Oct. 17, 2012 at 11:10 AM ET
I'll skip the "A million isn't cool, you know what's cool?" joke and tell you the news: There are currently over one billion smartphones in use around the world.
This statistic comes from the research firm Strategy Analytics, which explains that this milestone was reached for the very first time in the third quarter of 2012.
It took 16 years for the smartphone industry to get here.
Strategy Analytics senior analyst Scott Bicheno says the 16-year counter starts with the Nokia Communicator, introduced in 1996. Many consider it to be the first smartphone. "Nokia remained a dominant force in smartphones for over a decade," Bicheno says, "until the arrival of Apple’s iconic iPhone in 2007."
At this point, the firm estimates that one in seven individuals in the world owned a smartphone during the third quarter of 2012. And given how much room there is for growth in the smartphone market, that number will grow quickly.
"The first billion smartphones in use worldwide took 16 years to reach," Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston says. "But we forecast the next billion to be achieved in less than three years, by 2015.”
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