World Facts

Countries By Smartphone Penetration

The United Kingdom has the highest ratio of cellphone use in the world.

Over the last few decades, technology has brought the world together both socially and economically. In fact, technology has become the foundation of progress. Because of its increasing importance, people all over the globe have also increased their use of technology in order to keep up with the changing times. This is particularly true in countries with developing and emerging markets, where technology use is defined by the number of people who use either the internet or a smartphone. In other words, technology users in these countries are catching up to countries with more developed economies.

Smartphone Use

Over the past few years, smartphone use has really increased across the world. Some of the biggest jumps in usage and ownership are documented in emerging economies like Brazil, Malaysia, and China. In developed countries, as much as 84% of any given population has access to a smartphone.

As the economies continue to grow in developing and emerging countries, smartphone ownership is expected to grow as well. This is also true of individuals with higher incomes and educational levels. Additionally, people between 18 and 34 years of age are more likely to own a smartphone than older individuals. This is true across all economies and this is the group expected to increase its smartphone ownership at the fastest rate. Below is a list of countries by smartphone penetration according to data collected by Newzoo

Countries By Smartphone Ownership

United Kingdom

At 82.2%, the United Kingdom has the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world. It has been estimated that there are more cell phones than there are people in the UK. There are a large number of telecommunication companies running in the UK, which gives consumers a choice of carrier providers. 

The Netherlands

The second highest smartphone ownership can be found in Australia, where 79.3% of the population reports owning a smartphone device. Smartphone use is particularly popular amongst the younger generation in the Netherlands. Many people who own cell phones take advantage of the free wifi that is available all over the country. 


The Scandinavian country of Sweden has the world's third largest number of smartphone users, with 78.8% of the country's total population owning a smartphone. Since 2011, the number of people who own smartphones in Sweden has grown consistently and shows no sign of slowing down. 

The chart published below displays a more complete list of countries by rates of smartphone ownership.

Countries By Smartphone Penetration

Rank´╗┐CountryPopulation of Smartphone Users (%)
1United Kingdom82.2
5United States77
11South Korea67.6
23Saudi Arabia46

About the Author

Amber is a freelance writer, English as a foreign language teacher, and Spanish-English translator. She lives with her husband and 3 cats.


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