2018 will see global smartphone penetration to hit 66%

In 2018, 66% of individuals in an array of 52 key countries, which includes South Africa along with various developed and developing countries across the globe, will own a smartphone. This number is up from 63% in 2017 and 58% in 2016, according to Zenith’s Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017, published on 16 October 2017.

Image result for mobile africa in 2018The report also revealed that the rapid expansion of smartphone ownership across the world, which has transformed the way that advertisers communicate with consumers, is slowing down as penetration reaches 80%-90% in the most advanced markets. The number of smartphone owners will increase by 7% year on year in 2018, compared to 10% growth in 2017, 14% in 2016 and 21% in 2015.

The spread of smartphones and other mobile devices is increasing the number of contacts between brands and consumers, by giving consumers new opportunities to connect to media content wherever they are, at any time in the day. Some of these contacts take the form of paid advertising in third-party content, but mobile technology is also enabling broader brand experiences, such as branded content and social media engagement.

Western Europe and Asia Pacific continue to lead the world in smartphone ownership. The report predicts that five markets will have smartphone penetration above 90% in 2018: the Netherlands (94%), Taiwan (93%), Hong Kong (92%), Norway and Ireland (each at 91%). 11 markets will have penetration levels between 80% and 90%, all of them in Western Europe and Asia Pacific with the exception of Israel, where penetration will be 86%.

The country with the highest number of smartphone users will be China, with 1.3 billion users, followed by India, with 530 million users. The US will be third, with 229 million users.

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