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7.1 Billion People, 7.1 Billion Mobile Phone Accounts Activated 197

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:5, Informative)

    by Bacon Bits ( 926911 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @11:46AM (#46990125)

    These are telecommunications companies. Sanity doesn't figure in to their business plan.

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

    by schnell ( 163007 ) <me@sch n e l l . net> on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @12:06PM (#46990351) Homepage

    It's got nothing to do with that. As the GP said, this is a total BS interpretation of the statistic. In wireless telco parlance, a "subscriber" is just an active SIM, not a person. So the total # of "subscribers" among mobile systems includes not just cellular phones but also cellular wireless enabled laptops/tablets/Kindles; all the cars out there with OnStar or something similar; every truck or car with a wireless fleet tracker; every cargo container or physical asset that has a wireless location/anti-theft tracker; every FedEx driver who has a cellular-enabled signature capture reader; every utility meter or security camera with a cellular data link... the list goes on and on. "7.1 billion" is probably more like 1/2 people with phones and 1/2 "things" with cellular connections.

  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @12:20PM (#46990507) Homepage Journal

    Public Relations is not marketing. Marketing deals with products; public relations deals with relation to customers and the public at large.

    Marketing revolves around how to dress up Tide, how to convince the consumer they want Tide, what markets Tide aims at, what the advertising strategy is for Tide, and so on. These center around products, demographics, and how demographics connect to products.

    Public relations instead revolves around Tide Co, how to convince the customer that Tide Co isn't an evil asshole company dumping sludge onto farmland in India, how much transparency Tide Co should have to keep customer trust, when Tide Co's ethics committee has come off its nut and is trying to create a PR nightmare by doing something that will reflect extremely negatively on Tide Co, etc. These center around the company, demographics, and the public at large.

    The difference is subtle, but simple. Marketing tries to sell products. Public relations tries to make sure the company both actively creates rapport with the public (customers or not) and avoids offending the public. Good PR is about ethics and transparency; good marketing is about selling shit.

    As an example: Apple has good PR. Their company is environmentally responsible, they're aware of their business operations, they communicate to the world at large through exciting and entertaining public appearances, and so on. Their marketing is less successful: more people bought Motorola, Samsung, and LG phones with Google software; who in the hell gets excited over Google and Samsung?

    10 years ago, you needed an electronics communications strategy. It wasn't enough to market things on TV and in news papers; you needed to get customers on mailing lists, to tell them about what's happening in the company (not products, but exciting growth and customer outreach programs), and to give them exclusive insider deals or promotions or whatever. You couldn't just put "iPhone, SALE $299 REG $399" in the paper; you had to make the customer a part of your communications network, make them feel like you're talking specifically to them. Now it's mobile apps.

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

    by coolsteve ( 1582557 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @12:20PM (#46990513)
    From the article:

    Total active mobile subscriptions or accounts -7.1B (was 6.7B in 2011, growth 6%)
    Unique mobile users - 4.5 B (was 4.3B in 2011, growth 5%)
    Actual mobile phones in use - 5.4 B (was 5.2B in 2011, growth 4%)

    Not quite sure what that means... There are more active subscriptions than actual phones in use? Who is paying for a subscription without having a phone attached?
  • by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @12:20PM (#46990515)
    I worked developing mobile telecom equipment for a company that mostly sells to undeveloped countries. This is sort of true in that undeveloped nations often don't have a land-line network in place, and it is far easier to set up a wireless network. So people are more likely to have a mobile phone than a stationary phone. However, impoverished people still don't have phones. It ends up being interesting because the standard Western usage models for phones don't work out at all. We can't calculate the number of available channels needed per subscriber the same way. Many mobile phones in these areas will be involved in active calls nearly 24 hours a day. The reason why is that people will buy a phone and account, and then hire people in shifts to stand on the street corner shouting out that they've got a phone. They then let people make calls for a markup.
  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @12:55PM (#46990895)

    Android is taking over but taking over what? The Yugos & Fiats of the phone world. And Android is, well, fragmented into a huge number of pieces and continuing to fragment & suffer a huge amount of malware-security & upgradability issues. The question is who will take over Android and turn it into a long term stable, safe platform is it Tizen?

    Articles like this are sensationalism, pure and simple.

    Apple knows that in the end hardware & the OS is only part of the "mobile phone industry". The UI, app developers, content, content delivery and ease of use are the extra pieces that make a smartphone.

    People exist who still only want to place phone calls 90+% of the time and they couldn't care less about anything but a cheap phone, texting and a bit of email. They simply won't be able to buy a "feature phone" soon, because few of those will be made.

  • Re:Sanity check (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ralph Wiggam ( 22354 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @03:19PM (#46992575) Homepage

    I assume you're trolling.

    If not, it flush toilets require a massive amount of infrastructure spending that is not available in lots of places. Cell service can be rolled out to a large number of people much more easily. This if often the case in India and southeast Asia. Last time I checked, there were minimal Negros in that part of the world.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle