Do you know anyone who still doesn't own a smartphone? A recent Ericsson Mobility Report found that just 25 to 30 percent of the world's mobile subscriptions are for smartphones, but this number is expected to grow to more than 60 percent by 2019. Ericsson's Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy, Douglas Gilstrap, noted the trend will be driven by uptake in China and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available.
The study also estimates that overall mobile subscriptions will grow to 9.3 billion by 2019. Plus 65 percent of the world's population are expected to be covered by 4G/LTE networks by 2019. Smartphone traffic is expected to grow to 10 exabytes (or 10 billion gigabytes) by that same year, and more than 50 percent of that data is expected to be video content. Social networking and Web services will each take up 10 percent of mobile traffic.
This is good news for smartphone makers and carriers, who continue to provide a slew of low-cost smartphone options the world over. Apple's latest low-cost offering the iPhone 5c targets the budget-conscious demographic with its $99 price tag (compared to its more expensive brothers that start at $199) with a two-year subscription. Samsung already has affordable offerings in its multi-faceted Galaxy lineup, including the Galaxy Exhibit at just $19 with a two-year plan.