Smartphone ownership to reach 67% by end of 2018

Apple's iPhone 6s

Apple’s iPhone 6s

Smartphone ownership will reach 66.5% and tablet ownership 19.8% in the world’s top 47 digital countries by the end of 2018, according to ZenithOptimedia.

The media agency’s New Media Forecasts report claims that smartphone penetration was 49.5% last year and will reach 55.7% this year, while tablet penetration has climbed from just 5.3% in 2012 to 14.8% in 2014.

“The rapid spread of mobile technology is transforming media consumption and marketing communication across the world,” said Jonathan Barnard, ZenithOptimedia’s head of forecasting.

“For more and more people, their smartphone or tablet is the first place they look for information or entertainment. Marketers need a mobile-first approach to communicate with these people effectively.”

The study said that growth of global internet users is slowing down, though the top 47 markets will contain 1.9 billion internet users at the end of 2015 or some 60% of the world’s internet users.

“The annual rate of growth has fallen from 7.9% in 2011, when there were 1.5 billion internet users in these markets, and we expect it to drop to 2.5% in 2018, when there will be 2.0 billion users,” said ZenithOptimedia.

The top market for internet penetration is South Korea where access is “universal” and has been since 2011, according to the report.

The 47 countries covered in the forecast are: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malaysia, Moldova, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, USA and Venezuela.