The number of smartphones in use worldwide has risen over to 1 billion units for the first time, according to recent research done by Strategy Analytics.
It has taken sixteen years for the smartphone to reach this milestone, which was reached in the third quarter of 2012. A surprising amount of growth took place over the past year. The number of smartphones in use jumped from 708 million in Q3 2011 to 1.038 billion in Q3 2012, adding over 300 million smartphones to the total.
Senior analyst at Strategy Analytics Scott Bicheno said “The world’s first modern smartphone, the Nokia Communicator, was introduced in 1996. Nokia remained a dominant force in smartphones for over a decade until the arrival of Apple’s iconic iPhone in 2007. The iPhone revolutionized smartphone design and it catalyzed industry growth. 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.”
Executive Director at Strategy Analytics Neil Mawston also commented, saying “We estimate 1 in 7 of the world’s population owned a smartphone in the third quarter of 2012. Smartphone penetration is still relatively low. Most of the world does not yet own a smartphone and there remains huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa. 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.”