Half the world now owns a smartphone

According to new research from Strategy Analytics, half the world’s entire population now owns a smartphone as of June 2021. Some 4 billion people use a smartphone today. It has taken 27 years, aided greatly by the release of Apple’s revolutionary iPhone, followed by a slew of Android knockoffs, to reach this historic milestone.

Half the world now owns a smartphone
Half the world now owns a smartphone (source: Strategy Analytics)

Yiwen Wu, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement, “We estimate the global smartphone user base has risen dramatically from just 30k people in 1994 to 1.00 billion in 2012, and a record 3.95 billion today in June 2021. With an estimated 7.90 billion people in total on the planet in June 2021, it means 50% of the whole world now owns a smartphone. It has taken 27 years to reach this historic milestone.”

Linda Sui, Senior Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The world’s first modern smartphone, IBM Simon, was launched commercially in the United States way back in 1994. This was followed by other famous models, such as the Nokia 9110 Communicator in 1998 and Ericsson R380 for Europe in 2000. Apple iPhone popularized the smartphone in 2007…”

Apple's revolutionary iPhone
Apple’s revolutionary iPhone (2007)

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Half of humanity now owns a smartphone. The smartphone is the most successful computer of all time. Smartphones today are used by 4 billion people worldwide, from urban California to suburban China and rural Africa. Consumers and workers love the convenience, utility, and safety of having a connected computer in their pocket. Smartphones have become an essential daily tool. We predict 5 billion people will be using smartphones worldwide by 2030.”

The full report, “Half the World Owns a Smartphone,” is published by Strategy Analytics, details of which can be found here.

MacDailyNews Note: Here’s the IBM Simon Personal Communicator:

IBM Simon Personal Communicator
IBM Simon Personal Communicator


  1. Also remember my first smartphone purchase June 29, 2007 and customer loyalty for iPhone brand ever since.

    Check the fever chart trend line and you will see the amazing uptick in numbers from 2007 on due to Apple and all the me too copycats…

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