We do an annual look into the size of the mobile industry here at the Communities Dominate blog. So its time to review the growth of mobile and report on the technology that has 4 Billion subscribers. Recognizing that the world has about 6.7 Billion people, it means there is a mobile phones subscription now for 60% of the whole planet (source TomiAhonen Consulting 2009).
UPDATE - 5 February 2010: I have written a total industry statistics update which supercedes the information on this blog page. See the full Mobile Industry Stats 2010
START WITH SCALE
Lets start with comparisons. Newspapers? the total circulation of all daily newspapers worldwide is about 480 milllion. Cars? There are about 800 million cars on the planet. Cable and satellite TV subscriptions? About 850 million. Personal computers including desktops, laptops and netbooks, about 1 billion. Fixed landline telephone connections, about 1.2 billion. eMail users about 1.3 billion. Internet users about 1.4 billion. Television sets about 1.5 billion. And credit cards? About 1.7 billion people carry at least one credit card in their wallet.
But there are 4 billion mobile phone subscriptions now in January 2009. More than twice the number of credit card owners, 2.5 times the number of TV sets or internet uses, approx 3 times the number of email users of total landline phones and yes, four times the number of personal computers. This is a monster sized industry, totally towering over all others.
OVER 1.1 B NEW PHONES PER YEAR
Its not just the size of the established industry. It is a dynamic industry selling a massive number of new devices per year. 1.18 Billion new mobile phones were sold in 2008 (IDC 2009). Compare that with approx 280 million new personal computers, laptops and netbooks sold last year, or under 300 million TV sets and we get to understand the scale. More new mobile phones were sold last year, than the total installed base of computers of any kind in the world. And these phones are increasingly powerful phones too. Top end mobile phones have up to 8 megapixel cameras, 3 inch and even 4 inch screens, memory card slots that take 8 gigabyte removable memory cards. Increasingly new phones are 3G high speed data phones, and even higher speed data phones, so-called 3.5G phones are already on the market.
Of the established base of phones, over 99% can receive basic SMS text messages, or their equivalents, depending on country and technology. Over 90% of all phones in the world have a basic browser. Over 80% have a colour screen and over 70% have the data connectivity to be able to receive MMS picture messages. Over 60% of all phones are cameraphones. Over 50% of all phones have bluetooth wireless connectivity. 40% of all phones can install Java or Brew based applications. 20% of all phone subscriptions are 3G high speed data enabled and 10% of phones are smartphones (TomiAhonen Consulting 2009)
The typical top-end smartphone of today, becomes a mid-range phone in only three years. Think of your cool new iPhone or N95 or E90 Communicator, in a few years its a hand-me-down phone used as a toy by young kids. Top end smartphones of today are as powerful by their computational calculation speeds of their processors, as the fastest supercomputer only 20 years ago. That performance is equivalent to a mainframe computer 15 years ago, high-end desktop PC 10 years ago or an entry-level laptop only five years ago (TomiAhonen Consulting 2008). The processing power of a top end smartphone of today, such as a Nokia N96, equals the total computing power of all 50,000 computers on the planet that existed just 40 years ago.
In 2008 mobile telecoms became a Trillion-dollar industry, as one of very few such giants on the planet. Roughly twice the size of the total broadcast industry (meaning both TV and radio combined) or twice the size of global advertising business, or twice the magnitude of the worldwide print industries (newspapers, magazines, books etc); twice the size of the IT industry or the global beverages business or the air travel industry. Mobile is on par with the global automobile industry or the worldwide armaments industry annually, now earning one Trillion (1,000 Billion) dollars in revenues.
The mobile industry income splits 80:20 for revenues and equipment. Out of the 800 Billion in service revenues, approx 600 Billion is in mobile phone voice calls, about 130 Billion in messaging and about 70 Billion in various premium data services. Of the remaining 200 Billion in hardware, a little over 150 Billion is handset sales, and under 50 Billion in telecoms networking equipment sales annually.
NEWEST MASS MEDIA CHANNEL
As we report on this blog and in our books, Mobile is the newest and least understood mass media channel. If counted in sequential order, mobile is the 7th of the mass media (Print is first, recordings second, cinema third, radio fourth, TV fifth and the internet the sixth mass media channel). Mobile only became a mass media channel ten years ago when in the autumn of 1998, the first downloadable ringing tones (very basic music content) became available to download to a few select phones, in Finland. Ten years later, at the end of 2008, the mobile content industry was worth about 71 Billion dollars worldwide, led by music, gaming, social networking and various TV, video and TV-related services such as TV voting by SMS (TomiAhonen Consulting 2009).
For comparison, the total internet advertising industry is roughly of this size, as is the global radio broadcasting industry. DVD sales and rentals worldwide of all movies and TV content is slightly bigger at about 80 Billion which is also the value of the worldwide coffee industry. But mobile achieved this in just ten years sustaining a cumulative annual growth rate of 63% year-on-year for a whole decade, and still growing at almost 50% in the last year (TomiAhonen Consulting 2009). This is the fastest growing media sector by far. Or to compare it to its nearest media sibling, the internet or the 6th mass media channel, which is nearly twice as old as mobile. The total content revenues on mobile are over twice the size of all content revenues on the internet; and this is even more poignant when considering that the biggest content types by revenues on the internet continue to be adult entertainment and gambling.
As to "which is better" its a bit like comparing radio and cinema, one is good for something, the other for something else. There is no one supreme mass media channel, and all legacy six mass media will continue to exist even as mobile (and the internet) continue to grow. But, the mobile is the youngest and least understood mass media channel. That is why I wrote the book Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media, to explain that mobile is not the dumb little brother of the internet, and not the crippled small screen variant of television. Mobile is a unique mass media channel, which has actually seven unique benefits and able to deliver vastly different and new types of content that was not even possible on older mass media. Just like television offered the ability to "show" music ie the music video of MTV, that soon overtook radio play as the most powerful way to sell new music; so too mobile already has invented new content and formats that are not possible on any legacy mass media. Consider just the ringing tone. Very simple and dumb service, but worth over 5 billion dollars annually, more than twice the total global revenues of Apple iTunes ie music on the internet (6th mass media channel). I discuss innovations and service concepts and obviously the 7 unique benefits of mobile and regularly showcase innovative mobile services and applications at my other blog at www.7thmassmedia.com
As to its reach, simple and short text-based content such as breaking news, a joke-of-the-day or a religious message can be sent via basic SMS text message, and reach pockets of over 3.9 billion subscribers. Yes, that is three times the total reach of email! If the brand wants to "engage" with that audience, as SMS is used actively by 76% of all subscribers or 3.1 billion of the subscribers (TomiAhonen Consulting 2009), that is the potential response for any media campaign. In 2008 Jupiter Research reported that 1.5 billion people would receive at least one advertising message on their phones, which is more than all television sets that receive advertising on the planet and obviously more than all PCs or internet users worldwide.
For more advanced multimedia based media content and advertising, of sounds, pictures and video clips, the MMS picture messaging system reaches 70% of the subscribers or 2.8 billion people. Obviously this is nearly twice the number of TV sets in use, and more than twice the number of total internet users and almost three times the total of PCs in use in the world. How many of them are able to react and respond via MMS? 40% of all subscribers already have sent an MMS picture message, so the active user base is 1.35 billion (TomiAhonen Consulting 2009). It means that a brand can interact with more people on the planet, using MMS picture messages than using eMail in 2009. This is particularly true of Asians as already in 2007, almost half, or 48% of all Asian mobile phone subscribers used MMS picture messaging (Asia Digital Marketing Yearbook 2007).
Will advertising be there? Where there is content, there is advertising. So yes, if there is more paid content on mobile, than the value of total industry of radio, then yes, of course there will be advertising on mobile. But what kind of advertising? The very crude early concepts were copies of legacy media and concepts, ie WAP banner ads and spam ads on SMS. Now, over the past few years, far more advanced concepts have been developed. I showcase 50 best examples in the 50 case studies of succesful mobile advertising and marketing concepts from 19 countries around the world in my brand new eBook, Tomi Ahonen's Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising. You can sample free pages and several of the Pearls at that link if you are interested in advertising and marketing on mobile.
MOBILE DATA IN A POST i-PHONE ERA
How many active users? So you'd like a number on the audience? That depends very much on how we define. If you want "active users of the mobile web" ie the most restrictive definition - but include all mobile operator/carrier WAP and other browser services like i-Mode, then there are 1.05 billion active users who use browser-based services (or "mobile intenet" services) on a phone today. That is just slightly more than the total number of personal computers connected to the internet, and obviously most users who have both methods, use both methods.
There is a severe wealth gap on the usage between the Industrialized World and the Developing World. In most Developing World countries there are vast differences where very few have PCs and broadband internet to connect ot the web, and the proportion of mobile web browsing to PC based internet use is easily 6:1 or even 8:1, and more internet users from phones than PCs reported in countries such as Kenya, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan etc. There is even a dedicated user group for the most expensive major brand smartphone series, the Nokia Communicator, in Indonesia, where the phone is a perennial hit product used as a palmtop computer and tons of locally developed apps and services.
But also many of the world's most advanced high speed broadband internet countries, like Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, report more access to the internet from mobile phones than from PCs. Leading European countries are arriving near the half-point. Adobe reported in November 2008, that 40% of the world's internet use had migrated to phones. Obviously if globally the world is nearing the half-way point, and mobile internet is is the dominant form in the Developing world, then the opposite must be true in the Western World where this is a minority. But even so-called "laggard" mobile phone markets like the USA are witnessing a strong shift to the mobile internet, led by recent internet enabled phones like the iPhone and email enabled phones like the Blackberry.
I do want to also be clear, "users" does not mean "usage". Of course for those who have access to both methods, most users will prefer to put the majority of their traffic onto the PC based internet, not the mobile one. Although some who primarily need email, are happy to shift their email use away from the laptop to the Blackberry, and others who really like the iPhone are actually shifting usage away from their laptops to the iPhones. But no, don't misunderstand me. Where users have the choice, still the majority prefer to put the big traffic to the PC based internet. However, where there is no choice, ie the phone is the only internet access device like for hundreds of millions of internet users in the Developing World, then there is no choice and the usage will be similar to that of PC users (depending obviously on data price packages).
MOBILE PREMIUM DATA
However, if we use a more inclusive definition, and add "downloading" of content, games and applications to phones, the active user base expands considerably to 1.2 B billion users worldwide. If we measure mobile data use to include not only browsing and downloads, but also MMS picture messaging users and other premium SMS text messaging users (such as voters on TV shows like American Idol), the total active user base of "premium mobile data services" reaches 1.7 Billion mobile phone subscribers.
So the number of consumers on the planet, who are willing to spend money to consume non-voice, and non person-to-person text message "premium" data services on their phones, is 1.7 Billion people. That is more than twice the number of people willing to subscribe to cable or satellite TV, and more than three times the number of people willing to buy a daily newspaper. Do we have your attention?
SMS IN A POST-OBAMA AGE
Americans woke up to SMS text messaging finally in 2008, when the Barack Obama campaign announced his VP choice by SMS rather than by press conference. The rest of the world has known about SMS text messaging for years. We wrote about SMS in our book Communities Dominate Brands in 2005, in Chapter 9 on Generation C:
What may seem to many of us as the particularly strange behaviour fo our own children, is in fact a universal trend all around the world. The young generations show a clear preference of SMS as their communication channel of choice. Several studies around the world show consistently that the young users prefer SMS to voice calls and prefer SMS to email. It is their private and secret communication tool that they can privately tap via their personal keyboards, without parents or siblings getting to listen in to a voice call or view an email. Even Americais following the trend, at the end of 2004 already a third of Americans send text messages.
In 2008, that had grown to 58% of all US mobile subscribers using SMS according to Pew Internet / American Life study in 2008, so the USA is nearing the global average level of SMS use at 76% of all subscribers. I am sure the newest numbers for the end of 2008 will be higher still passing 60% by a wide margin in the USA.
So you thought email was important? Or that Myspace or Facebook have impressive reach. Or that Skype is a powerful platform. Or that the videogaming consoles like the Playstation and Wii are big. Or that the iPod has a large user base. Think again. 1.3 billion use email. About 600 million use instant messaging. Skype has passed 400 million accounts. Facebook and Myspace have some 100 million users each, give or take a couple of dozen million. All videogaming consoles reach a couple of hundred million as is the cumulative shipment level of the iPod. But SMS is used by 3 billion people. Three Billion people. SMS text messaging is by far the most widely used data application on the planet. You can reach 2.5 times more people via SMS text messaging than on any fixed landline telephone! Twice as many people send text messages as own a TV set. Almost twice as many people tap on the phone keypad to send text messages, as sign purchases onto credit cards.
Oh, and yes, SMS can be used as a payment channel (like a credit card) and 20% of all banking accounts in Kenya are on mobile phone based money transfer accounts which transmit money using SMS (Vodafone M-Pesa 2008). People in many Developing World countries receive their full paychecks to mobile phone accounts, from the Philippines to South Africa. And then make payments, using SMS of course. And yes, mobile phones can handle payments. 58% of all single tickets sold on the Helsinki public transportation underground and tram systems, are paid for by SMS on mobile phones. And airline check-in? On Finnair's busiest business routes, over half of the passengers now sign up using mobile check in - using SMS text messaging. Estonia recently the abandoned all other payment methods to parking and the only way to pay for parking is now with a mobile phone. Many countries have lotteries that can only be paid for by mobile. There are even instant bank loans services in Sweden and Finland which operate only via mobile phone - but you can walk up to a cash machine and withdraw cash from your mobile phone instant loan, from any ATM automated banking teller machine.
CRACKING THE CRACKBERRY
How about the Blackberry? Two issues. The email on your Blackberry (or equivalent device like a Nokia E-Series) - that is only a crutch for us "digital immigrants" ie people who grew up before the time of SMS text messaging. Do not fool yourself into thinking that Blackberry-based wireless email would trump SMS. Never. That train left the station in 2002 when the global user base of SMS grew past the total user base of eMail. Blackberry or not, email will never catch up to SMS. But for Generation C (Community Generation) - or what is known as the "digital natives" - for them, the Blackberry or indeed any handset with a good alphabetic keypad like the new Nokia N97 - for them, the better keypad just helps send more SMS text messages. That is actually the growth market for the Blackberry in Europe and Asia - heavily addicted young adult SMS text messaging users, not wireless email users. Blackberry had its short market opportunity in America and that has passed. It is time for SMS now and even RIM the maker of Blackberry knows this, as their growth markets everywhere are SMS users, not email users.
How many is many? The world average is 4 SMS sent per active user and 2.6 SMS by all subscribers including non-users. European leaders are Norway and Ireland but the world leaders include Malaysia with 8 SMS sent per day per subscriber, Ecuador at 9 SMS per day, South Korea at 10 per day, and Singapore 12 per day. Thats a lot of thumb-typing every day. But the world leaders by a wide margin continue to be the Philippines, who average 26 SMS text messages sent per day per subscriber (Portio 2008). Think about that number. If you send 26 (and receive another 26 on average) thats 52 messages per day. That is one SMS every 18 minutes of the day for each of the the 16 hours we are awake.
But that is not the peak. That is average use. I don't have peak users from the Philippines, but 10% of British youth and 30% of South Korean youth average 100 SMS sent per day (3,000 SMS sent per month). At that level of use, you look at your phone every 5 minutes of the day all waking hours, to either read or send a message. How can you focus on anything else?
We are also seeing the sillyness then around it. The dangers of SMS text messaging with driving for example. Its not a unique new discovery in America. The UK Transport Reserach Laboratory studied the effects of driving while texting, and found in 2008 that it is more dangerous than driving while drunk or driving while stoned. As to walking while typing? This results in so many accidents among pedestrians that London has introduced soft padding to traffic signs on sidewalks to prevent accidents when pedestrians bump into the signs when typing and walking. The Japanese have a term for the this "thumb tribe" or Oyay-ubizoku.
But I reported back in my 2002 book, M-Profits, that SMS is addictive. That has since been confirmed in university studies from Belgium to Australia. More addictive than any other technology and as addictive as cigarette smoking. Once you get into SMS, there is no going back. The Blackberry is not really the crackberry, wireless email is only a "potberry" as in smoking pot. The hard drug is definitely SMS, far more addictive than wireless email. Proven in university studies. Now in my current book, Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media, I have a whole chapter just examining the strange changes to society that SMS text messaging is introducing. But make no mistake about it. SMS is a digital interactive media channel that has the widest reach and most addicted users. It can be used for anything from reminding Obama voters to show up on polling day, to the Pope sending daily greetings from the Vatican, to reminding you to show up at your dentist appointment, to informing you that the library book you ordered has arrived. In fact ANY industry can use SMS text messaging to improve its efficiency and customer service. Isn't that an interest now in the economically troubled times of 2009? About time to look into SMS? Why is it that British executives say that their most valuable time-management tool is not their secretary or online scheduler, it is SMS text messaging!
A FEW WORDS ON VOICE
So yes, the telephone was thought of as a voice calling device. Actually, it didn't start that way. Original sales arguments for installing the very expensive telephone connection to your home, about a hundred years ago, was for fire alarm use. So first phones were more intended for emergency messaging than to "talk on" with other phone owners. Still, we think of the familiar, and because the fixed landline phone was used for calls, many still think the primary use of a mobile phone is a voice call. And yes, that seems very reasonable because it used to be true. That is no longer true. The industry has reported from countries as far apart as Ireland and New Zealand, lterally on the opposite sides of the planet, that the trend is the same, users prefer to communicate by SMS text messaging, rather than voice. Not just the youth, mind you. The total population prefers this! (source regulator data respectively).
And of those voice calls? They are shifting away from the fixed landline to mobile. Households are abandoning the fixed landline as unnecessary. A third of European households have cut the cord, and over half of Finnish homes are now mobile-only. Even Americans are picking up this habit, with over 12% of US homes now without any landline but using cellphones only. But the funniest angle, Finland became the first country to start to decommission the payphones. Where the whole population carries mobile phones, there is no need for the coin-operated payphones anymore. Take a picture of the phone booth in your city, a few years from now, it won't be there anymore. You'll need the picture to convince your grand children of this weird type of "housing" we built into all cities, the little private one-person-standing-room-only houses for fixed landline telephones. How quaint..
1.9 BILLION CAMERAPHONES
So then what of the cameraphone? Since the first basic simple modest quality cameraphones were launched by J-Phone (now Softbank) in Japan, today the majority of all mobile phones in use are cameraphones and the cumulative base of these gadgets has passed 1.9 billion (over 3 billion have been made). Including digital cameras, all film-based cameras ever manufactured, and all disposable cameras in use, there are now more cameraphones than all other types of cameras, combined. This introduces a powerful ability to use common citizens as citizen-journalists as we have seen from major disasters and news events starting with the Boxing Day Tsunami and the 7/7 bombings in the London Underground. Not only pictures, most cameraphones also shoot video. Today CNN uses i-Report content regularly and reported in October that they had received 100,000 submitted items of i-Report user-generated news content.
Beyond the camera function, is then the 2D barcode. This still very little understood element is a powerful mechanism to move beyond the keypad and have the mobile phone jump to your mobile website far faster than the fastest typist could do on a laptop keyboard. Using a 2D barcode on a mobile phone gives the user a feeling of "magic" as if the phone was "reading the mind" of the user, with no typing requred at all. Magical. Just 3 years after they were introduced to the country, 76% of Japanese mobile phone users already use 2D barcodes (Mobikyo 2007). We've seen 2D barcodes used in campaigns worldwide from Ford to Pepsi. They will soon supplant the ubiquity of the web URL (ie www.tomiahonen.com) that now seems to be in every printed element of marketing literature. Soon, rather than the text, we'll be only using the 2D barcodes, as here in Asia many execs already print on their business cards.
SUBSCRIPTIONS, SECOND SUBSCRIPTIONS, PHONES
So a bit of insights into the 4 billion subscribers. Not every one of those is a unique person, and not every subscription is a phone. Actually almost one in three people on the planet has two or more subscriptions. So the 4 billion subscriptions includes those people, for example the kind of iPhone owner who also carries a Blackberry. This is usually bewildering to people outside the industry when first discovering the numbers, but it is a global trend. In Europe, more than half of all mobile phone owners have two or more subcriptions and most who do, have two phones as well. Note this is not a "bad thing" - most who carry two phones, do so willingly, and the trend is growing, not diminishing. These are not unhappy to do so, people find it often desirable to carry two, even three phones.And the trend is universal. Even in the USA already 15% of all phone subscriptions are second or third subscriptions.
In the Developing World the second subscription is more often used only for cost-savings reasons and thus many who have two subscriptions, have only one phone, and switch between networks using only one phone. There are now even many models of phones that take two subscriber identity modules to allow one phone to connect to two networks at the choice of the consumer.
So, how are the numbers. Out of the 4 billion total subscriptions, 3.05 are unique mobile phone owners with one or more subscriptions. 30% of them have two or more subscriptions giving us 4 billion total. And how many unique mobile phones? A the end of 2008, the total actively carried mobile phone population was 3.4 billion connected phones. Thus another 600 million subscriptions are active, but not connected, and switched on and off by the users in swapping the subscriber module to the phone. But think about that, 3.4 billion connected and active mobile phones, in the pockets of 3 billion people on the planet. So one in eight of us with a phone, actually walk around with two (TomiAhonen Consulting 2009).
Yes, there also are increasingly telematics connections, not counted in the above (ie connecting your home gas meter or your tea pot, or your home robot - yes, they already sell these in major shopping malls in in South Korea). And there are a rapidly growing subsegment of the laptop data card and data access dongle for 3G and 3.5G data access to the internet. These are still a tiny fraction of all subscriptions, in the single digits.
The global penetration rate for mobile subscriptions is 60%. Europe has passed 100% per capita penetration and leading countries like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Israel and Italy are past the 140% subscription rate per capita. Yes, per capita, not per household. And not per "adult population". Per capita as in total population including babies who do not use mobile phones. The only way to get past 100% penetration rates is to have some people with two or more. The USA is well behind the curve on this measure with the Industrialized World with the USA having only 85% subscription rate per capita but growing strong. Eastern Europe and Russia have passed the USA in penetration rates and leading Latin American countries are nipping on its heels. China is nearing 50% penetration level and even Africa is past 25% mobile phone penetration rate per capita. Amazing. Even in the poorest parts of the planet, you find about one in four people walking around with mobile phones. To think that a decade ago, it was an expensive executive gadget "only for the rich". One in four Africans has a mobile phone (subscription, not every one of these is a phone, as some are so poor, they share one phone handset in a village among several users.)
MUSIC, GAMING, SOCIAL NETWORKING
A lot more is on mobile. News is there, gaming is there, music is there, television is there, social networking is there. We discuss all of these aspects here at the Communities Dominate blog and I follow them closely also at the 7th Mass Media blog. A few quick comments. Music on mobile is worth over 10 billion dollars. Just under half is basic ringing tones. Other services include full-track MP3 downloads, real tones (mastertones), ringback tones (waiting tones), welcoming tunes, background tunes, music video, karaoke, etc. But when you consider the total global music industry to be worth about 27 billion dollars, note that over 37% of the total music spending on the planet, is now spent on mobile phone based music (including obviously ringing tones). Still think mobile is irrelevant?
Same is true of videogaming, already 30% of all global videogaming software revenues (ie excluding videogaming console sales revenues) comes from mobile phone based gaming. Of social networking (like Myspace, Facebook etc) , the total value of mobile social networking is about twice as large as the total of internet based online social networking. That includes anything from Flirtomatic and Itsmy to Twitter and Qik. If you want to see really advanced mobile social networking, then Japan's Mobage Town and South Korea's Cyworld mobile are a the bleeding edge. And there are the new advertising-sponsored social networking campaigns like the advergame run by Puma with the Shanghai Formula One race last year that I discuss in the Pearls Vol 1 eBook to showcase the newest case studies in mobile advertising when it embraces social networking on mobile. Cool stuff.
News is migrating to mobile. Globally 17% of all mobile phone subscribers pay to get news on their phones. That may seem like a small number, until you notice it is 680 million subscribers, and the total daily newspaper circulation worldwide is about 480 million. So paid mobile phone based news is consumed by 41% more consumers on the planet, than who pay for a newspaper. In many Asian countries mobile news consumption is past 30% of subscribers. I could go on. I hope I have illustrated mhy point. (All the data in this paragraph TomiAhonen Consulting 2009.)
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD
And obviously, if you write a blog or have any other writing or reporting or public speaking needs, feel free to reference these numbers and statistics. I am known in the mobile industry as "the" stats police, guarding our numbers and chasing the old outdated figures often quoted. I've written six hardcover bestselling books for the industry and lecture at Oxford University on these mobile telecoms matters. My numbers and those of my consultancy are used by all major players in the industry. So please do use them.
I am hoping that all experts would use the latest info. The problem is that for most of the other high tech industries, the numbers do not change very much from one year to the next, so quoting numbers a year or two old are not very different. With mobile that is not so. With our industry the growth rate is breathtaking. So yes, please, you may quote any of these numbers without any separate permissions until we have better ones. I want the story to spread. 4 billion mobile phone subscriptions on the planet, covering 60% of the population. 3.4 billion actual phones in use and connected. 3 billion unique phone owners. 3 billion active users of SMS text messaging. 1.9 billion cameraphones in use. 1.7 billion consumers of various premium data services on mobile. 1.35 billion active users of MMS 1.05 active users of browsing ("mobile internet") on the phones. The total content industry on mobile is worth 71 billion dollars. Messaging on mobile worth 130 billion. Total data on phones worth 200 billion. Total mobile services, voice and data, worth 800 billion and the total annual revenues of the mobile industry including handset and network equipment sales, worth one Trillion dollars. Selling 1.18 billion new phones and adding 650 million new subscrptions last year, when the rest of the economy is in a downward spiral, mobile telecoms is a strong vibrant and healthy industry.
You've bravely read through this long article. Thank you. But you also know, that you have at least some colleagues or friends who should read this, but probably won't take the time. I have a great solution for you. I have just updated my two-page "Thought Piece" on the Size of Mobile Industry for 2009 and its like a short very intense White Paper. I think any exec can take the time to read two pages if its really relevant. So I've summarized the most relevant data into the two page document. And best of all, its totally free. If you send me an email to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com then I'll send you the pdf file by return email. Ask for Thought Piece Industry Size in your email header.