39 Mobile Phone Usage Statistics (2023)

Mobile phones have become an essential part of life today, allowing us to communicate with one another, entertain each other, and inform ourselves. 

This article presents 39 statistics that reveal how people use their mobile phones and how phones affect our lives now and in the years ahead.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobile phone ownership will continue to grow by 3% for the year ahead
  • 2 of 3 mobile phone users show signs of addiction

General Mobile Phone Usage Statistics

Smartphone Numbers

6.6 Billion Smartphones

There are almost as many smartphones on the planet as there are people! Driven, in large part, by improving infrastructure and the rise of mobile apps and services, smartphones have become an essential tool in the daily life of average citizens everywhere.

~3% Growth Forecasted for the Year Ahead

Smartphone user numbers should continue to rise this year with current forecasts expecting there to be a 3% global increase. This would place smartphone user numbers at around 6.8 billion by the end of 2023. Beyond 2023, current trend data suggests that there will be roughly 7 billion users by the end of 2024 and 7.5 billion by the end of 2026.

11% of Countries Will Enjoy Cheaper Smartphones Next Year

The average selling price of a smartphone is projected to decrease by 5% to $282 in 11% of countries worldwide. This is mostly going to be driven by demand for low-cost phones in developing markets that have recently improved their national infrastructure.  

Smartphones vs Feature Phones

80% of Handsets Are Smartphones

In less than a decade, smartphones have gone from being owned by a very small number of people to almost total domination of the mobile phone market. Today, four out of every five handsets are smartphones.

Frequency Of Use

We Check Our Mobiles 58 Times a Day

It may be higher or lower where you live, but the global average for the number of times that the typical person checks their phone in a day is 58. If we average those checks out across the entire time that a typical person is awake for, we get a phone check every 16.5 minutes.

Early Morning & Evenings Most Popular Time

Mobile phones are most frequently used in the early morning between 7 AM and 10 AM, and then again after work hours between 6 PM and 12 AM. 

This data isn’t particularly surprising as the quieter period marks the typical citizen’s average working hours. What may surprise you is how late into the night the second peak goes. 

69% of Mobile Phone Checks Last Less Than 2 Minutes

Checking your mobile phone for notifications and alerts can quickly become a habit and the latest data seems to support this. Half of mobile phone “sessions” begin within 3 minutes of ending a “session,” and around two-thirds (69%) of phone checks last for less than 2 minutes.

We Check Our Phones Within 5 Minutes of Waking Up

Although most of us know that checking our phones immediately after waking up isn’t good for our sleep health and isn’t conducive to a positive start to the day, 69% of us (this writer included) check our phones within 5 minutes of waking up. Even worse is that 87% of us admit to checking our phones within 1 hour of going to sleep.

Mobile Phone Demographic Statistics

Mobile Phone Usage by Gender

Men & Women Just As Likely to Own a Phone

When we look at global statistics, men and women are almost identically as likely to own a mobile phone; however, there are some notable exceptions. For example, in countries such as Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, a woman is far less likely to have a mobile phone than a man.

Mobile Phone Usage by Age/Generation

A Third of Pensioners Don’t Own a Smartphone

92% of the U.S. over 65 age group report that they now own a mobile device. However, highlighting the divide in generations is the statistic that only 61% of those over 65s own a smartphone. 30% of this age group are using older, non-internet capable devices, and another 8% claim to not own any mobile device.

100% of Younger Generations Own A Mobile

Recent studies indicate that 100% of American 18–49-year-olds own some type of mobile telephone, smartphone, or an older feature phone.

Mobile Phone Usage by Country & Region

Average American Spends 5+ Hours a Day on Their Phone

American citizens spend more time on their phones than the global average, devoting 5.4 hours a day to their phones. American millennials spend even more time on their phones, averaging 5.7 hours a day.

Low-Income Countries Have Lower Mobile Phone Ownership

Mobile phone ownership rates and income levels appear to be correlated. The world bank found that within sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion of individuals from the lowest income bracket that were likely to own a mobile phone is 37%, compared to those within the highest income bracket at 83%.

1.6 Billion Mobile Phones in China

1.6 Billion Mobile Phones in China

The number of mobile phone users in any given country is often proportional to the population of that country. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that China has the most mobile phone users in the world with roughly 1.6 billion handsets in circulation and India is second with 1.2 billion.

Hong Kong Has the Most Mobile Phones per Person

Hong Kong Has the Most Mobile Phones per Person

While one mobile phone is enough for most people, there are occasions when a second or even third phone may be advantageous. For instance, some mobile users prefer to have a phone for personal use and another for business or work. Hong Kong has the highest concentration of mobile handsets anywhere in the world with 256.7 handsets for every 100 citizens.

America Has the Highest Smartphone Penetration Rate

An 85% penetration rate gives the U.S. the lead over other countries in terms of widespread smartphone adoption. It’s also worth noting that the other countries featured in the top 5 are all countries with developed economies (U.K., Germany, France, South Korea) and have penetration rates above 75%.

Mobile Phone User Habits, Preferences, & Concerns

Most Popular Uses of Mobile Phones

Most Popular Uses of Mobile Phones

80 Apps Installed

According to recent surveys, the average mobile phone user worldwide has between 60 and 100 apps installed on their device. The exact number of apps installed varies depending on factors such as geography, age group, and device type, but it’s clear that mobile apps are an essential part of daily life.

Social Media Apps Are the Most Popular

Social media is a huge part of life today, particularly with younger generations, and this is shown in the data with social media apps being the most popular app category by downloads. This is followed by gaming apps and then entertainment.

Chat & Messages Most Popular Use

Despite all the other things that our mobile phones can do today, the most popular mobile phone activity is still messaging and chat. 76% of people surveyed said that it’s their number 1 activity, while email was the second most reported item and listening to music was third.

61% of Mobile Users Use Mobile Banking

Mobile banking use has been trending upward globally, and today ~61% of mobile phone users say that they have used it before, or they use it regularly. There is some generational divide, but it isn’t as significant as you may expect.

Of the people that took part in the survey, a whopping 97% of millennials reported using their mobiles for banking, while 91% of Gen-Xers reported the same. Even the baby-boomer generation has taken to using the mobile phone for banking purposes, with 79% of them saying they’ve used a mobile banking service at least once before.

Mobile Phone Usage Health Concerns

Two-Thirds of Phone Users Show Signs of Nomophobia

Nomophobia is the medical term for a fear of being without your phone, or more colloquially, “phone addiction.” It’s particularly prevalent in “first-world” countries, where approximately 66% of users show signs of the condition. 

A Quarter of Driving Accidents Are Caused by Mobile Phone Use

Globally, 26% of driving accidents are caused by mobile phones being used while driving. Some studies have found that even just looking at your mobile phone (not actively using your mobile phone) increases your likelihood of an accident by 400%. 

Poor Mental Health More Likely with Heavy Mobile Phone Use

Researchers and experts from around the world have run independent tests that assessed participants’ mental health with increased and reduced mobile phone usage. The tests found that participants with higher-than-average phone use reported having poorer mental health than the participants which reduced the amount of time they spent on their phones.

Users Are Concerned About Mental Health

Almost 70% of mobile phone users believe that spending excessive amounts of time on a mobile phone has negative mental health effects. Despite believing this, users are still using their mobile phones more than before.

Data, Voice, & Text Message Statistics

Over Half of Internet Traffic Is from Mobile Phones

People love the internet, and mobile phones are the most convenient way to access it. Five years ago mobile phones were responsible for 52% of the global internet traffic, but today that figure stands at approximately 60%. This is driven in large part by mobile devices being cheaper than desktop devices and improving mobile infrastructures.

Exabytes of Data a Month

By the end of 2022, global mobile data traffic totaled 90 EB (1 EB = 1,073,741,824 GB) per month. This number is going to continue to grow and is expected to reach 325 EB per month by 2028. The majority of mobile-driven data (70%) can be attributed to watching online video content.

15 GB per Mobile per Month

The global average of mobile data used per handset per month is 15 GB, but that amount can be substantially different depending on the region being studied. For example, the North American market averages 17.4 GB per month, the Indian market average 25 GB per month, and Sub-Saharan Africa just 4.6 GB per month.

Voice Traffic Remains Consistent

While the volume of mobile internet traffic has increased exponentially, mobile phone voice traffic has remained remarkably consistent. Despite the vast quantities of mobile data users are now consuming, voice traffic has remained in the region of 0.18 – 0.23 exabytes per business quarter (1 EB = 1,000,000 TB).

41 Million Messages a Minute

Messaging apps (WhatsApp, WeChat, Signal, etc.) are popular everywhere in the world, and most mobile phone users have more than one installed on their phone at any given time. Such widespread adoption and utilization of messaging services mean that there are an average of 41 million messages sent every single minute or 59.04 billion messages a day.

SMS Messaging Is Alive and Well

Recent studies have found that most people still send and/or receive SMS text messages every day and it still remains an important method of communication. Most users report using it for contacting people and businesses that don’t use the same internet messaging app as they do, but they’re also surprisingly popular among younger mobile phone users who report using them to avoid using up data.

Mobile Phone Business Statistics

Productivity, Conversion Rates, & Advertising Statistics

85% of Small Businesses Use Mobile Phones

Most American small business owners report that they use mobile phones to improve productivity regularly. 75% said that they use mobile phones for business-related emails, and 27% reported using business-related apps more than 5 times a week.

1.4% Conversion Rate

With more people using their mobile phones to access the internet and shop and less using a desktop device, businesses must make sure they update their websites to first be mobile-optimized. However, most businesses haven’t fully optimized their sites yet and it’s driving customers away. Mobile sites have a conversion rate of just 1.4%, whereas the desktop equivalent has a much healthier 3.9% rate.

Negative Mobile Experience Reduces Customer Purchase Potential by 60%

A website that hasn’t been optimized for mobile users reduces the likelihood of visitors making a purchase by a huge 60%. No matter how good your product is or how fantastic your desktop website runs will affect this either. The typical mobile user will give a website just 3 seconds to complete loading before they abandon what they were trying to do.

Mobile Ad Spending Was More Than $320 Billion

Mobile Ad Spending Was More Than $320 Billion

Global spending on mobile-oriented business advertising reached $327.1 billion this year, which is ~17% more than the previous year. Forecasts predict spending in this area will rise to almost $400 billion by the end of 2024.

SMS Advertising Has 90% Open Rate

SMS advertising is by far the best way of making sure your advertising gets in front of the eyes of consumers. While email advertising is often the preferred choice for many marketers with an open-rate average of 21.33%, SMS advertising has a 90% open-rate and on average is read within 3 minutes of it being received.

Mobile Phone Manufacturer & OS Statistics

Apple & Samsung

Apple Is Dominant in America

BrandQ3 2021Q4 2021Q1 2022Q2 2022Q3 2022Q4 2022
Apple47%56%50%48%50%57%
Samsung34%22%24%30%24%20%
Lenovo
(inc. Motorola)
9%12%11%9%6%6%
Google1%2%2%1%4%5%
Other9%8%13%12%16%12%

An Apple phone has been the preferred phone for the majority of Americans for a relatively long time now, and it shows no signs of changing. The latest quarterly figures show that Apple phones were responsible for 57% of all smartphones sold in the final quarter of 2022.

Apple’s iPhone 13 Is 2022 Best Seller

The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro Max, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max were the best-selling phones of the year with the iPhone 13 worth 28% of all iPhone sales. Samsung featured fourth on the bestseller list with the popular Galaxy A13. 

Other Manufacturers

Chinese Mobile Brands Follow the Main Two

Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are the third, fourth, and fifth largest mobile brands, holding a combined market share of 24.16%. Xiaomi holds the largest portion of this with 12.5%. Apple’s and Samsung’s market shares are 27.63% and 27.1% respectively. 

Operating Systems

Android Dominates Mobile OS Market

The android operating system continues to be the dominant player in the mobile operating system space with ~72% market share. Meanwhile, Apple’s mobile OS offering is responsible for ~27% of the market, and the remaining 1% is split between the alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a little more than 7.3 billion mobile phone users in the world today and 6.6 billion of those are using smartphones.

Although figures vary depending on the country or region, younger generations have generally adopted mobile phones much more rapidly than older generations. Globally, Gen-Z and Millennials have almost 100% mobile phone adoption rates and most of them are using a smartphone.

The global average amount of time spent on mobile phones is 3 hours and 15 minutes per day. This figure can differ a huge amount depending on where you live, for instance, the Japanese average is less than 2 hours a day.

The average user checks their phone 58 times a day and more than half of those occur within 3 minutes of putting the mobile phone down.

China. With such a large population it shouldn’t surprise any of you that China has more than 1 billion mobile phone users.

People spend 80% of their time using apps and the most popular of these are messaging, chat, and social media apps.

Sources

In addition to our own research, we’ve also used parts of data from Statista, PewResearch, DataReportal, Counter Point Research, Ericsson, SlickText, BusinessMobiles, BankMyCell.

Was This Helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
  • Noel Griffith

    Noel Griffith is a Co-Founder and the Senior Analyst at SupplyGem. With a deep understanding of online businesses and a distinct passion for the creator economy. Drawing from his experience as a developer and online marketer, Noel is devoted to guiding others toward success in their online endeavors. In addition to his contributions at SupplyGem, he is affiliated with notable organizations such as the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and The Learning Guild.

  • Dr. Angelia Cline, Ed.D.

    Dr. Angelia Cline, Ed.D., has over 20 years of extensive editing expertise and a commendable academic foundation from William Carey University. Besides her position as a Chief Editor for SupplyGem, she is also an Instructional Designer. Dr. Cline manages the Learning Management System (LMS) for a large team, skillfully converting SME knowledge into engaging courses. With over 12 years of teaching experience, she has demonstrated her aptitude across various subjects and educational settings. At William Carey University, Dr. Cline achieved an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, a Master’s in Teaching of the Gifted and Talented, and another in English Language and Literature. She also secured her BA in English from The University of Southern Mississippi. Her proficiencies range from research and differentiated instruction to educational leadership.