By 17 October 2012 | Categories: news


After detailing Q2 2012’s tablet shipments, market research company Strategy Analytics (SA) now turns its attention to the smartphone market, with its latest research revealing that there are now more than one billion smartphones in use worldwide.

According to SA, it has taken 16 years for the smartphone industry to surpass this historic milestone. Scott Bicheno, senior analyst at SA stated that the world’s first modern smartphone was the Nokia Communicator, which hit the market way back in 1996.

During that period Nokia remained a dominant force in smartphones for more than a decade, right until the arrival of Apple’s iPhone back in 2007. Bicheno said that the iPhone revolutionised smartphone design and also became a major catalyst for the growth and development of the  industry. At the end of June, SA revealed that Apple generated a staggering $150 billion of cumulative revenues for its iPhone range, within the first five years since its launch in June 2007.

By Q3 2011 the company believed that there were around 708 million smartphones in use around the globe. Now, one year later, these popular mobile devices number about 1.038 billion units.


Neil Mawston, executive director at SA said: “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,” Mawston concluded.

In related news, the latest figures from the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) show that mobile-cellular subscriptions registered continuous double-digit growth in developing country markets, resulting in a global total of six billion mobile subscriptions by end 2011.


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