Global smartphone subscriptions to reach 5.6 billion by 2019

Global smartphone subscriptions to reach 5.6 billion by 2019

Summary: According to Ericsson's latest Mobility Report, smartphone subscriptions will triple between 2013 and 2019.


In the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, the firm says that between 2013 and 2019, worldwide smartphone subscriptions will reach 5.6 billion, and smartphone traffic will increase by ten times in the next five years.

The report says mobile subscriptions will reach 9.3 billion by 2019, 5.6 billion (over 60 percent) of which will be for smartphones, rather than feature phones or tablets. In order to support the expected surge in consumer demand, Ericsson says that WCDMA/HSPA networks are predicted to cover 90 percent of the world's population by 2019, and almost two-thirds of the world's population will be covered by 4G/LTE networks.

In addition, smartphone traffic is predicted to increase by 10 times in the next five years, eventually reaching 10 exabytes. At current rates of growth, video streaming demand is climbing by 55 percent a year -- and will eventually represent more than 50 percent of total worldwide mobile data traffic. Social networking and web services will account for roughly 10 percent each by 2019.


Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson, said:

"The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue. It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple.

Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in China and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available."

Topics: Mobility, Mobile OS, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • in 2016 the consumer will tire and the trend will stall out

    Call it the smartphone bubble, or whatever, but the consumer will become fatigued and move on to something new before those rosy predictions come to fruition.
    • ???

      @greywolf7 - We're talking about billions of people here, not some niche market for hipsters. Perhaps the US mobile market may become driven by the so-called 'wearables' by 2016, but the US population is nothing compared to the global population in terms of overall even if the US market becomes 'fatigued' it won't have any effect on global smartphone adoption being driven by the billions of people living outside it.

      The only thing I disagree with in this prediction is that there will still be feature phones in the market in 2019. I don't see how that's possible. I maintain that once you reach a point where smartphones compete in the same price points as feature phones, carriers in developing markets will stop stocking feature phones and replace them in their lineup with the much more marketable smartphones - and local competition will absolutely drive this behavior. From that point, consumers in most markets will not have a choice but to buy a smartphone to replace their old feature phone. Price is the only thing keeping feature phones in the market in the developing and emerging markets.
      • saving for later

        I feel it already... same feeling I had about the markets before 2007/8. whatever the catalyst the pressure in the bubble is there, building, just waiting to pop.
    • India is experiencing 800% year-to-year growth in 3G/4G subscribers

      Most of the world's population does not have hardwired internet connectivity. Smartphone subscriptions are not growing because it's a fashion or a fad, smartphone subscriptions are growing because it is the *only* Internet appliance for most of their world's population!