Ericsson Mobility Report Notes Smartphone Adoption Will Increase Two-Fold By 2020

By 2020, around 90 percent of the world's population over 6 years old will own a mobile phone. Furthermore, smartphone adoption is expected to double up in the same period, with smartphone subscriptions on pace to top 6.1 billion by 2020, according to the latest Mobility Report by Ericsson, a Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services.

Mobile phone growth is especially accelerated in India and China, two territories boasting 18 million and 12 million net additions, respectively, in the third quarter of 2013. But regardless of location, factors such as falling prices are driving mobile phones into the hands of more people.

Image Source: Flickr (Maurizio Pesce)

"The falling cost of handsets, coupled with improved usability and increasing network coverage, are factors that are making mobile technology a global phenomenon that will soon be available to the vast majority of the world's population, regardless of age or location," said Rima Qureshi, Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Office and Head of M&A, Ericsson. "The Eircsson Mobility Report shows that in 2020 the world will be connected like never before."

At present, smartphones still only account for 37 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions, which means there's plenty of room for growth. This is despite the increased rate of sales -- Ericsson expects to count 800 million new smartphone subscriptions by the end of the year.

Are the wireless networks ready to handle the increased load? According to Ericsson, video dominates the mobile networks -- in 4G areas, streaming video comprises 45-55 percent of mobile traffic. In turn, devices are evolving to handle video tasks, with larger displays, higher quality panels, and faster components.