According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, there will be an estimated 6.1 billion smartphone users in the world by 2020, up from the current 2.6 billion subscriptions. This growth is largely due to the rise of smartphone sales in developing markets, with smartphones expected to pass landlines in the next five years.
Overall, there are now 7.1 billion mobile subscriptions in the world, and this is growing at a rate of nearly 5% per year. This includes basic phones and smartphones. Ericsson predicts that 70% of the world’s population will have a smartphone by 2020, and 80% of mobile data traffic will come from smartphones.
The report showed a 55% growth in data traffic compared to a year ago, with relatively stagnant growth in voice traffic since 2010. 10% of data users represent 55% of the data used today. The Asia Pacific region will represent 45% of total smartphone traffic in 2020.
By the end of 2020, Ericsson predicts a significant growth in video-based mobile traffic, increasing at a rate of 55% a year for a six-year period. Video traffic increases dramatically with data usage, with heavy data users watching an average of one hour of video per day via their mobile devices. This is 20 times more than an average data user.
All of the predictions and reports from this Mobility Report fall in line with one released earlier this year. At that time, Ericsson predicted 90% of the world’s population over the age of six would own a mobile phone by 2020.