Top 10 Countries by Smartphone Usage and Penetration in 2021 [INFOGRAPHIC]

The growth of smartphones

Since smartphones first came onto the market, there has been exponential growth. Today's smartphone came from years of development, with the earliest prototypes issued in the 1990s. Defined as a device that combines a mobile phone with computing technology, the first smartphones came in the form of PDAs (personal digital assistants).

As technology advances, there are more and more features added to smartphone software and hardware—not just making voice calls and sending SMS!

For example, there are now multiple camera lenses on a device to easily take selfies, panoramas, macro shots and slow-motion footage. There are also thousands of applications with a multitude of uses available in the palm of your hand.

Related article: 60 must-know SMS & Mobile statistics in 2021


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How has global smartphone usage changed since 2016?

The number of smartphone users has soared from 2.5 billion to 3.8 billion worldwide—that's a 35% increase in just five years!

Globally, smartphone users increased by 1.3 billion between 2016 and 2021. On average, that portrays 10% growth year on year. Forecasts predict a steady increase in smartphone usage over the next five years.

What are the most popular smartphone brands in the world?

Considering the excessive growth in smartphone usage from 2016 to 2021, the top four smartphone brands in 2016 remained the top-ranked for monthly active users five years later according to Newzoo.

1. 25.8% - Samsung1. 34.8% - Apple
2. 21.5% - Apple2. 23.3% - Samsung
3. 12.4% - Xiaomi3. 5.4% - Huawei
4. 11.5% - Huawei4. 3.7% - Xiaomi
5. 9.6% - Vivo5. 2.7% - Lenovo

Smartphone users by country

Smartphone penetration per country has diversified greatly over the past five years. The following countries hold the highest percentage of smartphone users in their population this year:

  1. 81.57% - USA
  2. 78.93% - UK
  3. 78.86% - UAE
  4. 77.87% - Germany
  5. 77.61% - France
  6. 76.46% - South Korea
  7. 75.95% - Italy
  8. 73.79% - Spain
  9. 72.86% - Canada
  10. 72.28% - Sweden

Related article: Mobile and SMS marketing strategies dominate, here’s why

INFOGRAPHIC: the latest global smartphone usage

SMSGlobal created this infographic with data collected from multiple sources. Collating the latest information from BankMyCell, Statista, eMarketer and Newzoo, this infographic demonstrates the steady growth of smartphone usage across the globe.

Related article: Why Customer Experience (CX) is Vital to your Marketing Strategy in 2020


  1. UN World Population Prospects, 2019
  2. WorldoMeter, 2021
  3. Statista, 2021
  4. Statista, 2021
  5. Statista, 2020
  6. eMarketer, 2021
  7. Newzoo, 2016
  8. Newzoo, 2021
  9. BankMyCell, 2021