Smartphone Use Expected To Grow, 5.6 Billion By 2019

smartphones growth sales ericsson

Smartphones are becoming a necessity in the developed world and that trend is expected to continue, according to technology company Ericsson. The company’s Monday report states that smartphone sales will see massive growth all the way through 2019, with no sign of slowing down.

If this ends up being correct, there will be 5.6 billion smartphone subscriptions by 2019. Total mobile subscriptions will end up reaching 9.3 billion, compared to the current 6.3 billion.

While the increase in sales will be important, perhaps an even more interesting aspect of Ericsson’s report is how prevalent it expects LTE to be by 2019. According to Ericsson, LTE will be available in most regions and in North America, 85 percent of mobile subscribers will be on an LTE plan.

Ericsson itself has a vested interest in the growth of LTE, since it makes the hardware that powers these networks. Although LTE may be an option in most areas, it will not be as popular in many markets.

With the faster speeds and faster phones, Ericsson predicts that global annual traffic will reach 10 billion gigabytes by 2019.

“The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue…It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark.”

– Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president at Ericsson

The driving force for the uptick in smartphone adoption will be an increase in sales in places such as China and India, which have massive potential customer bases with more than 1 billion citizens in each country.

Smartphones already make up the majority of cellphones sold, but they only account for 25-30 percent of all mobile subscriptions, as basic phones continue to hold on in certain age groups.

The Asia Pacific market currently has the most mobile subscribers (1.3 billion), followed by China (1.2 billion). North America, with 361 million mobile subscribers, was only able to beat out the Middle East by a mere 7 million users.

Although Ericsson did not release a breakdown of its projections in terms of price, it is likely that the Asian markets will see most of their growth in the form of cheaper smartphones.

China is the fastest growing market based upon last quarter’s statistics.

Smartphones are not the only devices expected to become more popular by 2019. There are currently 300 million Mobile PCs and tablets, but that number is expected to grow to 800 million by 2019, nearly triple its current number.