How Many People Have Smartphones 2023-2024?

Ever wondered how ubiquitous smartphones have become worldwide? In 2023, the globe boasts a staggering 7.33 billion mobile phone users, whereas out of them 6.92 billion of the world’s population, are proud owners of smartphones. 

In 2013, global mobile phone shipments surpassed smartphones, but by 2023, a dramatic shift occurred, with 1.34 billion smartphones outpacing 1.15 billion mobile phones. Samsung led the pack with a 22.3% market share, trailed by Apple, Xiaomi, OPPO, and Vivo, showcasing the competitive dynamics in the industry.

However, this peneration of mobile phone is not uniform across countries, age group or genders. In this blog we will also try to understand is there a significant demographic gap in smartphone ownership?

How Many People in the World Have a Phone?

Do you know how many people in the world have a phone? According to BankMyCell, the number of mobile phone users in the world 2023 is 7.33 billion, which makes a penetration rate of 90.90% of people in the world cell phone owners. This data includes the total number of both smartphone and feature phone users. The count was 6.95 billion in 2022, meaning a steady increase in the number could be witnessed. 

How Many People in the World Have a Smart Phone?

According to data from Statista of July 2023, in 2023, a staggering 85.82% of the world’s population, totaling 6.92 billion individuals owns a smartphone. Interestingly, among these users, early adopters constitute approximately 13.5% of the population.

What’s even more remarkable is the consistent growth in smartphone ownership. There has been an annual increase of 4.9% in the number of individuals who own a smartphone, highlighting the continuous expansion of digital technology worldwide. 

How Many People Have Smartphones

Furthermore, the number of global smartphone users was a mere 3.67 billion in 2016. In just seven years, from 2016 to the present day, the number of smartphone users has surged by 98%, reaching a monumental 3.25 billion more than the figures from 2016. This phenomenal rise underscores the rapid evolution of smartphone usage on a global scale.

Lets understand the year-wise penetration of smartphones in a more detailed manner:

  • How Many People Have Smartphones 2016: 3.67 billion smartphones marking a penetration rate of 49.40%.
  • How Many People Have Smartphones 2017: The number of smartphones surged to 4.54 billion with a penetration rate of 61.60%.
  • How Many People Have Smartphones 2018: The smartphone count further increased to 5.22 billion, with a penetration rate of 69.90%.
  • How Many People Have Smartphones 2019: The smartphone population reached 5.85 billion, boasting a penetration rate of 78.90%.
  • How Many People Have Smartphones 2020: more substantial rise, with 6.36 billion smartphones in circulation and a penetration rate of 84.90%.
  • How Many People Have Smartphones 2021: global smartphone tally peaked at 6.62 billion, achieving a remarkable penetration rate of 87.80%.

The number of mobile phone users in the world was 6.95 billion in 2022 and 7.33 billion in 2023. It is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, driven by increasing demand in developing countries and the introduction of new and innovative smartphone features.

How Many Mobile Connections Are There Worldwide?

Based on real-time intelligence data from GSMA, the number of mobile connections worldwide has exceeded 11.930 billion. This figure surpasses the current estimated global population of 8.063 billion, as indicated by UN digital analyst estimates. This disparity implies an excess of 3.867 billion mobile connections beyond the total human population on Earth.

Statistics Showcasing Penetration of Smart Phones Surpassed Mobile Phones

According to a study from Gartner, the transformation from traditional mobile phones to smartphones is evident in their shipment data. In 2013, global mobile phone shipments were at 1.84 billion, surpassing the 1.01 billion global smartphone shipments. However, in 2023, there has been a reversal in these trends. Global mobile phone shipments stood at 1.15 billion, whereas global smartphone shipments reached 1.34 billion. This dramatic shift in shipment data over the span of a decade highlights the significant evolution in consumer preferences and technology choices.

Top 5 Smartphone Vendors as per 2023

Examining the market share landscape of smartphones in the second quarter of 2023, the top 5 smartphone vendors were identified. Samsung led the pack with a substantial 22.3% market share, followed closely by Apple at 17.3%. Xiaomi secured a significant portion with 13.8%, while OPPO and Vivo captured 10.8% and 9.6% respectively. These statistics offer valuable insights into the competitive dynamics within the smartphone industry.

Lets look at the data since 10 years:

  • Samsung has been the leading smartphone brand in the world since 2012
  • Apple has also been a major player in the market, with a consistent market share of around 15%
  • Huawei was also a major player in the market until 2020 when its market share began to decline due to US sanctions. 
  • Xiaomi has been growing rapidly in recent years, and it is now the third-largest smartphone brand in the world. 
  • OPPO and Vivo are also major players in the market, with market shares of over 10% each.

How Are Mobile Users Distributed Across Countries?

The global landscape of smartphone penetration rates varies widely across countries, showcasing diverse adoption patterns worldwide. 

In the realm of smartphone usage, the United States leads with an impressive 82% penetration rate, reflecting the widespread integration of smartphones into American daily life. Following closely, Japan boasts a significant 79% penetration rate, illustrating the advanced technological culture prevalent in the country.

Moving to emerging economies, China stands out as an exception to the conventional divide between developed and developing nations. Despite its developing status, China demonstrates a remarkable 76% smartphone penetration rate, underscoring the nation’s rapid technological advancement and economic growth. Brazil, with a penetration rate of 71%, and Mexico, at 70%, also exhibit substantial smartphone usage despite being classified as developing countries.

Russia stands at 69%, while India, Indonesia, and Pakistan show rates of 65%, 64%, and 60% respectively. These figures illuminate the evolving digital landscapes in these countries, emphasizing the significant strides made in technology accessibility and adoption.

Nigeria and Bangladesh, with penetration rates of 59% and 58% respectively, face unique challenges in smartphone proliferation. Despite lower rates, these countries are witnessing gradual shifts towards increased smartphone usage, indicative of ongoing technological developments.

The overarching trend reveals that developed countries generally exhibit higher smartphone penetration rates, reflective of their advanced infrastructures and higher income levels. Conversely, developing countries, while making substantial progress, often face challenges related to affordability and infrastructure. 

Why China is an Exception?

China’s smartphone penetration rate has increased steadily over the past 10 years, from 38.0% in 2013 to 76.0% in 2023. There are a number of factors that contribute to this growth, which include:

Income level: China’s income level has increased rapidly over the past few decades, which has led to increased purchasing power. 

Access to the Internet: China has invested heavily in expanding its Internet infrastructure, which has made it easier for people to access the Internet through their smartphones.

Availability of affordable smartphones: Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Oppo offer a wide range of affordable smartphones.

Another exception is India, which has a relatively low cell phone popularity, despite being a developing country with a large population. This is due to a number of factors, including low-income levels, poor internet access, and a shortage of affordable smartphones.

Which Age Groups Use Smartphones the Most?

According to statistical research data from the Pew Research Center, younger people of the age group 16-24 are more likely to be tech-savvy and interested in new technologies with a smartphone penetration rate of 95%.

The percentage of smartphone users for the rest of the age group is as follows:

  • 25-34 is 91%.
  • 35-44 is 87%.
  • 45-54 is 83%.
  • 55-64 is 76%.

Let’s understand the smartphone usage pattern of every age group in detail: 

  • Younger people are more likely to make smartphones an essential part of life, hence using them for a wide range of purposes, including social media, gaming, and other entertainment activities.
  • Older people in the age group 65+ are more likely to have difficulty using smartphones due to physical or cognitive limitations, hence the smartphone penetration rate is 61%.
  • Older people are more likely to be less affluent and to be less able to afford smartphones.

It is important to note that the percentage of smartphone users according to their age can vary from country to country. 

For example, smartphone penetration is higher among older people in developed countries than in developing countries. This is likely due to higher income levels, better access to education, and greater exposure to new technologies in developed countries.

What Do Different Age Groups Use Mobile Phones for?

According to Statista data for August 2023, people aged 25-34 are also early adopters of new technologies, and they are also more likely to be in the workforce, where smartphones are often required for work-related tasks.

People aged 35-44 and 45-54 are more likely to be established in their careers and have families, so they may have less time to use smartphones for recreational purposes.

People aged 65+ are less likely to be familiar with new technologies, and they may also be less likely to need smartphones for work-related tasks.

Which Gender Uses Smartphones the Most?

As per research conducted by Statista, smartphone penetration is slightly higher among males with a smartphone penetration rate of 86% than among females with a smartphone penetration rate of 84%.

What Do Different Genders Use Mobile Phones for?

In the realm of smartphone usage, differences between males and females are notable. 

Males tend to dominate jobs that require the use of smartphones and are more likely to use smartphones for leisure activities including gaming and other entertainment activities. 

Economic factors also play a role, with males generally having higher incomes, granting them the financial capacity to afford smartphones, thus expanding their tech accessibility.

Females commonly utilize smartphones as tools for social media and communication with family and friends and are more likely to reside in urban areas where smartphone penetration is higher. 

Education and income levels also contribute to these differences, as females often possess low education and income as compared to males, reflecting their active participation in the digital world and leveraging smartphones for various purposes. 

It is important to note that how many people in the world have a phone according to their gender can vary from country to country. For example, smartphone penetration is higher among females than males in some developing countries. 

How Do Income and Social Status Impact Smartphone Demographics?

As per a 2022 report by the Pew Research Center:

99% of Americans with an annual household income of $75,000 or more own a smartphone, compared to 67% of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000.

Furthermore, 98% of professional and managerial workers own a smartphone, compared to 59% of service workers.

How Does Education Influence Smartphone Demographics?

A 2021 report by the National Center for Education Statistics found that:

96% of high school graduates own a smartphone, compared to 81% of adults without a high school diploma.

Which are the Other Factors that Contribute?

People who speak a minority language are less likely to own a smartphone than people who speak a majority language (71% vs. 84%). This is likely due to a number of factors, including the lack of smartphones and mobile content in minority languages.

A 2019 report by the FCC found that 89% of urban Americans own a smartphone, compared to 82% of rural Americans.

A 2022 report by the Pew Research Center found that people with a disability are less likely to own a smartphone than people without a disability (78% vs. 90%). This is likely due to a number of factors, including affordability and accessibility issues.

Which Operating System is Dominant in the Market?

As per the Bankmycell statistics of 2023: 

The dominant mobile operating systems worldwide in 2023 are Android and iOS, with market shares of 70.89% and 28.36%, respectively.

Lets understand the market share of smartphones country-wise:

  • In the North American market, Android is dominant with a market share of 65.24% as compared to iOS which is 34.76%.
  • The dominant mobile operating system in Europe is Android with a market share of 75.32% as compared to iOS which is 24.68%.
  • Android is dominant in the Asian Pacific market with a share of 73.15% as compared to iOS which is 26.85%.
  • While as per the data, Latin American tend to have the maximum difference in market share, where Android is 81.26% and iOS is 18.74%.
  • In the Middle East and African market, the dominant mobile operating system is Android with a market share of 78.43% as compared to iOS which is 21.57%.

Android is the dominant mobile operating system in all regions of the world, with the exception of North America, where iOS has a slightly higher market share.

The factors contributing to the dominance of Android and iOS in the mobile operating system market include:

Android and iOS devices are widely available: 

Android and iOS devices are available at a wide range of prices, from budget-friendly to high-end. This makes them accessible to a wide range of consumers.

Android and iOS apps has strong ecosystems: 

Android and iOS have large and vibrant ecosystems of apps, which makes them more appealing to consumers.

The marketing and advertising of Android and iOS devices: 

Android and iOS devices are heavily marketed and advertised by their manufacturers. This helps to increase awareness of these devices and to boost sales.