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Mobile Devices Will Outnumber People By 2017 130

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-only-because-of-famine dept.
DavidGilbert99 writes "According to the latest report from analysts at CCS Insight, there will be more mobile phones and tablets in use in four years' time than there are people on the planet. With the machines well and truly taking over, will we be using them or will they be controlling us?"
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Mobile Devices Will Outnumber People By 2017

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have 2 old mp3 players I haven't used in many years and don't even know where they are. I also have some calculators I don't use. I have an old IPod Touch I got for free I don't use. Pretty soon I'll likely end up with such a collection of phones, tablets etc instead. So? Why should I care?

    • by icebike (68054)

      I have 2 old mp3 players I haven't used in many years and don't even know where they are. I also have some calculators I don't use. I have an old IPod Touch I got for free I don't use. Pretty soon I'll likely end up with such a collection of phones, tablets etc instead. So? Why should I care?

      Did you have a point, or do you just show up to harrumph and stomp away?

      I have a phone, two tablets, two e-readers. I use them all at least weekly. Different purposes and different places.
      My poor wife only has one tablet, a phone, and two e-readers.

      Its easy to see that the TFA is spot on, and all your shouting to get off your lawn won't hold back the tide.

    • Re:So? (Score:4, Funny)

      by denzacar (181829) on Monday June 10, 2013 @10:28PM (#43968947) Journal

      Cause when we reach a certain ratio of wireless devices to humans, people who are allergic to WiFi will start spontaneously combusting in the street.

      So make sure you have your WiFi capable cameraphone with you in case you bump into one of those.
      It will make a great twit-post on your face-place wall thingy.

      On a side note... That's a whole lot of lithium. Just sayin...

  • by TWX (665546) on Monday June 10, 2013 @08:18PM (#43968077)
    Between the shoddy code, poor manufacturing tolerances, poor quality control, and dependence on power sources that they cannot protect, computers and devices will not take over in my lifetime even if there was an intent to do so. That doesn't even get into design that requires humans to perform maintenance tasks, flick switches, or otherwise do things that keep the systems up that the machines might not even know about.

    XKCD said it best [xkcd.com].
  • Sold != in use (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scottbomb (1290580) on Monday June 10, 2013 @08:21PM (#43968103) Journal

    TFA contends that all smartphones & tablets sold are still in use. If you buy a new smartphone and throw away / recycle the old one, you don't get to count this as 2 smartphones in use.

    • by icebike (68054)

      TFA contends that all smartphones & tablets sold are still in use. If you buy a new smartphone and throw away / recycle the old one, you don't get to count this as 2 smartphones in use.

      It contends no such thing.

      But far more of them remain in use after replacement than you think. I have three smartphones on my desk.
      One I use as a primary.
      One I keep around for a SIP for contacting overseas customers.
      One I keep just to check stocks and play games on.

      In addition I have two tablets and two Nooks.

      I use them all, some more than others.

    • If you're going to tell a lie, you should pick a subject that is not so easily verified. Even at Slashdot, someone will eventually read the actual article and note that it does not say what you claim.

      • by bloodhawk (813939)
        In all fareness the article definitely does seem to imply that as they are claiming 6.6 billion mobile phones in use while claiming only 2.1 billion combined tablet and smartphone sales annually by that time. either they are stating every phone sale is to a new person for the next 4 years or they are claiming every new smartphone will still be in use. If my maths is wrong please feel free to correct me, but from what I read the OP's statement isn't a lie at all.
        • Those numbers are also consistent with the usable lifetime of such a device being around 4 years.

  • ... it will be the people controlling the content.
  • Eh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 10, 2013 @08:27PM (#43968153) Journal

    They won't "control" us in any cool, malevolent-supercomputer-overlord, kind of way; but I'll confidently predict a downright alarming number of man hours spent drooling mindlessly and poking at the blinky lights that live behind the glass on the shiny thing.

    It's too bad, really. Getting crushed by a malevolent supercomputer would be flattering in a way(just like being assassinated, only people worth mentioning get that). The fact that humans will spend time sucking up to a Tamagotchi if you let them is... rather less flattering.

  • Except that now they have the option of hiding behind machines and making look like it isn't so. They have done it to business, to politics, to religion, and they will do it to technology.
  • Looks around.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BenJeremy (181303) on Monday June 10, 2013 @08:42PM (#43968245)

    Let's see, everybody in this household has a phone, tablet and we have a netbook. 7 devices for 3 people.

    Yeah, I can see mobile devices outnumbering people.

    Realistically, tablets will always exist next to phones. Some people might like "phablets" but form-factor matters. A phone can replace a camera, can have a lot of handy apps, but is lousy for reading, browsing and video compared to a tablet (yes, they can be done, but... ugh). In short, the tablet and smart phone are two form factors that will likely be useful for some time.

    Not sure where the "smart watch" will fit in, I see it more useful as a peripheral for your phone, but some people may see it as a replacement for the phone, and supplementing as a hotspot for a tablet (which then handles everything your phone might have). That's still two devices per person, as a reasonable "data and communications tool set"

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      "A phone can replace a camera," how cute.... Please take a photo with your camera that even approaches what you see on 500px.com
      Next you will say something silly like "a phone can replace a video camera"....

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        "A phone can replace a camera," how cute.... Please take a photo with your camera that even approaches what you see on 500px.com

        I don't know what a '500px' is. Is it like a goat?

        Most people don't need high resolution multi-megapixel cameras, they want something to snap a piccy of them and their buds at the bar having a good time as a memory aid. A camera phone can do that. It can replace a camera, in that application.

      • by BenJeremy (181303)

        If I need the output of a $2000+ DSLR camera, I'll get one. I don't expect my phone to do that, but honestly, for 90% of the photo/video applications I need it for, my iPhone works pretty damn well - and more importantly, it's always at my side when I'm out. There are quite a few phones (Android and Windows Phones) that are getting better cameras on them, too.

        It's been at least a year since I felt like I needed to grab my digital camera.

        We are talking mobile devices here, and cameras really don't fall into

        • I feel the same way. For doing lab experiments I have been taking pictures of petri dishes so my laptop can count the colonies that have grown on them. It works very well. I don't need anything approaching professional quality and what my phone does is get the job done.

          Later I will have it capture video of how fast a pH gradient collapses. The video quality FAR exceeds anything I need for that application. A professional camera or video camera would be vastly overkill and be harder to use due to the greater

          • Hope you take the photos with the lids on, or you might be introducing new colonies.

            I'm rather surprised there hasn't been a sensationalist slashdot story about it, but It wouldn't surprise me if mobile phones are absolutely crawling with bugs.

      • by alen (225700)

        so its not DSLR quality for family photos? big deal

        i have my iphone with me all the time and can take a photo at any time while chasing after my kids. DSLR is like carrying around a diaper bag full of crap

      • by mjwx (966435)

        "A phone can replace a camera," how cute.... Please take a photo with your camera that even approaches what you see on 500px.com
        Next you will say something silly like "a phone can replace a video camera"....

        I'm yet to see a shot from a phone that can match my Canon Ixus 230HS... A point and shoot camera (albeit, a good P&S).

        Phones have terrible focusing and poor lenses. You might be able to take a semi decent shot in a pinch but forget action, low light, close up and distance shots. Also yet to see a phone that gets into the camera application faster than my P&S does a cold start.

        Camera's in phones have the same problem as screwdrivers on swiss army knives, they'll do in a pinch but are nowhere n

        • Phones have terrible focusing and poor lenses.

          Actually, it's the people using smartphones who have trouble focusing. Symptoms include taking blurry photos, forgetting to turn the phone sideways for videos, walking in front of buses, and driving off cliffs.

    • by Shavano (2541114)
      For me, the tablet has little appeal. My portable device is a smart phone because it fits in my pocket. If I need more than that, I have a laptop that is little more trouble to carry than a tablet but has a much more capable UI and handy connectors for peripherals.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Let's see, everybody in this household has a phone, tablet and we have a netbook. 7 devices for 3 people.

      Yeah, I can see mobile devices outnumbering people.

      In the rich part of the world maybe. Where I live that's the situation too - many years ago we were well over 100% penetration rate for mobile phones - and that's counting actual telephone numbers in use. Many people have two phones, two numbers.

      However only a minority of the world's population is that rich. China and India together make up almost half the world's population - and have a far lower mobile device use rate, though of course it's rising fast, and with mobile phones and subscriptions as cheap as

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday June 10, 2013 @08:46PM (#43968275) Homepage

    I carry two smartphones, have an ipad and a Nexus 7... oh and a kindle that I use when I travel... Actually I have 4 Nexus 7's.. 3 are broken ones friends gave me. and I believe I'll have a couple more broken ones soon, those replicate fast.

    So yes, if people keep breaking nexus 7's I'll have 100,000 of them by the end of the year... all broken..

    • And there are hundreds of millions of people in China, India and Africa that don't have either.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        They will soon, all these broken ones will be sent there for disposal.

  • Using fuzzy accountant math, possibly true but not without fuzzy math. Are they including wireless devices like stoves that now come with WIFIbuilt in? Are they counting the bazillion other hardware controllers with WIFI? (each of which technical people are telling people it's both dangerous and stupid to have WIFI on!)

    Middle class families can't afford more than 1 device per person, and a hefty portion of those can't afford more than 1 device per household (depending on which side of the middle class sca

    • by oodaloop (1229816)

      Does every stupid ass thing people say now make a "story"?

      You must be new here.

      • by Proteus (1926)
        He's not as new as you appear to be. (He says while eyeing user ID numbers).
      • by s.petry (762400)
        Not new, I continue to have faith that things will get better as long as we keep pointing out mistakes. I get disappointed a whole lot too, but...
    • by Obfuscant (592200)

      Oh wait, we already have welfare recipients with dozens of free Obama phones, paid for by the few middle class people that pay taxes.

      And the fewer rich people who pay the majority of the taxes in the US. Tax year 2009, top 5% of AGI paid 58% of the income taxes (from here [ntu.org]).

      In a few years, every grade and high school student in the US will have a tablet of some kind, thanks to the local taxpayers. It's the wave of the future. Think of the children.

      • And the fewer rich people who pay the majority of the taxes in the US. Tax year 2009, top 5% of AGI paid 58% of the income taxes (from here [ntu.org]).

        It's good to see this getting more visibility. I think there'll more and more pressure put on everyone to pull their weight, and the old myth of the rich getting a free ride on the backs of blue collar labour are slowly evaporating. I'd like to see the day where people talk less about how much their salary is and more about how much tax they contributed. For the record, I paid $35k income tax last year.

        • Don't the top 5% make far more than 58% of all the income? If they make more than 58% of the income I would expect them to pay at least that high of a percentage of the taxes.

          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            Don't the top 5% make far more than 58% of all the income?

            No. From here [taxfoundation.org], the top 5% made 32% of the total AGI. That's far less than 58%.

            The same link shows some amazing other numbers, like the average tax rate for the top 5% is more than 20%, while the average for all is only 11%, and the bottom 50% rate is less than 2%.

            Warren Buffet was complaining that his secretary paid more in taxes than he did. That may be true, if Warren Buffet is a tax cheat. The average tax rate for the top 1% was 24%, while the average tax rate for the 25-50% group (AGI between $32k

        • by s.petry (762400)

          If you paid 35K you are not rich, you are middle class. I paid a bit more than you, and am at the higher end of middle class. Taxes are absolutely unfair. Wealthy people pay 8-10% tax on average while you and I pay 35-40%.

          Over 65,000 pages of tax code ensures that the elites do not pay their fair share. Any argument otherwise should be directed at the 65,000+ page tax code as proof of an unfair system. I'm sure some dip shit will claim "most of that 65,000 pages is dedicated to who pays taxes" at which

          • by Obfuscant (592200)

            Wealthy people pay 8-10% tax on average while you and I pay 35-40%.

            The numbers [taxfoundation.org] show otherwise.

            • by s.petry (762400)

              Are you willfully blind or just ignorant? The top 1% don't claim income on a large portion of their income. This is what the tax codes do more than anything else. They define what "is" income for those with large amounts of income. For example, investing private funds in a Government approved business alleviates that sum of money from their potential income. Certain tax investments available to those that can afford them also remove that income from taxes. Those deductions are in addition to, and exac

              • by Obfuscant (592200)

                Are you willfully blind or just ignorant? The top 1% don't claim income on a large portion of their income.

                I know I can have a discussion without automatically resorting to name calling.

                If you have evidence that someone isn't reporting all their income, report them to the IRS. That's a crime.

                They define what "is" income for those with large amounts of income.

                The tax codes define what is income for those with any amount of income, even none at all. They define what is income for me, for you, and for the person next door.

                For example, investing private funds in a Government approved business alleviates that sum of money from their potential income.

                Now you're using the term "potential income". I don't know what that is, or why someone should be taxed on income that is only potentially theirs.

                Now, if you

                • by s.petry (762400)

                  If you have evidence that someone isn't reporting all their income, report them to the IRS. That's a crime.

                  If it is illegal to remove income as taxable income, it is not a crime. Failure to recognize and obvious fact for a 3rd time now, you have to go back to my original question. If you have no intention of acknowledging facts, don't try to debate.

                  Now you're using the term "potential income". I don't know what that is, or why someone should be taxed on income that is only potentially theirs.

                  Similar problem here as we have above with you being ignorant, or playing ignorant. Ignorance is not necessarily an insult, and your immediate offense to the term indicates a high degree of ignorance. I freely admit with numerous subjects that I am ignorant. If I

                  • by Obfuscant (592200)

                    If it is illegal to remove income as taxable income, it is not a crime.

                    You have no idea what you are saying, you are just ranting about rich people you don't think are paying enough in taxes. Of course if it is illegal to remove income as taxable income it is a crime. That's BY DEFINITION. Do you have any evidence that those awful rich people are doing this, or is it just conjecture on your part? If you have evidence, report it to the IRS. I think they have a bounty for such things, but even if they don't, it is your responsibility as a citizen to report it. Don't just whine

                    • by s.petry (762400)

                      Actually I have a very good idea what I'm talking about. You seem to think that the only way to prove income tax is fair is by looking at a published list showing tax percentages paid by each income group. If you know that the income is manipulated (legally) then how is this a fair comparison? It is not fair to make a comparison this way, and people on both sides of the spectrum tell you that it's unfair.

                      In reality, real pre-tax income vs. taxes paid would show you how fair the system is. Currently ther

                    • by Obfuscant (592200)

                      You seem to think that the only way to prove income tax is fair is by looking at a published list showing tax percentages paid by each income group.

                      No, but I think it is one way of doing so. You're claiming unfair, so you have the onus of producing some numbers to show that. Any number to show that. You have failed to provide any citation to support your claims. Why can't you do that?

                      If you know that the income is manipulated (legally) then how is this a fair comparison?

                      Because even with the manipulation, the top 1% of the people pay significantly more in taxes than they have in income. If they were able to game the system so well, they'd be paying much less in income taxes than they are. In case you missed it, Schedule A (deductions) c

                    • by s.petry (762400)

                      Only pointing out two items since you keep circling back to the same exact item that I showed was wrong.

                      No, but I think it is one way of doing so. You're claiming unfair, so you have the onus of producing some numbers to show that. Any number to show that. You have failed to provide any citation to support your claims. Why can't you do that?

                      There are numerous public records showing this exact data. There is not a master registry released showing it all in one place. This is why I pointed out Warren Buffet who released all of his data showing you that he really only paid 9% tax, compared to his secretary that pays over 30%.

                      Income tax was never intended to solve an alleged "wealth disparity" problem. Those who hate the rich want it to be used that way, but that's not what it is supposed to be used for.

                      Absolutely false. Income tax was used as a major leveling factor for the majority of our legal income tax world. The

          • The fallacy can be dispelled by simply looking at the system working very well from the 40s through the early 80s where the elites paid a much higher percentage of income in tax.

            That doesn't work for a couple of reasons. Firstly, post WW2 everyone was nationalistic, had belief in the brave new world, and invested heavily in nation building/rebuilding. That was a unique set of circumstances, along with a swing in birth rates which allowed certain conditions to be feasible then that aren't now. By the 80's these conditions were disappearing, technology improved to allowed globalisation in both communciations and transport. Trickle down economics can work in a Pre-1980's world because

            • by s.petry (762400)

              Two immediate problems. First, you should really check facts. The millionaire tax rate up until the 1970s has always been in the 80-90% range (since the inception of income tax in the US). This is why I stated very clearly that tax rates are public knowledge and easy to find. The second problem should be painfully obvious: everything you said is based on false data and therefor untrue.

              Bits of what you said are false for a different reason. The reason rich people can move their money overseas is due to

  • I have 4 just for myself

  • by Proteus (1926) on Monday June 10, 2013 @09:16PM (#43968501) Homepage Journal

    there will be more mobile phones and tablets in use in four years' time than there are people on the planet... will we be using them or will they be controlling us?

    Right this moment, there are more ears of corn in use than there are people on the planet. Will we be eating them, or will they be eating us?

    Seriously... having lots of something doesn't automatically change its nature.

    • by Obfuscant (592200) on Monday June 10, 2013 @09:27PM (#43968585)

      Right this moment, there are more ears of corn in use than there are people on the planet. Will we be eating them, or will they be eating us?

      Why do you think the population density of areas that are the main producers of corn is so low? Think of how many people say "I'm moving to the country" and then you never hear from them again?

      Don't panic. By the time it's turned into flakes it is mostly harmless.

      • by cfsops (2922481)

        By the time it's turned into flakes it is mostly harmless.

        The corn or the people?

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          The corn or the people?

          Depends on how GM the corn and the people are, and how many growth hormones etc are fed to each.

    • Right this moment, there are more ears of corn in use than there are people on the planet. Will we be eating them, or will they be eating us?

      lol. Congrats sir, you are one of the few people, to who, when I wrote lol, it actually literally was true.

    • by rossdee (243626)

      "Right this moment, there are more ears of corn in use than there are people on the planet. Will we be eating them, or will they be eating us? "

      Climate change will take care of that, most of the land now growing corn will be in drought

  • I did my part in the coming mobile device/robot war vs humans. I recently put my cell phone through the laundry.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I am sitting in a conference room at work right now that has enough chairs for everyone at my small company to sit in. There is also a chair for me in my office, another at my desk at home, and one more in the dining room! And just think of all those chairs at restaurants around the world just waiting for me to sit in them! In fact, a recent study determined that there are 4.6 chairs for every man, woman, and child on the planet (I'll have to get back to you with the reference on that one). Basically the wo

  • So all of these cannot host a web server on port 80 on the global internet at the same time.

  • Carrier IQ is a program supposedly used for diagnostic purposes. It is imbedded in the software of android phones. It tracks everything including key strokes. Now here is a fun blurb from CarrierIQ dot coms website from their whitepaper section. Carrier IQ takes consumer privacy very seriously. Anonymization and consumer choice through opt-out are important and included capabilities of Carrier IQ systems. Services are delivered to network operators through an encrypted environment. Carrier IQ acts as
  • > With the machines well and truly taking over, will we be using them or will they be controlling us?

    The machines run Unix or Unix descendents. They'll crash, dump core and reboot before they can take over the world.

  • I think that there is already more mobile phone activated lines than people here in my country (a friend used it in a conversation with me, some days ago...)
  • Tomi Ahonen pointed out in March [blogs.com] that we already have 6.7 billion _active_ mobile accounts. This clearly means that we are already FAR past that point when you include all the devices not on telecomm networks.

    BTW, in the same blog post Ahonen also estimated that the point at which active accounts would exceed the world's population would happen some time this summer.

  • I have news for you. They already do. Watch anyone try to walk or eat dinner without constantly consulting their smartphone. They have us trained well. Unfortunately, sometimes they train us to walk into walls or off of sidewalks into oncoming traffic, so it might not be a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship...

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