A new report courtesy of the World Bank says that currently there are over 6 billion mobile subscriptions, but that number “will soon exceed that of the human population.” That is pretty crazy to think about, especially considering that 12 years ago there were less than 1 billion.
While approximately 75% of the world’s population has a mobile phone, in many countries it is common for people to have more than one line. Between 2000 and 2010, subscription rates in low and middle-income countries increased at a mind blowing 1,500%!
The report notes that in these low- and middle-income countries it is the youth that is driving force behind the exponential growth. People under the age of 15 comprise 29% of the population in those nations. The World Bank says that developing countries are “growing richer, so more consumers can afford to use mobile handsets for more than just essential voice calls,” thus creating “unprecedented” opportunities for employment and education.
The study also points out that the rate of expansion we have seen attributes to lower prices and networks that double in bandwidth every 18 months. Overall, the study says the growth leads to more Internet access and high app downloads, which ultimately empower individual users and boost the economy as a whole. In short, since there is no underground Android army rising up (that we know of), more phones than us is a good thing.