Forget about PCs, laptops and tablets because there are 48 million smartphones in Iran and this number is increasing each day.
There was a time that when you wanted to connect to the internet you needed a PC or laptop which weren’t that cheap and not everyone could afford them in Iran. Nowadays, thanks to the advancement of semiconductors, smartphones got so much cheaper to the point that you can buy one with any budget that you have. That’s what has happened in Iran in the past few years. To be exact, before 2011 there was no 3G network in the country, and having a smartphone wouldn’t have made sense. However, even before 2011, there were many tech-savvy Iranians who owned a smartphone just because they wanted to have one. It’s obvious that they could only use the full potential of their smartphones with a WiFi at home or at the office. There are no official statistics regarding the number of smartphones in Iran before 2014. However, we can estimate the number of smartphones from 2014.
2014: Only 2 Million Smartphones
In 2014, there were only 2 million smartphones in Iran. Considering the absence of 3G and 4G networks, it makes sense. It was only in August 2014 that MCI received its 3G and 4G license along with Irancell after three years of Rightel’s exclusivity on providing very limited 3G services (from 2011) in the country.
2015: 20 Million Smartphones
You might be wondering what happened next year. From 2 million smartphones, the country jumped to 20 million in just a year. It means that Iranians bought 18 million smartphones in one year time. The main reasons for this jump were:
- The price of smartphones dropped enough for Iranians to be able to afford them
- Other operators such as Irancell and MCI started to expand their 3G and 4G networks throughout the country
2016: 40 Million Smartphones
We can say that in 2016 smartphones were spread throughout the country. Again in just a year, Iran witnessed a 20 million jump in the number of smartphones. Keep in mind that the quality of 3G and 4G networks in Iran were being improved each year, hence providing a more reliable mobile internet for the users in the country.. The young population, mobile internet access, and smartphones triggered: the boom of social media in Iran.
Now: 48 Million Smartphones
Now, halfway through 2017, Iran with nearly 80 million population has more than 48 million smartphones. Considering these facts from the latest online population census last year:
- Half of the country is under 30 years old
- 25% of the population is between 15 to 29 years old
- 74% of the population lives in the urban areas
ِYou can imagine the youth is the main engine responsible behind getting the whole country online. And there is no way out of it, even the elderlies are getting used to it because they want to be in touch with their loved ones who are online all the time.
This is a unique transition for Iran which could affect all aspects of the lives of Iranians, whether it’s social, financial or even cultural.