What Apple hath wrought: Over 2 billion smartphones will be in use in 2016

“The popularity of smartphones will continue to stair-step until they account for the majority of mobile phones worldwide in 2018, according to a new report from research firm eMarketer,” Don Reisinger reports for CNET.

“In 2016, 2.16 billion smartphones will be in use worldwide, marking the first time the devices have crossed the 2 billion milestone,” Reisinger reports. “By contrast, 1.3 billion smartphones were in use last year and 1.6 billion this year.”

“Perhaps more significantly, by the end of 2018, 51.7 percent of all mobile phones in use will be smartphones. That will be the first year that smartphones outpace phones sans operating systems.,” Reisinger reports. “That smartphones will officially overtake their more-basic counterparts is no small feat. For years, feature phones have been the most popular because of their affordability. Consumers in emerging markets around the world have also found it difficult to connect to the Internet, making a smartphone, which includes a Web browser, e-mail access and apps, an impractical expense. According to eMarketer, however, the scene is changing.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s what cellphones looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:
cellphones before and after Apple iPhone

Related article:
Is Apple building ‘The Device?’ – December 10, 2002


  1. When I got my iPhone in 2007 I ran around showing it off, telling everyone that a day will soon come that we all have internet-connected computers in our pockets. I knew it wouldn’t be Apple that sold all those phones because it would require them to make junk; I figured it’d be Microsoft that stepped in and provided some haphazard mobile software for all those crappy box assemblers. But I knew that in the end those ungrateful bastards would have Apple to thank.

  2. The trouble is, Apple sells Smartphones.

    Microsoft sells Smartphones.

    BlackBerry sells smartphones.

    Android phone makers sell one third Smartphones, one third not very Smartphones at all and one third no way in hell Smartphones.

    1. Indeed, I have to say that I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of his articles. Thing is that over the last while, well they just haven’t had the ooomph I have come to expect from him, and I along with a lot of regular MDN have commented on it.

      I think at times it is important to put things in perspective, so I’d like to say in my opinion that overall Steve Jack has been great and has the pulse on Apple.

  3. It appears that the author is attempting to craft a definition of “smart phone”. The second sentence of the third paragraph quoted above sets a pretty low standard, if that becomes the definition of a smart phone.

  4. SteveJack pretty much got it right and to do that in 2002 that was amazing.
    I got my first iPod in around 2003 (3G version). After a few years I was ready for an upgrade. But then we heard roumors of a new iPod without a click wheel and flash RAM. I kept waiting for this baby to finally arrive but it only did and in the form of the iPhone.
    I waited until the 3G came out with faster processor and the App store.That would have been around 2009.
    So kudos to SteveJack for calling it.

  5. But it will be Apple who will take the brunt of ridicule for not being able to hold the smartphone market for itself as it gave away nearly all of its market share to Android in less than a couple of years. Apple will be claimed to have been beaten by Google and how iOS became a failed platform.

    I’m certain it will forever be asserted that the mobile platform having the most market share will always be the victor. Google is going to make sure the lowest form factor of smartphone, Android One will make Apple look really pathetic as $100 smartphones gobble up market share in the poorest nations on planet.

    I still find it quite amazing how Wall Street continues to complain how Apple isn’t selling enough iPhones. How can numbers in the hundreds of millions not be enough for any one company selling a high end device? I remember when it was a big deal when McDonalds used to have a sign saying how many millions of hamburgers were sold and it was considered successful. An iPhone is far, far more expensive than any hamburger but you’ve got people saying Apple is not successful for selling hundreds of millions of iPhones. I agree that compared to the stars in our Milky Way Galaxy the number isn’t that high but still… there must be some way to put iPhone sales in a proper perspective of being pretty incredible.

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