For the first time ever, in 2013 smartphones outsold feature phones, and the dean of Silicon Valley tech investing, Marc Andreessen, says that within three years you simply won’t be able to buy a non-smartphone. But what proportion of phones in use right now are smartphones?
Less than half, is the answer, and it will be that way for at least 2-3 more years. In November 2013, Ericsson, the venerable Swedish maker of the infrastructure that supports cell phone networks, released a report suggesting we won’t exceed 3.5 billion smartphone subscriptions until 2016. The total number of mobile subscriptions, however, will exceed 7 billion by 2014, according to the International Telecommunications Union.
Meanwhile, the total number of mobile phone numbers will also be growing, and will exceed the number of people on earth thanks to countries like India, where many people have more than one phone to take advantage of price variations in different places.