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15 Countries that Have the Largest Number of Smartphone Users in the World

For the past decade, the popularity of the smartphone has grown exponentially, the number of users growing day by day, with some people owning more than one, so we thought to check out the countries that have the largest number of smartphone users.  Increasing smartphone adoption rates is partially driving the stock movements of companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

It is already estimated, as per Statista, that the number of smartphone users in the world in 2017 has reached 2.32 billion, although that estimation may very well be off given how many people choose to buy more than one of these devices, thanks to plans offered by telcos. By comparison, the smartphone usage statistics for 2016 indicate there were “only” about 2.1 billion users last year.

The number of mobile phone users in the world, however, is double that, gearing to surpass 5 billion this year, shows data from the GSMA.

So, which country has the largest number of cell phones? Well, that’s easy, because almost everyone in China has access to a mobile phone, whether smartphone or other, an estimated 1.321 billion out of the 1.37 billion citizens.

In the years to come, smartphone powered by Alphabet’s Android, Apple’s iOS, or Microsoft’s Windows Phone, are only going to become more popular. The numbers are set to only grow from here until most of the population carries a small computer in their pocket. Smartphone sales by country are expected to remain somewhat constant in regards to the nations where most shipments are headed – China, India and the United States leading the chart.

Since we’re talking about popular smartphones, Samsung is one of the main producer of Android-powered smartphones. So, if you’re interested, you might also enjoy reading up about the 25 countries where Samsung Galaxy Smartphones have the largest market share.

But what are the smartphone ownership statistics like? Well, they have a tight connection to the economic stability of the country, the availability of Internet and more. In order to create our list today we took at look at Newzoo’s global mobile market report from April 2017, which is the most recent set of data currently available. What you’ll notice in the report is smartphone ownership by country is tightly linked to the number of citizens. While the smartphone penetration rate may vary from nation to nation, it’s still interesting to see which nation has the most users. That being said, here are the 15 countries that have the largest number of smartphone users.

15. Spain

Smartphones: 30.7 million
Penetration rate: 66.8%

The European country that’s first on our list has over 46 million citizens. Out of the lot, over 66.8% have a smartphone, which makes the country’s penetration rate the 13th largest in the world.



14. South Korea

Smartphones: 36.2 million
Penetration rate: 71.5%

Next up on our list is South Korea, a country that’s known very well for its use of electronics, particularly smartphone. IN fact, out of the 50.7 million citizens of the country, over 36 million have a smartphone, which makes the country’s smartphone penetration rate 71.5%. If you think that’s a lot, you’re right, because it is and it’s definitely the largest on our list. However, you’ll be perhaps surprised to find out that at a global level, South Korea only ranks fourth at smartphone penetration rates, superseded by Switzerland (71.7%), Sweden (72.2%) and United Arab Emirates (80.6%).

 Przemek Klos/

Przemek Klos/

13. Italy

Smartphones: 39.2 million
Penetration rate: 65.8%

Next up on our list of countries that have the largest number of smartphone users we have Italy, a nation with 39.2 million smartphones. Given how Italy has nearly 60 million citizens, this means that some 65.8% of the country’s population owns a smartphone, the 15th largest penetration rate in the world.



12. Turkey

Smartphones: 40 million
Penetration rate: 49.8%

Turkey is up next, with nearly 40 million smartphones. Given how the country is home to just over 80 million people, this means that these magical devices have reached about half the country. This penetration rate, however, only puts Turkey on the 28th place globally.



11. France

Smartphones: 42.4 million
Penetration rate: 65.3%

Another European name on our list of countries that have the largest number of smartphone users is France. Out of the 65 million citizens, over 65.3% have a smartphone. That means there are over 42.4 million smartphones in the hexagon. The penetration rate puts France on the 16th place globally.

Antonio Guillem/

Antonio Guillem/

10. United Kingdom

Smartphones: 44.9 million
Penetration rate: 68.6%

The United Kingdom follows next after its neighbor country with an even larger adoption rate. More specifically, out of the 65.5 million citizens of the United Kingdom, over 68.6% have a smartphone, which means there are close to 45 million such devices in the UK. The numbers put the UK on the tenth place globally in terms of adoption rate.

smartphone apps

d8nn /

9. Mexico

Smartphones: 53 million
Penetration rate: 40.7%

Moving to the other side of the Ocean, we have the next name on our list of countries that have the largest number of smartphone users – Mexico. Out of the 130.2 million citizens that call Mexico home, about 40.7% have a smartphone, which means there are about 53 million devices. The 40.7% penetration rate puts Mexico on the 30th spot at a global level.



8. Indonesia

Smartphones: 54.5 million
Penetration rate: 20.7%

Next up on our list and way across the globe is Indonesia. Here, the research indicates there are over 54.5 million smartphones. However, given how the country’s population is of 263.5 million, the penetration rate is just of 20.7%, or the 46th largest in the world. This is a prime example of how the number of citizens in the country influences the chart.

Ahuli Labutin/

Ahuli Labutin/

7. Germany

Smartphones: 55.5 million
Penetration rate: 68.8%

Next up we have Germany, a nation that’s home to only 80.6 million citizens. Despite this, however, there are over 55.5 million smartphones in the nation, with a smartphone adoption rate of 68.8%, the ninth largest in the world.

Dean Drobot/

Dean Drobot/

6. Japan

Smartphones: 63.09 million
Penetration rate: 50.1%

Up next on our list of countries that have the largest number of smartphone users in the world we have Japan, a nation that’s in love with technology. Due to various reasons, however, Japan’s 126 million citizens only have an estimated 63 million smartphones, which puts the adoption rate at 50.1%, the 27th largest in the world.

Best Selling Smartphones in Japan

Tatree Saengmeeanuphab /

5. Russia

Smartphones: 78.3 million
Penetration rate: 54.7%

With over 78 million smartphones, Russia takes the next spot on our list. Data shows that out of the 143.3 million citizens, over 54.7% have a smartphone, which puts the number of devices at 78.3 million. The smartphone penetration rate in Russia also puts the country on the 25th spot globally.

Max kegfire/

Max kegfire/

4. Brazil

Smartphones: 79.5 million
Penetration rate: 37.7%

With close to 80 million smartphones, Brazil takes up the next spot on our list. Despite the promising number of devices, the adoption rate here is rather low – only 37.7%, as the country’s population reaches 211 million citizens. The penetration rate, however, puts Brazil on the 33rd spot at a global level, which is far less than the country’s potential.

Uber Images/

Uber Images/

3. USA

Smartphones: 226.3 million
Penetration rate: 69.3%

The United States of America was bound to occupy one of the top positions on our list of the countries that have the largest number of smartphone users, especially given its love for all-things technological, particularly smartphones. After all, it’s the place where the three major smartphone OS creators – Google, Apple and Microsoft. The smartphone penetration rate in the United States was calculated at 69.3%, given how there are over 226 million smartphones in a country of 326 million citizens. The adoption rate puts the US on the seventh spot globally.

WAYHOME studio/

WAYHOME studio/

2. India

Smartphones: 300.1 million
Penetration rate: 22.4%

Next up on our list we have the second lowest smartphone penetration rate on our list – 22.4%, with Indonesia being the only nation with a lower number. However, there are still over 300 million smartphones in India, particularly due to the fact that there are 1.3 billion people living here.

Surasak Ch/

Surasak Ch/

1. China

Smartphones: 717.3 million
Penetration rate: 51.7%

Finally, at the top of our list with over 717 million smartphones we have China. The number is extremely large, more than double the previous nation on our list. The smartphone penetration rate, however, is of only 51.7%, the 26th largest. That’s because here too there are close to 1.4 billion people.

One thing’s clear, that when it comes to the number of smartphones in the world, the numbers are only going to grow. Another thing that’s clear when looking at these stats is that things will likely remain in the same order for a good number of years to come because there are only so many people who will be able to get a smartphone. The smartphone penetration rate, however, is obviously going to change quite a bit, so we’ll keep an eye on that. That being said, however, these have been the 15 countries that have the largest number of smartphone users in the world.

Best Selling Smartphones in Japan