So Call Me, Maybe? Smartphone Market Penetration in the U.S. and Globally

According to Pew Internet, as of February 2012 almost half (46%) of American adults own a smartphone. Smartphone use is increasing (the average user spends 39 minutes a day on their smartphone) and so are users. The firm eMarketer estimates that there will be 192.4 million smartphone users in the U.S. by 2016.

Smartphones are also popular overseas. Bloomberg Businessweek says that smartphone users globally have reached the 1 billion mark. The number represents the growing smartphone market, but smartphone market penetration (product sales as a percent of total potential market) is still low in many regions.

In this post we highlight a number of resources that are useful for finding out more about the U.S. and global smartphone market. The resources below cover smartphone market penetration, but can be used also to research a broad range of topics within digital technology.

Business Monitor International is a good source for numbers on 3G phone subscribers by individual country. The output includes historical data as well as forecasts. There are two ways you can view this data. One way is to use the Compare & Export Data option found in the blue box labeled “Data & Forecasts” located in the upper right-hand side of the page. TelecomsStart by choosing a location (GEOGRAHY). Add the subject (INDICATOR) by expanding “Telecommunications” and looking at the categories available under “Mobile” and “3G Mobile”. Select an indicator then click Export. Below is an excerpt from data pulled on the number of 3G phone subscribers (‘000) in the EUA.


The second way you can view these statistics is within an individual country’s Telecommunications report. Select a country of interest from the drop-down menus at the top of the screen. Then click on Telecommunications from the left-hand listing of industries. The latest report will be located in an orange box at the right-hand side of the page.

eMarketer_Smartphone_Mobile_Phone_and_PC_Penetration_Worldwide_by_Region_2009-2014_145263eMarketer is a key resource for data and statistics on topics within digital technology. Start by selecting Mobile from the listing of topics in the left-hand menu. You can then select a subcategory like Mobile Broadband, Mobile Devices, Mobile Users, etc. To limit your results to a specific country or region, select Geography from the left-hand menu. Included here is a portion of a chart on Smartphone, Mobile Phone and PC Penetration Worldwide.

Forecast: Middle Eastern & African mobile subscribers 2008-2020
You will find more statistics at Statista. Search for keywords like smartphone. Use the categories on the right-hand side to limit your results by region. You can also search for phrases like smartphone | mobile and Middle East to find charts on a specific region. The vertical bar (|) is the symbol used by Statista for the Boolean operator “or”. Results include charts like forecasts for the number of mobile subscribers in the Middle East and Africa.

Gartner is a market research database with a focus on digital technology. Search for keywords like smartphone or mobile. You can limit your search results by Region from the left-hand menu.

For more on digital technology take a look at our Business FAQ “How can I find information on digital technology?”

One thought on “So Call Me, Maybe? Smartphone Market Penetration in the U.S. and Globally

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