5.6bn smartphone subscriptions predicted worldwide by 2019

11 Nov 2013

Global mobile phone subscriptions will reach 9.3bn by 2019, out of which 5.6bn will be smartphones. By that stage, 90pc of the world’s population will have cellular coverage, and 65pc will have 4G, according to the latest Ericsson Mobility report.

Currently, smartphones represent 25pc to 30pc of all mobile phone subscriptions, yet they account for the majority (55pc) of mobile phones sold in Q3 this year.

“The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue,” said Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice-president and head of Strategy at Ericsson.

“It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2bn mark. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple.

“Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in China and other emerging markets, as lower-priced smartphone models become available,” Gilstrap said.

Smartphone traffic will grow by 10 times between 2013 and 2019, reaching 10 exabytes.

Video is growing 55pc annually, and will represent more than 50pc of the mobile data traffic, while social-networking and web services will account for around 10pc each in 2019.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years