Half of the world's mobile phone owners will be using smartphones by 2017, according to a report from eMarketer.
The total number of smartphone users is also expected to hit 1.75 billion this year - about two-fifths of all mobile phone users, and equivalent to a quarter of the global population, predicted the report.
The mobile phone user market is expected to reach 4.55 billion in 2014, driven by faster adoption in markets like Asia-Pacific as well as the Middle East and Africa, extending from 61% to 69% over the next three years.
The report said that mobile phone users are switching over to smartphones due to a decline in the price of the devices as well as advances in 3G and 4G networks.
According to the report, over 2.23 billion people worldwide are expected to go online through a mobile device in 2014, while the total number of mobile phone internet users is expected to increase by 16.5% in 2014 and continue to maintain double-digit growth through 2016.