Given the extraordinary acceleration of mobile growth we've witnessed over the past decade, this landmark comes as little surprise: We've just hit 7.1 billion unique mobile subscriptions worldwide. As the title of this post suggests, that's enough to average out to one subscription per person on a global scale.
Of course, a good chunk of people on earth do not own a mobile, so the excess owes its thanks to those users who own two or more devices. It's not uncommon nowadays for someone to own a personal phone, along with a company-issued one, so it's easy to see why we've reached that kind of staggering number.
Those 7.1 billion active accounts are spread across 4.5 billion unique users, and 5.4 billion mobile phones. To add some context to these numbers, bear in mind that there are only 1.1 billion landline subscriptions worldwide, 1 billion cable or satellite subscriptions, 1.5 billion PCs in use, and 2 billion TVs in use. All combined, that's still less than the total number of active mobile subscriptions (5.6B vs. 7.1B).
As impressive as this all is, there's no real sign that things are going to slow down. Of the 5.4 billion mobile phones in use, 1.8 billion of them were sold last year, either to supplement someone's other phone/s or to replace an older one. Of those, 1 billion were smartphones - proof that these lower-cost options are proving to be a huge success.
On the topic of Internet access, there are 2.9 billion users around the world, and 48% of them use their mobile device in addition to a standard PC to access the Web. 42% use their mobile devices exclusively, while 10% use the Internet on a PC, but not on a mobile. These numbers are pretty impressive to me. Personally, I could not imagine using the Internet only on such a small device, but it's certainly common.
There are many more statistics at the source article for those who really want to dig in, but the biggest takeaway is that things are not slowing down. Numbers are still increasing, not just with subscriptions and mobile phone sales, but with everything involved in that ecosystem, such as app stores and accessories. It sure doesn't seem like a bad market to found a new company in, does it?
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