Study explores how smartphone ownership trends vary globally


“Today, it is estimated that more than 5 billion people have mobile devices, and over half of these connections are smartphones,” explains the latest study from the US-based Pew Research Center.

It proceeds to explore some of the differences between countries: fertile material for anyone in the music industry thinking about smartphone habits around the world. “For example, a median of 76% across 18 advanced economies surveyed have smartphones, compared with a median of only 45% in emerging economies,” reported Pew.

“In emerging economies, too, smartphone ownership rates vary substantially, from highs of 60% in South Africa and Brazil to just around four-in-ten in Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria. Among the surveyed countries, ownership is lowest in India, where only 24% report having a smartphone.”

It also has some interesting stuff on how the ‘age gap’ in smartphone ownership is particularly notable in emerging economies: “In the Philippines, for example, those 34 and under are 47 percentage points more likely to have a smartphone today than those ages 50 and older – compared with a gap of only 23 percentage points in 2015.”

Stuart Dredge

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