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7.1 Billion People, 7.1 Billion Mobile Phone Accounts Activated 197

Posted by timothy
from the borrowing-the-mcdonalds-model dept.
Freshly Exhumed (105597) writes "Tomi Ahonen's newly released 2014 Almanac reveals such current mobile phone industry data gems as: 'The mobile subscription rate is at or very very nearly at 100%. For 7.1 Billion people alive that means 7.1 Billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide.' Compared with other tech industries, he says: 'Take every type of PC, including desktops, laptops, netbooks and tablet PCs and add them together. What do we have? 1.5 Billion in use worldwide. Mobile is nearly 5 times larger. Televisions? Sure. We are now at 2 Billion TV sets in use globally. But mobile has 3.5 times users.' Which mobile phone OS is the leader? ''Android has now utterly won the smartphone platform war with over 80% of new sales. Apple's iPhone has peaked and is in gradual decline at about 15% with the remnant few percent split among Windows, Blackberry and miscellaneous others.'"
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7.1 Billion People, 7.1 Billion Mobile Phone Accounts Activated

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  • Re:Sanity check (Score:3, Interesting)

    You honestly think telcos don't know how many subscribers they have? Everybody I know from age 10 and up has one and personally I've got two phones, one for home and one for work. In my case it's because my employer's policy is very strict on mixing work related records with random apps that could compromise the phone. So does a friend of mine so he can hand the "work phone" to someone else when he's away, because that's the number many people call. It doesn't take many of us to add up to >100% of the population.

    I think telcos know how many subscribers they have -- I also think telcos don't know how many telcos there are globally. Among other things I think, I think this is likely the number of SIM cards produced to date, not active subscribers, and I think that people who work for telcos probably have a disproportionately large number of subscriptions.

    I really have no problem with the stats on phone subscriptions, even though I'm pretty sure it's a projection that treats all parts of the world equal. However, their jump to "almost every person in the world has a phone" is silly, as I'm pretty sure that, just pulling a figure out of my head, that at least 40% of the people in the world don't have a cell phone. This number is borne out by the fact that there are many people who have two, and many businesses have "fleet subscriptions" that are not all in use. Plus you have to factor in all the test subscriptions, phone cards sold at 7-11, lost/stolen/abandoned phones that have a stored value subscription but aren't actually in use, etc.

    I know of at least 8 people who don't have a cell phone, and at least 8 people who have 2+.

    What IS interesting, is that cellphones have somehow become the great equalizer. they cross all ethnicity/education/location/wealth barriers -- even homeless people have cell phones these days.

    However, if the telcos are trying to paint this as "look at this great market!" I'd like to point out that capitalism works by exploiting new growth markets. Sounds like what they're saying is that the market is almost saturated -- which if true (it isn't, but follow along) means that telcos are about to flatline on profits. No more YoY growth. This should be somewhat worrying to them.

  • Re:Sanity check (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Immerman (2627577) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @11:40AM (#46990733)

    Actually mobile phones are quite common in the developing world, where they represent a minimal investment in infrastructure and an enormous profit advantage to a canny user. Probably nowhere near 100%, but I think I heard a number around 1-in-3 or so recently, and that's among the poor agrarian communities.

    As for cost - I've personally used a mobile phone for ~$8/month for years ($25 prepaid card, expires after 90 days), or $0.28/day - and that's a prepaid plan in the US, which probably makes it one of the most expensive plans in the world. Granted that doesn't allow for a lot of usage, but I don't talk on the phone recreationally so it works out fine.

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