29+ Smartphone Usage Statistics: Around the World in 2020
Two questions for you!
“How much do you use your phone?”
“How much time does your phone stay in your hand per day?”
The answer for most of us is: a lot!
Smartphone usage statistics suggest that an average person spends 2 hours and 51 minutes per day on their mobile device. What’s more, 22% of us check our phones every few minutes, and 51% of users look at it a few times per hour.
It suffices to say that we are getting dangerously close to becoming addicted.
Smartphones and mobile devices dictate our lives. It is scary to think that the evolution of human beings in the last century has been mainly influenced by technology.
After we researched this topic thoroughly we came up with some important smartphone trends that we want to share with you. Let’s have a look:
Now that we had a taste of what’s to come, we can start our marathon.
It’s gonna be a bumpy ride:
Facsinating Smartphone Usage Statistics
Are you ready (phone in hand or somewhere close you)?
Here we go:
1. 3.2 billion people in the world own a smartphone in 2019.
Based on the latest calculations coming from Statista, the number of smartphone users in the world in 2019 boils down to 3.2 billion.
This essentially means that every third person you meet on the streets owns a smartphone.
2. An average smartphone user has 63 interactions on her phones a day.
Have you ever tried counting the number of times you check your phone during the day? According to recent findings, an average person casually checks her phone about 63 times a day. Even 87% of us do it one hour before going to bed, while 69% check smartphones within the first five minutes of waking up.
Further smartphone usage stats say that 86% of people constantly check their phones while talking to friends, which can be pretty annoying if you are the other person in the conversation.
3. 5+ hours of smartphone usage a day increases the chances of obesity.
Recent health studies have revealed an alarming number of obese people in the world. The risk of obesity has increased by 43%, and much is to blame on the modern and unhealthy lifestyle many people are leading.
Cell phone usage statistics coincide with this trend, and many doctors suggest that the prime cause for obesity are computers and handheld devices. Some doctors go as far as to say that cell phones and their overuse are the prime cause for some people getting overweight.
4. Increasing smartphone usage can diminish our ability to interpret information.
A recently published study revealed a fascinating insight into smartphone use. The study included two controlled experiments that were based on current smartphone usage trends. It shockingly revealed that using smartphones too much diminishes our ability to understand the deeper meaning of the information that we get.
Luckily, this effect is temporary, according to the Journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology and can go away with time. The only thing users have to do is to decrease smartphone usage.
5. More than 5 billion people in the world own mobile devices.
According to GSMA real-time intelligence data, there are exactly 5.13 billion people in the world who own mobile devices. That is 66.5% of the world’s population. The answer to how many people own smartphones is 2.71 billion or 35.13% of the world’s population.
6. Brazil is the 5th country in the world based on smartphone usage rate.
A recent study done by the Pew Research Center has revealed that 84 million adults in Brazil own a smartphone. Percentage-wise, this is 54% of adults in this country. This places Brazilians as one of the most avid smartphone users in the world based on countries.
However, many families in Brazil do not own individual phones, so one family uses a single device. Based on the smartphone usage statistics for 2019 provided by eMarketer, this is also their primary source of internet. Approximately 60% of internet users in Brazil connect via smartphones.
7. Kids get their first mobile device around the age of 12.
The latest research reveals that 56% of children aged between eight and 12 have a cell phone. It becomes even more fascinating to know that 21% of kids who are eight or younger use a smartphone. Families with children who are eight or younger own a smartphone in 69% of the time.
Further cell phone usage statistics by age reveal that in 60% of the time, families provide a cell phone to their child around the age of 10. Dads are the ones more likely to agree on giving their children smartphones as opposed to moms.
8. Apple owns the largest market share in the UK.
People in the UK are avid mobile phone users. Research reveals that 94% of adults own a mobile phone of some kind. When it comes to users aged between 12-18, the number drops down to 86%. However, it is pretty obvious which brand UK users prefer.
Smartphones users statistics in the UK reveal that 60.5% of customers go for Apple products. Second in line are Samsung mobile phones at 22.1%. Huawei is third with 3.8%, and Motorola comes fourth with 2.1%.
9. Internet users grow at a rate of 1 million new users a day.
Based on the latest Global Digital Report for 2019, the number of internet users is growing at an exponential rate. Since January 2018, 1 million people a day have started using the internet. This accounts for 4.39 billion internet users worldwide in 2019, an increase of 366 million since 2018.
However, internet usage statistics in 2019 do not only reveal that more people are accessing the internet, but also that users prefer mobile devices for doing so. Mobile device usage statistics for 2019 reveal that mobile share of total internet has jumped from 26% in 2014 to 48% in 2019, with the most recent bump being recorded between 2017 and 2018 when it spiked by 16%.
10. Smartphone ownership is growing rapidly but not equally everywhere.
We already know that mobile phone technology is spreading rapidly around the world, as there are more than 5 billion mobile users currently worldwide. However, growth is not even in all places and regions. Countries with advanced economies have a higher number of smartphones as opposed to countries with developing economies.
The latest smartphone usage statistics reveal that 76% of people across the top 18 developed countries own smartphones. By contrast, 45% of people in developing countries own a smartphone. The top country with the advanced economy is South Korea with 95% of smartphones and 5% of mobile phones, followed by Israel, which has 88% of smartphone users and 10% of mobile device users.
The top developing country is South Africa with 60% of smartphone owners and 33% of mobile owners, followed by Brazil, which has 60% of people who own smartphones and 23% of people who have mobile phone devices.
11. Mobile owners worldwide will increase to 7.33 billion by 2023.
The number of mobile phone users in the world will increase significantly in the next four years, as predicted by Statista. Currently, the number stands at 6.8 billion users, and a steady increase is expected over the course of the next four years. Statistics also predict that we might already expect to breach the 7 billion mark in a year from now.
12. 72% of internet users will access the web solely via smartphones by 2025.
The World Advertising Research Center (WARC) recently came up with a very bold prediction. It forecasted that by 2025, almost three quarters (72.6%) of internet users will access the internet using their smartphones.
The latest smartphone use statistics indicate that currently, about 2 billion people access the internet exclusively via smartphones. This is an equivalent of 51% of the global base of users. The highest growth in mobile phone use is expected in countries like China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and Nigeria.
However, the same report also says that there are still going to be about 2.4 billion people in the world who will not own a mobile phone of any kind in 2025.
13. Smartphone sales will slow down but will not affect smartphone usage stats.
When predicting future mobile trends, many experts say that smartphone sales will slow down in the future. This is mainly based on the fact that the newest phones are pretty reliable and do not break down, thus not causing the need for a new device. One of the most popular smartphones in many countries was the iPhone 7. With timely updates coming from Apple, there is no need for upgrading to a new device.
Furthermore, a top-end smartphone costs around $1,000, which further supports the fact of not getting a necessarily new phone while the old one functions properly. However, the predicted statistics on smartphone usage indicates that with declining sales, people are going to continue to use mobile devices more.
14. There are more phones than people currently in the world.
It is safe to say that people view their phones as one of their most valuable assets. Some even view it as the utmost necessity that you need to have. However, it seems that we might be overdoing it a bit in recent years.
UN’s International Telecommunications Union (ITU) came out with a mind-blowing revelation on how many people own a phone. It seems that there are more phones on Earth now than there are people.
ITU calculated that there are around 5.28 billion mobile broadband subscriptions currently in the world. However, not all people own phones as it is estimated that 1.1 billion people do not have access to electricity. Thus, a large number of phones is credited to many people having two or more phones, particularly business persons.
Families also tend to have additional cell phones. The research concludes by adding that the proliferation of phones is currently outpacing the growth of the human population, meaning that this trend will continue in the future.
15. The number of smartphone users in the US will reach 270 million by 2020.
The North American market has had a steady increase in mobile phone users along the years. The USA is the leader in smartphone penetration, not just in the region or continent, but the whole world. According to predictions made by Statista, the number of users in the US will climb to 270 million by 2020.
Statistics also show that back in 2010, there were 62.6 million users in America. Currently, the number stands at about 248 million, but it is climbing each day. Smartphone penetration in 2021 is predicted to be about 72.7% in this country.
16. Mobile phone usage statistics say that 90% of mobile time is spent on apps.
If you have been wondering, “What are all those people doing on their phones so much,” the answer is – using apps! With 2.2 million apps available on the App Store and 2.8 million more on the Google Play Store, it is no wonder why people are immersed in apps so much.
Revenue from mobile apps is expected to reach a figure of $189 billion by 2020. This figure is very much reachable when we take into account the fact that an average person uses 30 apps per month, and 21% of millennials check their apps more than 50 times a day.
17. 40% of Americans give a cell phone to their kids by the age of 10.
People mostly concentrate on how many people have smartphones and tend to forget about child smartphone usage. Children in the US mostly get their first cell phone at the age of 11 or 12. Approximately 20.5% of kids receive a phone when they are 13 or 14. However, it is alarming to know that 19.2% receive it before they turn 10.
Luckily, about 83% of parents confessed that the reason for giving their child a phone was to stay in touch or connect with them easily.
18. 194 billion mobile phone apps were downloaded in 2019.
According to Statista, users downloaded around 178 billion apps in 2017. Future smartphones usage statistics suggest that people will download 258 billion apps in 2022 alone. This assumption is further supported by the fact that 76% of millennials find their smartphones useless if they don’t have any apps installed on them.
Generally speaking, millennials are the biggest app users in the world, and 74% find comfort in using apps when they feel bored or when they have nothing else to do.
19. 98% of Generation Z own a smartphone.
Generation Z (people born between the mid-90s and early 2000s) are a demographic group which owns the most smartphones, according to the latest smartphone usage trends. Around 52% of them even say that their mobile phones are their most valuable assets.
On the other hand, 92% of Generation X (people born between the mid-60s and early 80s) own a cell phone, but they still value their desktop computers more. However, baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964) have increased their smartphone usage. Only 18% of them used to own a smartphone in 2013 as opposed to 42% today.
20. Owning a smartphone is still a problem in developing countries.
Around 5 billion people in the world today own a mobile phone, approximately half of which are smartphone users. However, most of those people are from developed countries. Smartphone ownership statistics for 2018 show that there are still a lot of people in developing countries that do not have access to a smartphone or any other mobile device for that matter.
For instance, 35% of people in India do not own mobile devices, while 40% own a mobile phone, but not a smartphone. The trend is similar in other developing countries with a large population like Nigeria (17% of people without phones and 44% of people own a mobile phone other than a smartphone) and Indonesia (29% to 28%).
21. Smartphone penetration in South Africa currently stands at 80%.
Smartphone usage statistics calculated by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa’s (ICASA’s) suggest that the number of smartphone owners in this country is growing. By the end of September, the penetration rate was calculated to be at 81.7%. At the same time in 2017, the rate was 74.2%, while a year before, it was 43.5%.
Smartphone usage is getting much more popular in South Africa, and it appears that more and more people are able to afford it, with 46.9 million subscriptions recorded by September 2018.
22. Americans went wireless-only in 2016.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published mobile phone usage statistics, the number of wireless connections surpassed the number of landline connections some time in mid-2016.
After surpassing the half-mark in 2016, it started going up steadily to 52.2% in 2017. Today, around 75% of people between the ages of 25-34 live in wireless-only households in the US. The largest amount of wireless users by region is in the South, with 57.1% of households going completely wireless.
23. 92% of Americans believe that cell phone addiction is real.
Experts now compare cell phone overuse with problems such as gambling, shopping, internet, and video game addictions. Cell phone addiction statistics reveal that nomophobia (no-mobile-phone phobia) is real and that it should be treated as a serious illness, which is particularly apparent in the US.
Many people who have this problem develop it through social media addiction which, in turn, can cause interpersonal conflicts, low self-esteem, and impaired work performance.
Around 60% of students in the US actually believe that they have a mobile phone addiction. What’s more, 71% sleep next to their phones, while 35% think about their cell phones as the first thing when they wake up, as opposed to 10% who think about their significant other.
24. Two-thirds of the world is now connected via mobile devices.
Taking into account how many smartphones in the world currently exist, it makes sense that humans are now primarily connected through phones. The 5 billion mark of unique mobile subscriptions was already breached in the second quarter of 2017, and the number only seems to be growing. It is projected that new smartphone users will account for 66% of global connections as opposed to 53% in 2017.
25. Smartphone sales stopped growing for the first time in 2018.
According to cell phone statistics for 2018 conducted by Counterpoint Research and Strategy Analytics, smartphone sales numbers stopped growing for the first time. This is only a decline on a full-year basis, which has never happened since the invention of smartphones.
The sales numbers for 2018 still managed to reach a total of 1.43 billion devices sold. However, these numbers indicate a 5% drop compared to 1.51 billion units sold the previous year.
According to further analyses, Apple sold 206.3 million devices in 2018, as opposed to 215.8 million in 2017. Samsung managed to move 291.3 million units, which is a drop from 317.5 million in 2017.
However, additional smartphone statistics revealed that Huawei and Xiaomi were the only phone manufacturers which had an increase in sales in 2018.
26. 79% of adults have their smartphones with them 22 hours a day.
The latest report conducted by IDC Research states that adults almost never leave their homes without a cell phone, and keep it close to them approximately 22 hours a day, on average. Many people prefer sleeping with their phones by their side, and 80% of smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes after waking up.
Advanced smartphones users stats say that adults spend 87 minutes on average on their phones by communicating or using social media between Monday-Thursday. This number jumps to 160 minutes for the period between Friday and Sunday.
27. The age group 18-29 has 100% of cell phone ownership in the USA.
It is safe to say that millennials are the biggest mobile phone user group in the US and the world. When it comes to the US, owners between the age of 18-29 have an astounding record as they all possess some kind of a mobile phone device. Senior citizens (65 and older) are age group with the least mobile phone usage – only 8% of them have these devices.
However, when it comes to smartphones statistics for the age group 18-29, it drops slightly to 94%. On the other hand, 89% of people from the age of 30-49 own smartphones, while the number goes up to 94% for the age group between 50-64.
28. Countries like China, Russia, and the US have the most cell phone subscribers.
Cell phone subscriptions are a crucial aspect of the mobile phone industry. Generally, this is how mobile operators earn money – by offering mobile phone traffic services. China, for instance, has the largest number of mobile phone operators, with more than 850 currently available.
Cell phone ownership statistics by year have been increasing and so have the subscriptions. As the most populated country in the world, China has the largest number of subscribers with 1.3 billion. Not a long way behind is India with 1.17 billion, while the USA takes the third spot with 327 million subscriptions.
29. Mobile search spending will increase to $28.25 billion in 2019.
Search spending has gotten to its largest heights in 2019, and mobile devices are leading the charge. With 61.9% of Google paid clicks in 2017, it is safe to say that this branch of the industry has become a very lucrative one.
Smartphone usage statistics from 2018, in terms of search spending, revealed revenue of $25.11 billion in the US alone. At the same time, Google drives 95% of all paid searches and clicks on mobile in the US.
30. Global production volume may go up to 3% in 2019.
With people buying fewer phones as of late, the production volume is subsiding as well. Shipments have declined by 0.3% in 2017 and then by 0.2% in 2018. Nevertheless, certain expectations say that the market will grow from 2019 onward.
IDC predicts annual growth of 3%, with a forecasted shipment volume of 1.654 billion in 2022.
If we take a look at how many mobile phones were in the world in 2018 and their current levels, the decline in production volume is just a bump in the road which may lead to much bigger development. The current decline in production may have been due to the fact that phones don’t penetrate into all markets.
However, as developing countries and areas continue to advance, they will probably create a bigger need for these devices. This will, in turn, continue the steady growth of smartphones that mobile phone developers have been used to.
If we take into account how many people have smartphones and also consider that this number will continue to rise, it is safe to say that the mobile phone industry will be one of the most lucrative ones to invest in.
Mobile phone developers will continue to churn out new types of smartphones, and it will not matter if they sell or not. Once it all settles down, they will still be on the winning end. But you don’t have to be a mobile phone developer to earn money in this market. As smartphones users statistics indicate, the app industry is booming!
At some point, app usage may even entirely substitute using mobile websites. Desktops will continue to be relevant for business and people who work in the office. However, mobile phones will dominate every other aspect of tech usage.
The mobile phone industry is probably the most important technological branch on our planet. The way our culture has been developing, smaller, handheld devices will continue to dominate and will likely even increase phones’ usage. Smartphone usage statistics do not lie, and they are a clear indication of where the industry and our society are heading to.
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