We track 20 key markets as part of our ongoing research activities - collating and analysing subscription and smartphone numbers from mobile operators, national regulators, market associations, manufacturer shipment udpates, and third-party data.
After researching another 180 markets for our first databook, Global subscriptions & smartphone forecasts by country (2015-18), mobilesquared estimates there were approximately 2.74 billion smartphones worldwide at the end of 2015 — equivalent to 37.4% penetration of total estimated mobile connections.
Moreover, the 20 key markets tracked by mobilesquared (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK and the US) together accounted for approximately 1.96 billion active smartphones — or 71% of the total smartphones in use worldwide.
In these 20 markets, we are also able to identify smartphones by operating system and found approximately 71.9% were based on an Android OS, a further 21.5% had iPhones, 4.2% used Windows, 1.1% were Blackberry, and 1.2% used other OSes.
With many developed markets seeing individual mobile subscriptions reaching saturation and smartphone numbers slowing, we expect growth over the three years to 2018 to be centred on Africa, Asia and Latin America — which will surpass North America in terms of the total number of smartphones in market during 2018.
The total number of smartphones in use worldwide is forecast to reach 4.48 billion by the end of 2018 with just two markets —China and India — accounting for almost half of net smartphone additions over the period. At the end of 2018, China will also top 1 billion smartphones in use and India will be the single largest market by annual growth in smartphone users.
For individual subscription and smartphone forecasts for 200 markets and OS breakdowns for 20 key countries, please see our latest databook — Global subscriptions & smartphone forecasts by country (2015-18)