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Smartphone Ownership Is Growing Rapidly Around the World, but Not Always Equally

Smartphone Ownership Is Growing Rapidly Around the World, but Not Always Equally

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In emerging economies, technology use still much more common among young people and the well-educated

SUMMARY

This report finds that smartphone usage is rising around the world; however, rates depend on a nation’s economic state, as well as the age, class, and education of its people.

A larger number of people are connecting digitally with mobile phones. More than 5 billion people have a mobile phone. However, smartphone usage and adoption growth depend on various factors. A nation’s economic development, as well as a person’s education, age, and income, affect smartphone adoption.

Firstly, a country’s economic status helps determine the likelihood of smartphone usage. On average, 76% of advanced economies have smartphones, while 45% in developing nations. Since 2015, the age gap in smartphone ownership has been closing in advanced economies. While in emerging economies, smartphone adoption rates among all age groups are lower than in mature markets. Further, the age gap is widening in most emerging nations. Overall, citizens in mature markets are more likely to own a mobile phone.

Like age, education and income level impact global smartphone ownership. Whether it is an advanced or emerging economy, younger people, the highly-educated and those with higher incomes are more likely to be digitally connected. In the Philippines, people under 35 are 47% more likely to have a smartphone than citizens 50 and older. In Nigeria, only 10% of people without secondary education use social media; in addition, a majority 65% of higher-education Nigerians use the internet in comparison to 12% of Nigerians with less education.

This document makes various global observations about smartphone adoption and usage: i) Digital communities are more common in mature markets than emerging markets; ii) Men and women are equally likely to own a smartphone in most countries; iii) Those that are highly educated, or have higher income, or young are more likely to be digitally connected.                

OUTLINE

Overview

Emerging economies, emerging digital connectivity

The youth in emerging economies are quickly adopting smartphones

Acknowledgements

Methodology

Appendices

DETAILS

Overview

Researchfinder Rating
4 out of 5 stars
Title
Smartphone Ownership Is Growing Rapidly Around the World, but Not Always Equally
Sub-Title
In emerging economies, technology use still much more common among young people and the well-educated
Region
Global
Published
Feb. 5, 2019
Publisher
PEW Research Center
Author(s)
Kyle Taylor, Laura Silver
Price
FREE
Language
ENGLISH

Content

Number of Pages
47
Number of Tables
11
Number of Exhibits
12
Topics
hardware, mobile
Tags
global, hardware, mobile, mobile phone, PEW Research Center, smart phone, smartphone adoption, survey, telecommunication
Author(s)
Kyle Taylor, Laura Silver
Methodology
The findings in this report are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews by D3 Systems, Inc., Kantar Public UK, Kantar Public Korea and Langer Research Associates.
EVALUATION

This report is useful with deep datasets and clear, concise writing for various audiences interested in global mobile network usage.

This report adequately illustrates the global smartphone adoption and usage for enterprises, institutions, and nations. The writing is accessible. The appendices offer specific and detailed data about a country’s social media use, smartphone usage, and income development.

Positives

  • Detailed research
  • Accessible writing
  • Insightful findings

Negatives

  • Solely primary sources

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