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30 Mar 10:00 GMT / 06:00 EST

In conversation with Publicis Sapient global CEO, Nigel Vaz

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Speakers to be announced

Smartphone penetration predicted to hit 66% next year

mobile phone

The proportion of the population in possession of a smartphone is expected to top two thirds for the first time across 52 selected nations; including the US, UK and Germany, according to the latest research by Zenith.

Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017 confidently predicted a new record high by 2018, albeit at a slightly reduced rate; beating the 63% share recorded in 2017 and 58% notched up in 2016. A similar situation was observed in the tablet category where adoption rates are struggling to break the 20% barrier.

These figures will have knock-on ramifications for marketers looking to allocate internet advertising expenditure through into 2018 and 62% by 2019, with 59% of all spend expected to be directed to mobile in that year, up from a mere 53% share in 2017.

Should these figures come true it is estimated that mobile ad spend will reach $156bn in 2019, equivalent to 26% of ad spend across all media.

Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting and director of global intelligence remarked: “For most consumers and advertisers, the mobile internet is now the normal internet. The ownership of mobile devices is beginning to saturate in some markets, but there’s plenty of room for further growth across the rest of the world.”

Breakneck growth in global ownership has tapered in recent years with market saturation in advanced economies where adoption rates are hitting 90%. The biggest smartphone addicts can be found in Norway where 94% of the population has a phone in their pocket; followed by Taiwan (93%) and Hong Kong (92%).

The number of mobile users is expected to exceed 5.5bn by 2022, driven by growth in India and China.

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