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Smartphone numbers to triple by 2019, report says


Two friends check their smartphones as they walk in a shopping mall in Bangkok on March 21, 2013. Global smartphone sales are expected to reach 1 billion in 2013 alone thanks to cheaper devices and inroads into emerging markets.



The number of smartphones is forecast to triple to 5.6 billion by 2019, Sweden's Ericsson AB says in a new report.

Currently, about 1.6 billion people across the globe have smartphones.

But as networks expand and more people in India and other emerging markets are able to trade in their basic phones, that number is expected to skyrocket by 60 percent over the next nine years, Ericsson predicts in its report released Monday.

Total mobile subscriptions are predicted to reach 9.3 billion by 2019.

"The rapid pace of smartphone uptake has been phenomenal and is set to continue," Ericsson Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy Douglas Gilstrap told The Economic Times.

"It took more than five years to reach the first billion smartphone subscriptions, but it will take less than two to hit the 2 billion mark."

Smartphone traffic is expected to hit 10 billion gigabytes by 2019, according to the report.

Videos will make up about 50 percent of that traffic, with social networking and web services accounting for 10 percent each.