The number of smartphones used globally has smashed through the one billion mark for the first time.
It has taken 16 years to hit this benchmark, with the Nokia Communicator, seen as the first modern smartphone, launched in 1996. The one billion mark was hit during the third quarter of 2012, according to research from Strategy Analytics.
The firm said it was the 2007 launch of the Apple iPhone that revolutionised the smartphone market and kickstarted growth. Scott Bicheno, senior analyst, said: 'By the third quarter of 2011, we estimate there were 708 million smartphones in use worldwide. After a further year of soaring demand, the number of smartphones in use worldwide reached 1.038 billion units during the third quarter of 2012.'
According to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, smartphone penetration in the UK is 57.6%, although other global markets are much further behind. Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said: 'We estimate 1 in 7 of the world’s population owned a smartphone in the third quarter of 2012. Smartphone penetration is still relatively low. Most of the world does not yet own a smartphone and there remains huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa. The first billion smartphones in use worldwide took 16 years to reach, but we forecast the next billion to be achieved in less than three years, by 2015.'
Editor: Graeme Neill