A billion people on Earth now own a smartphone - our planet hit the milestone in the third quarter of this year, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
That means one in seven of Earth's population now own a phone with computer-like functions.
Phones such as the Nokia Communicator first appeared in 1996, but grew rapidly - and demand exploded with the launch of Apple's iPhone in 2007.
Strategy Analytics predict that by 2015, another billion of Earth's population will own a smartphone - with the main areas of growth in Brazil, India, Russia and China.
Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We estimate 1 in 7 of the world’s population owned a smartphone in the third quarter of 2012.
Mawston says, "Smartphone penetration is still relatively low. Most of the world does not yet own a smartphone and there remains huge scope for future growth, particularly in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa.
"The first billion smartphones in use worldwide took 16 years to reach, but we forecast the next billion to be achieved in less than three years, by 2015.”
In many developing countries, mobile phones have spread quickly in areas where landlines are still rare.
A 2009 study in India found that for every additional 10% of the population that owned a mobile phone, GDP increased by 1.2%.
Scott Bicheno, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “The world’s first modern smartphone, the Nokia Communicator, was introduced in 1996. Nokia remained a dominant force in smartphones for over a decade until the arrival of Apple’s iconic iPhone in 2007."
"The iPhone revolutionized smartphone design and it catalyzed industry growth. By the third quarter of 2011, we estimate there were 708 million smartphones in use worldwide. After a further year of soaring demand, the number of smartphones in use worldwide reached 1.038 billion units during the third quarter of 2012.”