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6-year-olds with smartphones? That's what Ericsson predicts

Yes, you read that right. What's more, the mobile network provider predicts that units will exceed 6.1 billion by 2020.

Proliferation of mobile technology continues at a rapid pace. The latest edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report, a comprehensive update on mobile trends, reveals that:

  • 800 million new smartphone subscriptions in 2014 brings the current total to 2.7 billion worldwide;
  • by 2020, 90 percent of the world‘s population over 6 years old will have a mobile phone, and smartphone subscriptions are expected to top 6.1 billion;
  • India and China show fastest growth for new mobile subscriptions with 18 million and 12 million net additions, respectively, in Q3 2014.

According to Rima Qureshi, senior vice president, chief strategy officer and head of mergers and acquisitions at Ericsson:

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. The Ericsson Mobility Report shows that in 2020 the world will be connected like never before.

In Q3 of 2014, 65–70 percent of all phones sold were smartphones, compared with 55 percent in the same quarter for 2013.

Still, the report finds plenty of room for growth in the sector. Smartphones currently account for just 37 percent of all mobile phone subscriptions, meaning that many users have yet to make the switch.

The report predicts a strong uptake in the coming years as the number rises from 2.7 billion smartphone subscriptions today to the forecasted 6.1 billion in 2020.

View the full Ericsson Mobility Report