Smartphone usage statistics reached 5.22 billion by the end of 2020, accounting for 66.97% of the world population (DataReportal, 2021). 2020 brings in an additional 93 million users, up 1.8% from the total at the end of 2019.

YearWorld populationSmartphone users (billion)Rate
smartphone usage statistics
Number of phones sold by year

Market growth in 2021 will be led by the Asia Pacific region – especially India and China – which holds 2.1 billion or 56% of the global market share. The six-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the Asia Pacific region alone is +10.6%.

It is important to note the distinction between smartphones and other mobile devices. Mobile devices can include tablets, Internet of Things (Internet of Things) devices, and mobile phones without Internet connectivity. As of 2019, the number of unique mobile devices is 5.11 billion, 60% of which represent smartphones.

Many would guess the country with the highest rate of phone ownership is the United States, as it is home to the iPhone, arguably the most recognizable phone brand in the world, as well as breakthrough phone technologies. other destruction. The smartphone ownership rate in the US in 2018 stood at 77% while the smartphone penetration rate was 69.60%.

What percentage of the population has a smartphone?

Smartphone penetration rates vary by region and sample studied. India has 27.70% although the population boom is almost on par with China. The highest is the comparison between the UK with an 82.20% smartphone usage rate (According to Newzoo) and South Korea with 95% (According to Pew Research). According to smartphone usage statistics in 2022, the global average was 39% for 2018 but is expected to reach 41.5% by the end of 2019. 

Statistics of countries with the most smartphone use

Smartphone ownership continues to grow rapidly, but the rate of growth has been uneven.

smartphone usage statistics
Number of mobile users worldwide

China and India are consistently mentioned in market reports as important drivers of smartphone ownership growth in the world and the APAC region. China has a penetration rate of 55.30% while India has 27.70%. Sources indicate that China and India are likely to lead the smartphone ownership market in the world with an estimated total of 1.406 billion —18.50% of the world population expected in 2020.

A Bloomberg report from August 2019 shows that North Korea has the lowest number of smartphone owners per user in the world – 0.15 phones per person (Bloomberg, 2019). In contrast, the country with the highest number of smartphone devices per individual is Macao, registering 3.29 smartphones per person. The extremes highlight huge disparities in economic wealth – a leading barrier to mobile phone ownership – even among countries in the APAC region.

Top 10 countries with the most smartphone usage statistics

According to smartphone usage statistics, China has the highest number of smartphone users in the world. by 2020, it will have over 911 million smartphone users (Newzoo, 2020). This number is staggering as it accounts for only 63.4% of the total population of the country but is forecast to increase further. India follows with 439 million, and the US is in third place with 270 million smartphone users.

NationQuantity (million)

Smartphone use statistics: Which age group uses smartphones the most?

Age is also a determining factor in phone ownership. In the US, the 18-29 age group has a smartphone ownership rate of 96% (Pew Research, 2020), followed by the 30-49 age group with 92%. Groups 50-64 are at 79% while sets of 65 and above are at 53%.

Younger generations — Generation Z and Millennials — are the most connected age group. Adults aged 18-34 have a high percentage of smartphone ownership. This statistic holds most of the time whether the country is classified as an advanced economy like South Korea, Australia, or the United States, or an emerging country like Brazil, South Africa, or India.

Other demographics that influence cell phone ownership

The gender gap in mobile phone ownership is related to the following demographics:

  1. Live in rural areas with limited mobile infrastructure
  2. Unemployment
  3. Illiterate or illiterate
  4. Over 45 years old

For women living in low- and middle-income countries, the following reasons widen the gender gap in phone ownership:

  • Ability to pay. Smartphone prices have dropped significantly but are still out of reach. For unemployed women or the sole breadwinner, even low-end models are not easy to understand.
  • Literacy and skills. The usability and accessibility of the handset are affected when the user does not have the reading or digital skills to operate the device. This barrier affects Asia and women in particular.
  • Safety and security. Safety and security concerns were the top barrier for Latin American women, which ranked second most important after affordability. These safety concerns fall into two: the potential for device theft and threats from calls, SMS, and online interactions.
  • Suitability. This is the perception of how valuable or useful owning a mobile phone is to one’s life.

Smartphone OS options: Android and iOS

Various sources put the total number of Android smartphones at 3 billion worldwide compared to 900 million active iPhones. According to StatCounter, Android has a market share of 71.93% as of January 2021 (StatCounter, 2021). iOS accounts for 27.47% of the market pie. The remaining segments include Windows and other small players in the smartphone race.

See more: Iphone 13 pro vs 14 pro: Significant differences

Android Mobile phone usage statistics worldwide

Why is Android the preferred smartphone operating system? With nearly 80% market share, Android has dominated the worldwide smartphone market. Bloomberg data shows Bangladesh as the country with the highest number of Android users with 98%. The worldwide average is 83% and continues to grow.

Below are the countries with the highest and lowest number of Android smartphone users by region.

Android is King in countries with low smartphone adoption because the technology is cheap and readily available. However, low ownership and penetration rates persist, even for Android, due to one real problem: price. The minimum monthly salary in Bangladesh is Tk 8,000 or about $95. In contrast, the average price of low-end smartphone models in Bangladesh ranges from Tk 7,500 – Tk 8,500.

IOS Mobile phone usage statistics worldwide

Japan ranks as the country with the largest number of iPhone users worldwide, accounting for 70% of the total market share. The average worldwide iPhone ownership rate is 14%.

The list below shows the countries with the highest percentage of iPhone ownership. The US is the largest regional market for the Cupertino, California-based company. The rest can be classified as advanced economies in their respective regions that have higher living standards and wages than low iPhone users.

High and low values are essentially exchanged between two countries at the high and low end of the ownership scale, except in Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest penetration rate of all continents but is also one of the fastest-growing smartphone markets in the world. The CAGR growth forecast for unique mobile subscribers is 4.6% for 2018-2025. More smartphones are coming to Africa, not just iPhones.


Here are some smartphone usage statistics across the world. In your opinion, can this rate increase sharply in 2023? Stay tuned for the next articles of Reporta2z!

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