That number is expected to double by 2015, thanks to demand for iPhones, Android and Windows Phone devices.
In the third quarter, the figure reached 1.038 billion, a 47 percent jump from the same time period in 2011.
Back in 1996, Nokia introduced the first real "smartphone" to the scene, but the industry really only heated up after the release of the BlackBerry and then the iPhone and Android.
"Smartphone penetration is still relatively low," added Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics. "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."
Samsung is the world's top smartphone maker, followed by Apple.
Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2012 19:52