Although most tech news reports focus on the domestic smartphone market, where nearly 150 million Americans own smartphones as of the end of 2013, the global landscape for smartphone ownership is vastly more impressive – staggering, even.
By the end of 2014, smartphone users will approach 1.75 billion globally. Mobile phone users, however, are still more plentiful and will number 4.55 billion this year.
eMarketer expects smartphone adoption to continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017. Nearly two-fifths of all mobile phone users—close to one-quarter of the worldwide population—will use a smartphone at least monthly in 2014.
The same forecast calls for smartphone penetration among mobile phone users to reach 50% within three years.
“More than 2.23 billion people worldwide, or 48.9% of mobile phone users, will go online via mobile at least monthly in 2014, and over half of the mobile audience will use the mobile internet next year,” the report concludes.