BII REPORT: Here's Where Massive Smartphone Growth Will Come From

smartphones intl

Most of the six billion mobile phones in the world are not smartphones. Over the next several years, most of these handsets will be replaced by smartphones.

The United States is one of the more mature smartphone markets. Most smartphone device growth, therefore, will likely  come from other countries — notably China and Brazil — in the next few years. 

In a recent BI Intelligence report from Henry Blodget, we outline the opportunity for international smartphone growth, detail how smartphone penetration in the U.S. has reached the point where market growth will begin to slow rapidly, and look at the impact all of this will have on the growth rate of the smartphone ecosystem– including gadgets, apps, ads, mobile commerce, and mobile web usage. 

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Here’s a brief rundown of why we are primed for international smartphone growth: 

  • There are many more dumbphones out there than smartphones:  Roughly 20% of the six billion mobile handsets in the world are smartphones. That is nearly five billion handsets that will likely be replaced by smartphones in the next few years.
  • U.S. smartphone penetration has reached over 50%: Nielsen reported that two-thirds of handsets sold in Q2 2012 were smartphones and that the market is now 55% penetrated. 78% of the primary smartphone market, U.S. adults between 18-54, already have smartphones.
  • And the U.S. is only in the middle of the pack: Singapore, Hong Kong, Sweden, and Australia all have at least 79% penetration of the primary smartphone market in their respective countries, topping the U.S. Countries such as the U.K., Denmark and Norway are not far behind.
  • So, where will the growth come from? Brazil has less than 20% penetration, while China is only 33% penetrated. Those are the most significant growth areas. Spain, Italy, and France — all clocking in below 40% penetration — are smaller opportunities as well. 

What are the implications of all of this? Sign up for a free trial of BI Intelligence to access the full report and find out.    In full, the report:

  • Details how the U.S. smartphone market is more than halfway penetrated
  • Explains the typical “diffusion” curve for new technologies, and explains how this will impact U.S. smartphone growth going forward
  • Explores the demographics of current and future smartphone users
  • analyses the implications of slower user growth and different demographics in the U.S. smartphone market on the the entire smartphone ecosystem, including app sales, advertising sales, game sales, web-usage, and commerce
  • Looks at what stage the global smartphone revolution is in and assesses global smartphone growth potential 


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