Global Smartphone Marketplace Flattens, And With It, Internet Penetration Stalls At 50%


Call it the calm before the 5G storm. Or if you’re a skeptic, the maturation of the global smartphone marketplace. Either way you look at it, there was zero growth in 2017, according to an annual update of the highly regarded “Internet Trends” report from Kleiner Perkins digital media analyst Mary Meeker, and new estimates from IDC project the same for 2018.

Any way you look at it, the global marketplace for smartphone penetrate is flattening out, and with it, the growth of the Internet users. According to Meeker’s update, worldwide Internet penetration will stabilized around 49% this year, or 3.6 billion users.

While that user base will remain stable, she says growth beyond 50% will be harder to come by.

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