back to article Billion people now own a smartphone

The world smartphone usage total has passed the billion-unit point, the first time it has done so. It has taken 20 years, from the first appearance of the device in November 1992 to today. Strategy Analytics, a market watcher, today said it reckons one in seven members of the world’s population has owned a smartphone during Q3 …

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Anonymous Coward

Does that ...

.. Nokia 9000 smartphone have rounded corners?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does that ...

Nokia better be braced for a "retrospective" claim against them for Pre-Crime then

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Coat

There's only one thing I can say:

Baaaaaaa.

I'll have my thick, woolly coat please.

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that's ..

Well, there are 7.05 Billion of us, according to various sources. According to indexmundi 26% are under 14 years old. and 8% are over 65. So lets call that a potential world market of 7.05 * 0.66 = 4.65 Billion economicaly active adults. [1]

The suggestion is therefore that 23% of the adults in the world have a smart phone. Wow. And if it /does/ double, as they suggest, that will be getting on for half of us. [2]

I wonder what else has achieved market penetration like that? The ball point pen, perhaps. Certainly the knife. Shoes. If you include plain phone phones, how close to 100% do we get?

http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/facts/2011/material/ICTFactsFigures2011.pdf says there are 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions, that's 87% of the whole world population and 129% of my rough-and-ready count of world adults.

Now, look. This is something done by Science, not religion or governments. It has changed the world very profoundly, which is what technology has done since the stone age. religion and government is dedicated to the status quo, Engineers to tearing it down. I rather think I know who is winning.

[1] I am aware that in some countries schoolkids have smartphones.

[2] But not me.

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JDX
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Re: that's ..

I hope you know more about engineering than you do politics and religion.

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Go

Re: that's ..

The figures are astonishing, almost scary. According to Tomi Ahonen's figures ( http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2012/10/a-look-at-the-handset-industry-market-and-installed-base-in-2012.html )

Globally we are at 5.5 Billion mobile phones, actual handsets, in use worldwide. It is a number that has no comparison now. TV sets, PCs, DVD players don't even come close. Portable devices like PSPs, Gameboys, cameras, MP3 players don't match up. Even the total worldwide installed base of FM radios maxes out at 4.1 Billion units, but mobile phones, they now are at 5.5 Billion in use. The wristwatch industry has been overtaken years ago, and even now, the need for pencil and paper, mobile phones are in hands of illiterate adults too, so in a very real sense, mobile phones have more users than pens and pencils. We laughed at the stat last year, that more people use mobile phones than use a toothbrush...

By way of comparison, the global population aged 15 years and up is only 5.1 billion! And to think that just 25 years ago they were a joke diagnostic of yuppie plonkers...

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Boffin

What no Palm?

No mention of the various PalmOS smartphones? Shame!

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FAIL

Units != Users

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Nokia 9000

Man... me and about 6 friends wanted that phone SO bad, and nobody here in the states would sell it. As a result, we pretty much wrote off Nokia after that.

I remember it as so slim & trim, and now looking at that picture, I can't imagine why I ever thought that.

The interesting thing is I have a Droid, but I've used only 13 voice minutes on it in the past year. I use it mainly as a PDA and have ported apps I wrote originally for Palm to Android. I have banking records going back to 2002 originally entered on my Palm III. As far as I'm concerned, it's a hand sized tablet, not a phone.

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Bleeding Edge

I was so teased when, in my twenties, I started using my Nokia 7650, 9210, 6260 et al to do more than phonecalls. Oh, how people laughed and said that they would **only ever** use a phone to make phone calls and these 'fancy phones' would never catch on (mind you, they were the ones who said the same when I was in Uni and I came home to tell them about this thing we used called 'the web').

Oh how they laughed.

Oh how I feel ever so smug now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bleeding Edge

The mobile web was a bit cumbersome until GPRS arrived. Dialling up Freeserve from your mobile phone was a chore.

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Numbers are inflated..

The use of "burners" (see The Wire) inflates that number. Also corporate issued phones. I don't own a cell as I was issued one at work and see no need to carry a second one for as little as I use it. Wife is on her 2nd prepaid burner.

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WTF?

Well, this "Luddite" doesn't own a smartphone!

I've had a mobile/cell phone since the 1970s in the days of the Motorola 'Brick'. Recently, when I couldn't turn off the Internet feature in my Nokia smartphone I ditched it in favour of an El-cheapo LG non-Internet model.

Why you may ask. Well, I want a telephone, not an internet access point, personal tracking device nor a continually-connected mobile point-of-sale terminal for Apple etc. For that I use a laptop and a net-book which I have much more control over. And I don't like being dictated to by the telcos who are in league with the phone makers--especially so with telco-branded phones. As far as I'm concerned, each time I hit the wrong key or whatever on my Nokia and it would run uncontrollably off to the internet for a help solution, is deliberate push-marketing or enforced sales as far as I'm concerned.

Of course, the telcos just love this 'feature' as it increases the bill without providing a real service.

My LG-sans-internet is a beauty. It's fully unlocked, cost a bit over $30 and has two SIM sockets so I've now multiple providers in one phone, it doesn't go feral whenever I hit a wrong key and its inbuilt FM radio is excellent--better than most of the expensive smartphone models (its sensitive enough to work without the headphones being used as an antenna and also it doesn't force me to put in the headphones to work as such as most others do).

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Re: Well, this "Luddite" doesn't own a smartphone!

Hell, even on the cheapest ZTE from AT&T, The big button in the middle connects you to the Internet. On my previous Samsung, I was able to get them to disable the button, since I don't pay for a data plan, but on the new phone they refuse to disable it.

I too only make calls from my phone. My laptop w/wireless/wifi is where I want to access the Internet. I refuse to browse the Internet on a matchbox-sized screen.

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Devil

Luddites UNITE!!!

Graham,

I could not agree with you more. Beginning with the Pager and Fax Machine and now the Smartphone, these devices have all contributed to the downfall of civilized society. Unless my employer pays me 24/7/365 I will not be getting a smartphone so I can worry and work 24/7/365.

I have a truly great LG fliphone that is 6 years old and it can barely text. The chrome is worn off the front and some of the keys are getting hard to read. That damn phone will get a usable signal in the lower basement of a highrise or in the all stainless steel elevator of a hospital.

Co-workers smartphones can't get a signal in the same locations come hell or high water.

My kids insisted on texting me until I told them I won't text and if they want something they should call me on "The Phone". Who needs the Internet on a phone? Thats what computers are for and a damn sight easier to see what your doing on a real screen that does not make you lose even more of your eyesight.

Prediction: Come the year 2525 (courtesy of Zager and Evans) we "humans" will be hunchbacked, nearsighted mute gnomes with flipper hands except we will have developed polydactyl thumbs with little chiclet keyboard size fingers on each thumb. The human population will be in rapid decline as there will no longer be any face to face contact between us even if we were within feet of each other.

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@Dan Paul -- Re: Luddites UNITE!!!

Dan,

I could write pages on this topic but hopefully I'll keep it to only a few paragraphs. What I find fascinating is my own ambivalent or even negative reaction to the use of this technology. I've been a nerd since I was kid--that's even before the word was coined. I've always been fascinated in science and engineering and I've always worked in hi-tech environments, moreover, I've often been an early adopter of technology--right on the bleeding edge, yet I still cannot understand or comprehend why such a huge percentage of the population is so utterly possessed--truly addicted--to this technology. For ages, I've dubbed it 'electronic heroin'. Early on, had I had an inkling of such widespread addiction then I might have capitalized on it and made a fortune. ;-)

On two occasions in recent months I've nearly killed someone when they've obliviously walked out in front of my car in the middle of a 4-lane thoroughfare whilst blithely texting--not to mention other similar accidents of which I'm aware. Whenever, I sit in a coffee shop, public mall eating area or canteen, etc., etc., I seem to be the only person who is not glued to their tiny screen. I'm one of the few who actually turns the mobile off before I go into meetings and such--and on extremely rare occasions when I've had to use a mobile in a restaurant, I physically go outside to do so.

In the past I've requested that telcos cut off both text and internet services from the mobile so only the telephone remained. And I object to the fact that even this is problematic, as the once-maintenance-now-telco-golden-egg, the SMS, was never designed to be a sophisticated customer based service, hence there's no protocols to return a 'not-received', 'not-answered' error message back to the sender if one has the service disconnected. Only today, in another El Reg post on Cassini being 15 years old, I speculate about how many orders of magnitude more expensive it is to send a byte via SMS across the room than it is for NASA to send the same byte from Saturn to Earth. Why is there seemingly no concern for the outrageous and extortionate cost of the SMS service--a service that telcos originally got for free? (As with the heroin addict, when one's hooked and going cold-turkey, what one pays for one's habit is seemingly the least of one's concern.)

If things continue along this track as they have been for the past several decades or so then that prediction of 2525 will be fact, if not sooner.

Nevertheless, as we're the ones who are not participating hell-for-leather as is everyone else, then objectively it's hard not to conclude that it's the likes of you and me who are really the odd ones out. Trouble is, I'm still far from convinced as to the reasons why.

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Re: @Dan Paul -- Luddites UNITE!!!

How did you get them to turn your cell phone into a phone? One curious person wants to know.

Thanks.

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@theodore -- Re: @Dan Paul -- Luddites UNITE!!!

Simple really, I rang up the telco and just told them to disconnect both the internet and texting services and they immediately disconnected me from them.

Those services then didn't work, it was the same as having not paid the bill and being cut off--except the phone service still worked OK.

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Re: @theodore -- @Dan Paul -- Luddites UNITE!!!

Ah, I get it. I need SMS, but don't want internet and AT&T insists that I can't have one without the other.

Thanks.

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Actually the iPhone...

Actually the iPhone more or less lowered the expectations we had of a smartphone. Before that the ability to run your own software was one of the main features of the smartphone distinguishing it from feature phones.

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Re: Actually the iPhone...

How do you figure? I doubt even 0.1% of smartphone owners in 2006 wrote and installed their own software. That may have been a feature YOU valued, but it never has been and never will be something the typical buyer would care about.

Outside the techie/geek crowd, the "freedom" argument of having Apple control the app store versus Google allowing alternative app stores and the ability to install stuff you write yourself influences only the merest fraction of purchase decisions. I bet I'd have to ask a lot of Android owning friends before I could find a single one who even knew there was a different between Apple and Android in regards to what apps you are allowed to install.

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Re: Actually the iPhone...

Indeed, there was little "smart" about the original iPhone. It didn't even have true application support. Interesting the manner in which the Apple-drones in the media have managed to rewrite history.

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