How Many People use Smartphones in the World

Mobile market research

  • Helena
  • 19 Oct 2012
  • 16 comment

Smartphones have shown a significant growth worldwide over the past few years. Estimates say that there are now more than 1 billion smartphones in the world, and smartphone shipments reached 420.3 million at the end of 2011.


But how are these figures distributed over the different countries where smartphones have been introduced? We must differentiate between two separate concepts: smartphone penetration and number of smartphones. The first is the percentage of smartphones compared to the amount of people living in a given country. For instance, if there are 2 million people in a country and there is 1 million smartphones, the smartphone penetration in that country would be of 50%. So the rating for this is as follows:

smartphone penetration worldwide
Source: Google

As you can see, the United Arab Emirates are ahead of the race with 73.8% penetration. This means that most of the population in Singapore owns a smartphone.

However, the ranking changes completely if we do it by number of smartphones. In the following chart you can see that, although it didn’t make the previous chart, the United States are the country with the most smartphones. This means that despite the more than 111 million smartphones in the United states, only 35% of the population has one.

number of smartphones by country

In any case, smartphones are slowly making their way towards complete worldwide penetration, so this is obviously a market to be closely watched.


  1. Stew 06/02/2013 at 23:57:09 Responder

    Nice article! Is it possible for you to disclose your source? Thank you!

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  11. Gael 08/08/2013 at 04:37:24 Responder

    Never thought Singapore would be the country with most smartphones per capita.
    Way to go, Calisto land! :D

  12. John 14/10/2013 at 18:48:36 Responder
    according to google, singapore does not have 90%, but has 71% of smartphone usage.

    Make sure you use correct and the most recent data please.

    • Helena 14/10/2013 at 23:55:50 Responder

      Thanks for the comment John. As you may see, the article is a bit out of date now, but it’s now updated it with more recent info.

  13. xo 29/03/2014 at 22:22:31 Responder

    according to Google’s Our Mobile Planet chart , 33%(in year 2012 and 47% in year 2013) of smartphone uses in China
    china has population of 1,350 millions. i can’t understand second chart.

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