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By the end of this year, 25% of the population will use a smartphone. With around 1,76 Billions of smartphone users expected at the end of 2014, the smartphone market represents more than one third of the global mobile market. Emarketer estimates that more than one third of the population will use a smartphone by 2017.

HALF OF THE SMARTPHONE USERS IN APAC

APAC represents half of the smartphone users with 951 million smartphone users expected by the end of the year. However, only four countries in this region have already reached or will reach 50% of smartphone penetration by 2018.

CHINA : THE LARGEST SMARTPHONE MARKET

China is the largest smartphone market in the world with 521.7 million of users, still followed by the US with 163.9 millions of users in 2014. In 2016, India is expected to surpass the US. China will however reach 50% of smartphone penetration only by 2018, whereas the US is expected to achieve the same by the end of this year.

SOUTH KOREA : THE HIGHEST PENETRATION

South Korea is an early bird with 50% of smartphone penetration reached in 2012. That makes the country the world leader in terms of smartphone penetration. Only Australia, Norway and Sweden have reached the same penetration rate in 2013.

SMARTPHONE AND DIGITAL STRATEGY

The development of smartphone will emphasise the importance of internet connections through mobile. That’s why it is important to develop mobile-friendly websites if not apps, which use functionalities of smartphones. More than technical parameters to change, it is important to think usage in general and most importantly the individual users. Needs and requirement are not the same on a mobile than on a computer. Understanding users is key to develop a mobile strategy and integrating it into a global digital strategy.

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