Mobile subscriptions are expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2019, with 5.6 billion of these being for smartphones, the latest Ericsson mobility report has found.
Currently, smartphones represent between 25 and 30 per cent of all mobile phone subscriptions, yet they account for over half (55 per cent) of mobile phones sold in Q3.
Douglas Gilstrap, senior vice president and head of strategy at Ericsson, said: "The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue. It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the two billion mark. Between now and 2019, smartphone subscriptions will triple.
"Interestingly, this trend will be driven by uptake in China and other emerging markets as lower-priced smartphone models become available."
The research also noted that by 2019, almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of the world's population will be covered by 4G/LTE networks.
Ericsson also found that smartphone traffic will grow by 10 times between 2013 and 2019, reaching 10 exabytes. Video is growing 55 per cent annually, and will represent over half of the mobile data traffic, while social networking and web services will account for around 10 per cent each in 2019.