According to estimates, the population of Earth is just shy of 7 billion people. And according to new research, 1 in 7 of them own a smartphone.
The study comes from Strategy Analytics, who estimate that the world hit this epic milestone during Q3 of 2012. According to the report, there are now over one billion smartphones in use.
1.038 billion, to be exact. One year ago, there were only 708 million smartphones in use - meaning that it only took a year for the global smartphone population to grow by over 300 million. That's quite a bit of penetration in just 12 months, considering that it took around 15 years to hit 700 million global devices.
Strategy analytics credits the original iPhone, launched in 2007, as the catalyst for growth:
"The world’s first modern smartphone, the Nokia Communicator, was introduced in 1996. Nokia remained a dominant force in smartphones for over a decade until the arrival of Apple’s iconic iPhone in 2007. The iPhone revolutionized smartphone design and it catalyzed industry growth."
Although one billion smartphones sounds like an incredible figure, Strategy Analytics' Neil Mawston says that it still has a lot of room to grow.
"Smartphone penetration is still relatively low. Most of the world does not yet own a smartphone and there remains huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa," he says.
And they predict that total will in fact grow faster in the upcoming years. Although it took 16 years for the world to hit one billion smartphones, Mawston says that the total should hit 2 billion by 2015.
Another recent report said that there was now over 6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide. While that doesn't necessarily mean that 6 billion people own mobile phones, it does suggest that there is a mobile connection for 6 out of every 7 people on the planet.[Image Courtesy Paul Mayne, Flickr]