Internet user penetration worldwide is on pace to match eMarketer’s earlier estimates for the year. In 2017, nearly 47% of people around the globe will go online at least once a month—either via desktop/laptop or mobile device. By 2019, more than half of the population will use the internet, equating to 3.84 billion people.
According to eMarketer's latest report, "Worldwide Internet and Mobile Users: eMarketer's Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2017-2021," growth in the number of internet users continues to be driven by the adoption of mobile phones with internet capabilities, a common occurrence in emerging markets across Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa. (eMarketer PRO subscribers can access the full report here.)
Meanwhile, the number of mobile phone internet users worldwide will reach 2.73 billion this year. Of that group, 87.4% will use a smartphone for mobile internet access.
Smartphone adoption will continue to post double-digit gains this year to reach 2.39 billion people, or nearly one-third (32.3%) of the global population. After overtaking feature phones as the main type of phone used worldwide in 2016, smartphones will expand this lead, accounting for 54.0% of mobile phone users in 2017.