Global smartphone penetration - additional information
Over a third of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphone by 2017, up from 21.6 percent in 2014. Western Europe is due to become the largest regional market as almost 65 percent of its total population is forecast to own a smartphone by 2017, over twice the figure in 2012. Within North America, around 64 percent of the population will own a smartphone in 2017, an increase of 13 percent on the figure from 2014. The smallest regional market for smartphones is the Middle East and Africa, where smartphone penetration will stand at an estimated 13.6 percent by 2017.
Almost 1.5 billion smartphones were sold to end users in 2016, an increase from less than 300 million units in 2010. The two most popular smartphone operating systems in 2016 were Android and iOS, who sold a combined 429.7 million units to end users worldwide in the fourth quarter of the year. The Google-backed Android held a global market share of 81.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, whilst Apple’s iOS held 18.3 percent of the market. The leading smartphone vendors in the global market were Samsung and Apple, who both held a share of around 18 percent by the end of 2016.