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The world is spinning
The mobile world phenomenon through
the eyes of ZETANO broker
A study, January 2023
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Smartphone investing offers opportunities, yet also poses risks
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The world is spinning mobile – who moves it the most?


Smartphone investing offers opportunities, yet also poses risks

With the progress of smartphones and similar mobile devices, the opportunities to invest quickly and easily have been growing dynamically. This presents new and almost limitless opportunities for savings appreciation, yet at the same time it poses new risks, connected to the availability of investments into assets previously unknown to the retail market.

Data available to ZETANO broker confirms that most funds in the retail investment market have been transferred via mobiles. Number of users accessing its trading website from their mobile devices (phones, tablets) has exceeded 44%. The broker analysed data of 6,554 users collected during last three quarters of 2022.

According to the analysts' findings, desktops are preferred mostly by "early birds", while the proportion of traders using mobile devices is increasing during the day. Around 10am, the share of mobile and tablet users rises above 50%, and the number cumulates throughout the afternoon to 68% by 8pm.

Share of users connected via mobile devices during the day

Users tend to visit the business website in the morning and then at night-time hours. The lowest number of visitors occurs between 4pm and 8pm. According to ZETANO analysts, this matches the behavioural pattern of a typical retail client, that is, a small investor or trader who is devoted to his or her main job during the day.

The conclusions of ZETANO analysts are related to the fundamental question of how the new way of investing has changed the way people think about their investments and what investments they actually make.

New technologies, new risks

Earlier scientific studies have addressed these very questions. They explore hypotheses about whether we invest more recklessly using apps on mobile devices. Are we more tolerant of risk? Can we build a better portfolio managed through our mobile phones, i.e. can we better evaluate our savings?

A team of researchers from the Leibnitz Institute for Financial Research at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main attempted to find answers to these questions, among others. In their April 2021 working paper, they came to some interesting conclusion. For example, the team of researchers found that the likelihood of investing in riskier assets via smartphones is up to a fifth higher than when using traditional channels to invest.


Investors via smart devices also have a higher tendency to less diversify their portfolios. Researchers talk about so-called "under-diversification". The researchers explain this by the fact that smartphones allow investors to monitor market information much more frequently, leading them to behave impulsively. This also implies a greater tendency to buy assets with exceptional performance, whether in a positive or negative sense. In other words, if we invest through a mobile device, we are more likely to buy assets that experience higher fluctuations in their value.

Furthermore, investor behaviour is influenced by the type of device we use to invest. We tend to be bolder on smartphones, while we invest more cautiously on other types of devices, such as desktop computers.

At the same time, however, the analysis shows that the effects of smartphone investing persist only for a few initial months. The researchers attribute this both to the experience of investing via mobile phones and to a fading effect of the initial excitement of discovering a new way of investing.

"Mobile" education

The aim of such research is not to prevent the inevitable trend where many of our activities are moving to the small mobile device we usually carry in our pockets. Rather, it is to highlight the fact that some of the seemingly positive features of smartphones can be a double-edged sword. An example may be the ability to constantly observe developments in asset markets or to buy or sell stocks, bond or commodity in a few clicks. In case of mobile phones as investment tools, it is similar to fire: it can be a good servant, yet an evil master. And we should be aware of that.

That is why ZETANO is dedicated to educating its clients as well as the market about the growing interest in trading or investing via mobile devices. For more information, please visit zetano.com.

The world is spinning mobile – who moves it the most?

In the second part of the study, we focus on the biggest players in the global mobile market. Since risks and opportunities of mobile investing on stock market depend not only on the mobile device itself, but also in knowledge of opportunities where and how to invest in the dynamic market, we have ranked the world's most prominent companies in this sector according to several aspects.

First of all, we are interested in market capitalisation, and therefore liquidity in the market, and the associated economic results and other financial indicators.[1]

However, it is also interesting to compare mobile device manufacturers by production volume.

Finally, we also offer a close look at the composition of users by mobile device brand in a sample of six and a half thousand users of our licensed investment company.

We wish you an inspiring reading!

[1] Following exchange rates were used in the study:1 HKD = 0,13 USD, 1 KRW = 0,0008 USD, 1 JPY = 0,0078 USD, 1 RMB = 0,15 USD

TOP 5 global mobile players

Market value
Alphabet Inc. (Google)
Alphabet Inc. (Google)
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation
Xiaomi Inc.
Xiaomi Inc.
Following exchange rates were used in the study:1 HKD = 0,13 USD, 1 KRW = 0,0008 USD, 1 JPY = 0,0078 USD, 1 RMB = 0,15 USD
Market value as of 10.1.2023 in USD billion

TOP 5 global mobile players

Revenues 2022 – the end of September (billion USD)
Net profit fiscal year 2022 (billion USD)
Market value as of 10.1.2023 (billion USD)
Year-on-year change in market value (in %)

Resource: Apple Annual Report 2022, NYSE

Apple Inc. is a technology company that manufactures and develops mobile phones, computers, tablets and accessories, develops software and offers streaming services market (Apple TV). Sales of iPhones account for about 55 per cent of the company's total sales. The second most important item is services (under 18 percent of turnover) related to data storage and management or the production and sale of TV content.

Apple's fiscal year of 2022 (which ended in September 2022) saw year-over-year revenue growth of 6.3 percent, with profits up just under 5.5 percent. Compared to 2020, however, the increase is much higher. As revenues grew in nearly 44 per cent, profit rose nearly three-quarters over the past two years. Yet, Apple has shown growth in both revenue and profit during the 2020, so the coronavirus pandemic has not had a negative impact on its results.

Alphabet Inc. (Google)
Alphabet Inc. (Google)
Revenues 2022 – the end of September (billion USD)
Net profit fiscal year 2022 (billion USD)
Market value as of 10.1.2023 (billion USD)
Year-on-year change in market value (in %)

Resource: Alphabet 2021 Annual Report, NYSE

Alphabet is one of the largest tech companies in the world, currently ranked fourth by market capitalization globally. It is also the last company to have a market value excessing one trillion dollars.

Alphabet was founded in 2015 and its name is mainly associated with its subsidiary Google. The latter was founded in 1998 by the same founders as Alphabet. In addition to technology services, Google also entered the mobile phone market in 2010. That's when it introduced its first model, the Nexus One. Nowadays, Google's range of mobile phones is much wider, currently mainly the Google Pixel range.

However, Google's phone sales are still negligible compared to the biggest players. Analyst company Canalys estimates that shipments of these devices reached just over six million units in the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2021. However, Google believes it will be able to double its mobile phone production in 2023.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Revenues 2022 – the end of September (billion USD)
Net profit fiscal year 2022 (billion USD)
Market value as of 10.1.2023 (billion USD)
Year-on-year change in market value (in %)

Resource: Samsung Annual Report 2021, Korea Exchange

The history of Samsung Electronics dates back to late 1960s. The company was originally founded in January 1969 as a manufacturer of fertilisers and sweeteners. However, it formed a joint venture with Japanese industrial companies the following year and Samsung gradually transformed itself into an electronics manufacturer.

The group has evolved into a technology giant and is now the largest producer of mobile phones in the world. Samsung's market share currently stands at around 22 per cent of the global market. In 2021, it shipped 272 million smartphones, nearly 40 million more than its main rival, US tech company Apple.

Samsung Electronics is the largest South Korean company ever. The group has also recently started to expand into the pharmaceutical industry and is focusing on expansion in biotechnology, with the aim to build on its extensive experience in the technology sector and link it to the medical field.

Sony Corporation
Sony Corporation
Revenues 2022 – the end of September (billion USD)
Net profit fiscal year 2022 (billion USD)
Market value as of 10.1.2023 (billion USD)
Year-on-year change in market value (in %)

Resource: Sony Corp. 2021 Annual Report, Tokyo Stock Exchange

The Japanese company Sony Corporation was founded in 1946. However, it did not adopt its current name until 1958, as the original name Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo was inappropriate in terms of its ambitions to break into the global (and especially the US) market.

Sony initially focused on consumer electronics, but eventually expanded into other areas. However, it remained in the technology field. Consumer electronics account for less than a quarter of sales, with software and related services, including gaming as the main source of revenue. Sony's portfolio also includes music, film and media. And last but not least, mobile phones. However, these account for only about 3.7 percent of the group's total revenue.

Xiaomi Inc.
Xiaomi Inc.
Revenues 2022 – the end of September (billion USD)
Net profit fiscal year 2022 (billion USD)
Market value as of 10.1.2023 (billion USD)
Year-on-year change in market value (in %)

Resource: Xiaomi Annual Report 2021, Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Chinese tech company Xiaomi is quite young. It was only founded in 2010 by Chinese entrepreneur and later billionaire Lei Jun along with six other partners. In 2011, Xiaomi released its first user experience system, MIUI, which was based on Android. In August the following year, Xiaomi introduced its first phone, the Mi1, which ran on MIUI or came with Android.

More mobile phones followed, and by 2013 Xiaomi had become the fifth most used smartphone brand in China. A year later, Xiaomi expanded beyond China's borders to Singapore. By 2015, the Xiaomi brand had already ranked fourth in mobile phone sales globally. In addition to mobile phones, Xiaomi also began to offer other electronic devices or consumer electronics.

TOP 5 global mobile players by volume of production

If we consider the individual players purely in terms of the mobile phone market, the ranking of companies is different. The global hegemon is the Korean group Samsung, which shipped 272 million mobile phones in 2021. It held a market share of more than 20 per cent. This was followed by the US technology company Apple, with just under 236 million mobile phones and a share of over 17 per cent. Both giants, however, are hot on the heels of Chinese brands. The third largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world is Xiaomi (191 million, 14.1%), followed by Oppo and Vivo. The latter each ship around 130 million mobile phones a year and have a global market share of just under 10 per cent.

The world's top five mobile phone manufacturers in 2021
Production (million units)
Market share (%)
Annual change in production (%)
samsung logo
samsung logo
samsung logo
oppo logo
vivo logo
Leaders according to ZETANO

Data on devices used in accessing the business site (6,554 users in the EU market, April - December 2022)

Apple / mobile
1 349
(46,73 %)
Samsung / mobile
(20,53 %)
Xiaomi / mobile
(13,96 %)
Huawei / mobile
(7,45 %)
Realme / mobile
(1,35 %)
(not set) / mobile
(1,32 %)
Motorola / mobile
(0,90 %)
Vivo / mobile
(0,90 %)
Samsung / tablet
(0,76 %)
Apple / tablet
(0,55 %)

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