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Third of world population will use a smartphone by 2017

New research has predicted that over a third of the world’s population will own and use a smartphone by the end of 2017.

The data, from research analyst company eMarketer, show that smartphone penetration worldwide will be at 34 per cent within four years.

Worldwide 19.8 per cent of the population are already smartphone users, equating to around 1.4 billion active smartphones in use around the world. That figure is predicted to nearly double, reaching 2.51 billion or 34 per cent by 2017.

In the UK alone, 48.4 per cent of the total population or 30.9 million people are already using smartphone, but by next year every other person living in the British Isles will be using one as the percentage rises to 53.4.

As with the majority of countries, Android accounts for the largest market share in the UK with 15 million active users in 2013. iOS takes the second largest share with 8.7 million users, with Windows Mobile and BlackBerry both seeing a decreased user base dropping 4 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

For the US, Android also takes the largest portion of the smartphone market with 45.9 per cent of users. Apple isn’t far behind though with 38.3 per cent. BlackBerry only accounts of 9.5 per cent of users in America, and Windows Mobile devices are at just 5 per cent.

There will be 140 million smartphone users in the US by the end of this year, showing a growth of 15.3 per cent from last year. As with the UK, American smartphone usage will see over half the population using one by the end of next year.

All the eMarketer data is calculated based on the number of individuals of any age who own at least one smartphone and use that device at least once per month.

Next, read our pick of the best mobile phones of 2013.