There's More To The Global Smartphone Story Than Penetration Rates

There’s a great variety of data floating around on global smartphone penetration rates. We’ve often referenced Flurry’s data, but it’s based on active iOS and Android devices in key markets. The chart below provides a look at per-capita penetration rates (smartphones per 100 inhabitants) for all types of smartphones, with countries ordered from highest to lowest penetration rate. It shows the rate side-by-side with numbers on total smartphones in each country. 

Even if the data’s from year-end 2011, the chart’s useful for revealing how large smartphone markets already are in countries with low penetration rates. By the end of 2011, China already had 82 million smartphones (it now has in excess of 100 million), India 37 million, and Brazil 28 million. The UK, meanwhile, had a high penetration rate, but fewer smartphones than the BRIC nations– 25 million. Penetration rates tell part of the story. But absolute numbers are key when assessing opportunities abroad.

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