Over 90 Percent Of The World's Population Doesn't Have A Smartphone (Yet)

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 14 2011 3:58 PM

Over 90 Percent Of The World's Population Doesn't Have A Smartphone (Yet)

I think that one of the least-understood facts about the competition between Apple's iOS ecosystem, Google's Android, and Microsoft's effort to re-launching Windows as a mobile platform is that worldwide smartphone penetration is still less than ten percent. Even in rich countries like the US, Canada, and Sweden less than half the population owns a smartphone. In Germany, it's below 25 percent.

I think that if you look at the situation realistically, the competition isn't between the major smartphone platforms it's between smartphones and non-use of smartphones. There's huge room for growth for any platform capable of delivering a decent product and the main issue isn't the Andoid-vs-iPhone sniping but supply bottlenecks of touchscreens and (especially) bandwidth. Apple couldn't build a billion iPhones (nor could Samsung build a billion Galaxy Nexuses) even if people wanted them, and even if they somehow built them all the mobile networks would crash if people tried to use them.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.