|New research has found that by the end of 2013, approximately one in five people throughout the whole world will have a smartphone. The research carried out by BI Intelligence, which is the research service for Business Insider, came up with this startling figure through calculations which took into account the number of active devices throughout the world and the world’s population. In this way, researchers could come up with a percentage, which it calls a ‘per-capita annual penetration rate’.


The study found that 22 per cent of the global population will own a smartphone by the end of this year, whilst 6 per cent will own a tablet device. A further 20 per cent will own a personal computer (PC). Looking at the growth in the smartphone market, researchers found that there has been a significant leap in the number of global smartphone owners in just four years. In 2009, just 5 per cent of the global population had one, but this has leapt to 22 per cent in 2013 – the equivalent of 1.4 billion devices in the space of just four years. BI Intelligence has worked out that by the end of 2013, there will be two smartphones per every nine people on the planet.

Adoption rates for tablet devices, however, seem to be growing even faster than smartphones. It took four years for smartphones to reach 6 per cent penetration, but BI’s researchers have noted that tablets have achieved this in just two years. Despite being pricier than some of the costliest high-end mobile phone deals with EE, for example, tablets continue to rocket in popularity.

It is important to note, however, that the new figures should only be seen as a rough guide to actual ownership figures of smartphones and tablets across the globe. This is because many people have more than one smartphone, whilst others share smartphones and tablets in families thanks to shared mobile phone contracts on EE and other networks.