China, emerging markets drives worldwide smartphone adoption

Smartphones in emerging markets are expected to increase, from an affordability perspective, from 35% in 2013 to 83% by 2017. Data from investment bank Credit Suisse, publisher of the larger report, expects this level of penetration would imply smartphone subscribers of 4.1 billion by 2017.

The 4.1 billion smartphone subscribers by 2017 would represent: 52% of the global mobile subscriber base, 57% of the global population; and 86% of overall handsets shipped.

Global smartphone penetration still low at 35%
Effective smartphone penetration (based on affordability) over time
Smartphone worldwide penetration rates

Source: Company reports, Credit Suisse estimates


Emerging markets to reach 80% of smartphones
Asia remains the largest market in terms of potential growth, with China leading the way well into 2017, and beyond.

Credit Suisse’s global hardware team raised their smartphone unit estimates because of a faster adoption pace of lower-cost Android smartphones in China and emerging markets. (OEM Exclusive: Request list of EMS/ODM providers anywhere in China or the greater Asia region)

The bank’s smartphone estimates were revised up sharply last January (2013) to account for what the bank saw was a significant volume ramp up at the Asian semiconductor chipset vendors. As the bank sees shipment momentum increasing into other emerging markets outside China, Credit Suisse is now getting lifted its forecasts again.
Smartphone emerging markets saturation

Source: Company reports, Credit Suisse estimates

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