Number of Smartphones and Tablets to Touch 2 Billion in 2014 Led By Growth in India and China: Report

Mobile analytics firm Flurry has just released a report in which it states that it expects the number of active smartphones and tablets to double from the present one billion and reach two billion in 2014.

This explosive growth is expected to be fueled by the increase in adoption of connected devices in China and India.

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While comparing the growth between installed base and population in five countries, Flurry says there is potential for future growth.

The report first compared China and the US, and even though the two countries currently have a similarly sized connected device installed base, China has more than four times as many people.

China installed base grew by 149% April of 2012 and April of 2013, mainly because of its large untapped population with its rapidly growing incomes ( 8-10% a year between 2009 and 2011, according to the World Bank). If the growth continues on this path, the numbers would add up quickly.

The report compared Malaysia to China, since it has a large Chinese population and per capita incomes could be similar in the future and came to the conclusion that 210,507,168 additional connected devices would be added to China’s installed base.

When Canada and India were compared, since they have a similarly sized installed bases of smartphones and tablets and taking into consudiration the fact that India’s population is 36 times as big as Canada’s, the report says India would add 197,561,626 additional devices to the worldwide installed base. India’s connected device installed base grew by 160% in the past year.

This means that number of connected devices will increase by more than 400 million (or about 40%) when the rate of penetration in India reaches the current rate of penetration in China, and the rate of penetration in China reaches the current rate of penetration in Malaysia.

Situation across the world

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Even though the growth in China and India was large, it was not in the list of top countries.

The number of active connected devices in countries in green in the map grew at 200% or more in the year to April 2013. These include Sri Lanka, Turkey and Pakistan.

Those shown in the darker green had growth of 300% or more and include Chad, Iraq, Myanmar and others.

Use of smartphones and tablets grew in every country in the world last year except for three, The Central African Republic, Niger, and South Korea. South Korea, one of the earliest adopters of mobile technology, is now saturated.

Even though the countries in orange (mainly the English speaking countries, Western European countries, and the most connected parts of Asia), saw growth rates of up to 99%, it was mainly because of people adopting tablets as second devices.

The countries in yellow and green all saw their mobile installed bases more than double during April 2012 and April 2013.

The mobile markets of all BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) grew by between 100 and 199%.

Most of South America and parts of Africa also grew between 100 and 199%.

Implications for the Mobile Ecosystem

According to Flurry, the rapid growth in the connected device installed base is coming predominantly from countries that have a lot of headroom for growth because their current rate of penetration is relatively low.

In a push to reach two billion devices, Flurry expects more of a focus on lower-cost devices that are also possibly more robust.

The company also expect to see greater diversity of apps and app developers as apps are developed to meet the needs of increasingly diverse device users.

They also expect mobiles to play a large role in commerce in growing economies, facilitating medical care in remote areas, and ensuring that people have access to the best educational resources.

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