street signs
- The Wall Street Journal
- New York Post