Mobile internet – new large smartphone markets emerge in the digital era
By 2025, mobile internet penetration will reach 61% of the global population and 86% of unique subscribers. Most of the 1.75 billion increase in the number of mobile internet users between 2017 and 2025 will come from China (around 350 million new users), India (330 million) and Sub-Saharan Africa (280 million). Key drivers of growth include increasing population coverage of 3G and 4G networks, more affordable smartphones and data tariffs, and an increasing willingness among users to consume social media and a range of services and content online.
Smartphone adoption will grow by 20 percentage points globally between 2017 and 2025; by then, three in four mobile connections will operate on smartphones, with the rest on basic/feature phones and data-only devices (e.g. cellular tablets, dongles, and MiFi routers/hotspots). Smartphones will become the leading handset type in all individual regions by 2020 and almost all individual countries globally by 2025.
While most developed countries are already highly penetrated, new large mobile internet markets are emerging in the developing world. China overtook the US to become the largest smartphone market by installed base in 2012; four years later, India also overtook the US. Indonesia and Brazil are growing fast too; the number of smartphone connections in Indonesia is approaching that of the US. By 2025, there will be more than 10 markets in the world with over 100 million smartphone connections. These represent major addressable markets for e-commerce, fintech and a range of digitally delivered services and content.
Smartphones as a percentage of total mobile connections excluding cellular IoT