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Two-thirds of adults worldwide will own smartphones next year

That’s up from 63 percent this year. Ad spending, meanwhile, is still catching up.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Two-thirds of adults worldwide, 66.5 percent, will own smartphones next year, according to new forecasts from media measurement company Zenith.

But growth in smartphone ownership has been slowing for some time as many markets reach saturation. Smartphone ownership increased 10 percent this year and is expected to grow 7 percent in 2018. Last year it rose 14 percent.

The Netherlands leads with 94 percent of its adult population owning a smartphone in 2018. It’s one of five countries with penetration above 90 percent. In the U.S. and the U.K. nearly 70 percent will own smartphones next year. Pakistan will have the lowest smartphone penetration at 36 percent.

Smartphone ownership has big implications for advertising, which is steadily headed to mobile. Mobile devices are driving growth in web traffic and, by extension, growth in advertising spending.

Mobile devices will account for 73 percent of internet consumption in 2018 and 59 percent of ad spending, according to Zenith.

Zenith’s measurements cover 52 countries and 65 percent of the world’s population.

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