There are more mobile subscriptions than TV sets, PCs, landline phones, and cable/satellite subscriptions combined

Mobile is the biggest platform - GSGtelco

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Feel free to use this in your presentations and articles; just credit GSG, Global Nerdy, or Joey deVilla!

The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide is now about the same as the number of people worldwide. According to mobile analyst and pundit Tomi Ahonen, the worldwide mobile subscription rate is at 100%, and as an article of ours from last week pointed out, that rate is even higher in the Americas, Arab states, and Europe, and it’s highest in the CIS (former Soviet republics), where there are 141 subscriptions for every 100 people.

Tomi’s latest article on his blog, Communities Dominate Brands, has a lengthy title — Let’s Do 2014 Numbers for the Mobile Industry: Now we are at 100% Mobile Subscription Penetration Rate Per Capita Globally — but it spells out his thesis quite clearly. In his article, he looks at the size of the mobile market and compares it to numbers we think of a “big” but are dwarfed by mobile: TV, PCs, landlines, and cable/satellite. We’ve taken his numbers and turned them into the graph above (and we’d like to thank him for sharing his data so freely).

The article also looks at other numbers, such as:

  • Money generated by the worldwide mobile industry. It’s currently worth 1.5 trillion this year, with 1.15 trillion of that coming from service revenues).
  • Number of handsets sold: 1.8 billion mobiles sold in 2013, and nearly 1 billion of those were smartphones.
  • Internet users: there are 2.9 billion worldwide, with 42% of them — that’s 1.2 billion — accessing the ‘net via mobile, whether smartphone or feature phone.
  • The digital divide. In the developed world, there are 2.1 billion mobile subscriptions and a 175% mobile penetration rate (or: the average person in the developed world has 1.75 mobile phones). In the developing world, there are 5 billion subscriptions and an 85% mobile penetration rate (or: for every 100 people in the developing world, there are 85 mobile phones).
  • The biggest companies in the world, when you count only their mobile business. The top three are Apple ($112 billion), Samsung ($103 billion), and China Mobile ($91 billion).

If you’d like to see more of Tomi’s insights and be entertained at the same time, watch his presentation, The Platform of the Future?, which he gave at the 2012 NZ Marketing conference in New Zealand in 2012.He rattles off all sorts of interesting observations about mobile technology, and provides statistics aplenty, delivered in his very animated, very amusing style. If you’re looking for some mobility-related lunchtime viewing or want some stimulating “background noise” while you work,  this one’s for you:

this article also appears in the GSG blog

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