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Smartphone subscriptions to top 3.3 billion handsets by 2018

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Smartphone subscriptions are to top 3.3 billion by 2018 with close to half of the world’s population to have access to a smartphone device within the next five years, latest figures have suggested.

Arguably the most rapidly advancing section of the tech industry, smartphones have risen to prominence in recent years with devices such as the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 helping propel the advanced handsets into the fore, becoming the all-round gadget of choice for many consumers.

Assessing the upcoming trends for the mobile market, new figures compiled by the Ericsson ConsumerLab have suggested that smartphone subscriptions will continue to rise as consumers turn their backs on feature phones, topping the 3 billion subscriptions mark within the next five years.

"Our global research program is based on annual interviews with over 100,000 individuals in more than 40 countries and 15 megacities,” Michael Bjorn, Head of Research at the Ericsson ConsumerLab said. “Over the years we have amassed a huge database of consumer trend data - and we see that the pace of change is currently more rapid than ever."

Hinting at the more widespread effects that the rise in smartphone adoption will cause, the new ConsumerLab report has suggested that mobile internet will become a primary means of accessing the web for many.

“By relentlessly accessing the internet always and everywhere, consumers are now an unstoppable force making internet truly mobile,” an official Ericsson ConsumerLab spokesperson said. “Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 3.3 billion by 2018 and mobile network coverage is one of the most important drivers of satisfaction for city life.”

The report went on to add that one effect of this increased mobile internet usage is the rise in on-the-move work, with 57 per cent of smartphone users already utilising their handsets for business means, a figure that is expected to continue to rise.

“A total of 57 per cent of smartphone users use their personal smartphone subscriptions at work. Personal smartphones are increasingly being used for work, to send emails, plan business trips, find locations and more.”

Have you already made the jump from feature phone to smartphone? Do you know anyone still using a feature phone? Let us know via the Trusted Reviews Twitter and Facebook feeds or through the comment boxes below.

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