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20 mobile growth stats

Believe it or not, the number of mobile subscriptions has now surpassed the population of the planet! We have reached the mobile moment. This is a result of broad mobile penetration in almost every country around the globe, with some countries actually averaging more than two mobile subscriptions per person.

Mobile devices are changing the way we stay connected, entertain ourselves, create memories, find places, perform our jobs, learn about the world and buy things. We are no longer simply consumers of media; we are the media. Social media and mobile device proliferation will disrupt several industries; it will create wealth and destroy wealth. The way we live, work and interact will never be the same.

In the past five years Internet traffic has quintupled, and there are now more than a trillion pages of content online (source). This growth is closely tied to an explosion in the use of mobile.

Let’s examine some of the numbers to better grasp the significance of this transformation. Here are twenty ways that mobile is seeing dramatic growth:

  1. There are three times as many mobile phones in the world as there are computers. (Source | Tweet this)
  2. In China alone, there are already over one billion mobile subscriptions. (Source | Tweet this)
  3. Of the billion mobile subscriptions in China, 700 million are with a single company—China Mobile. (Source | Tweet this)
  4. By 2014 the number of mobile Internet users will surpass the number of desktop Internet users. (Source | Tweet this)
  5. Combined tablet and smartphone shipments have already surpassed those of desktops and notebooks. (Source | Tweet this)
  6. Mobile data bandwidth usage is soaring over 70 percent per year. (Source | Tweet this)
  7. The penetration rate of smartphones has already surpassed feature phones in many countries around the world. According to the Nielsen Company, about two-thirds of Americans already own a smartphone. (Source | Tweet this)
  8. Smartphones are spreading faster than any technology in human history—global smartphone activations outnumber global child births by three to one. (Source | Tweet this)
  9. By the end of 2015, about half a trillion apps will have been downloaded. (Source | Tweet this)
  10. A $40 tablet launched in India could reach 220 million students, educate the masses, fight poverty and generate economic growth. (Source | Tweet this)
  11. Young adults typically check their smartphones 60 times per day and send an average of 3,200 text messages per month. (Source | Tweet this)
  12. More people in the world own mobile phones than toothbrushes. (Source | Tweet this)
  13. According to the United Nations, more people in India have access to mobile phones than toilets. (Source | Tweet this)
  14. Consumers spend more than 23 percent of their daily media consumption time with mobile, yet marketers allocate less than 1 percent of their overall budgets to mobile. (Source | Tweet this)
  15. About 25 years ago, over half of the world’s population had never made a single telephone call, and now we have reached the mobile moment. (Source | Tweet this)
  16. Rapid mobile growth is occurring globally, with Europe leading the way. There are now 105 countries in the world with more than 100 mobile device subscriptions for every 100 people. (Source | Tweet this)
  17. Some countries have even surpassed 200 mobile subscriptions. (Source) (Extensive mobile statistics for several countries are available from the International Telecommunications Union or Google’s Our Mobile Planet.)
  18. The mobile acceleration affect is dramatically evident when one simply considers the number of days it took Apple to sell one million of its products: 360 days to sell a million iPods, 74 days for iPhone, 28 days for iPad, two days for iPad2 and less than one single day to sell a million iPhone 5 smartphones. (Tweet this)
  19. Mobile growth is unlikely to subside. By 2015 there will be 20 times more content, 20 times more cloud subscribers, 15 times more apps and quadruple the mobile transactions compared to four years earlier. (Tweet this)
  20. By 2016 there will be 2.5 billion smartphones in the world, and according to Juniper Research, annual smartphone sales will surpass one billion per year. (Source | Tweet this)

Businesses and government organizations are recognizing the power of utilizing mobile devices as a key means of communications with customers and citizens. Watch this series of IBM MobileFirst videos to generate ideas about how you can transform your organization using mobile.

And let’s connect on Twitter to discuss the #MobileMoment.

*This blog post is adapted from my book, Destination Innovation: Creative Mobile Marketing and Commerce Strategies.

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1 Comment
February 27, 2014
10:41 am

This is a great list. I keep coming back to it again and again. Thanks for posting it!

Posted by: Megan Irvine
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