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Global Digital Users Update 2018

Affordable Prices Drive Smartphone Adoption in Developing Markets

About This Report
Internet users are making the jump to smartphone usage, encouraged by falling prices for handsets. Between 2018 and 2022, the share of worldwide internet users with a smartphone will rise from 74.0% to 80.2%.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • How many global internet users are using mobile phones to go online? Among the 3.75 billion internet users worldwide in 2019, 86.2% will use a mobile phone to go online. Desktops and laptops are still widely used by internet users. However, individuals signing online for the first time are opting for smartphones as their first internet-ready device, due to their lower cost. Nearly nine in 10 mobile phone internet users will rely on a smartphone for online access.
  • Which markets and regions are gaining the most internet users? On a regional level, internet audiences in 2019 will grow fastest in Asia-Pacific (5.8%) and the Middle East and Africa (5.3%). Among individual countries, China (5.0%), India (9.1%) and Indonesia (9.4%) are growing at rapid rates in 2019. Improving mobile broadband coverage and an influx of affordable smartphones from manufacturers like Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi will drive these increases.


Corey McNair


Jaimie Chung
Associate Product Manager
Eric Haggstrom
Forecasting Analyst
Cindy Liu
Senior Forecasting Analyst
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