A few significant milestones and stats have come out in the past weeks. Lets do a round-up and celebrate...
Total mobile industry subs? Ericsson has just counted that at the end of Q1 the world has 7.6 Billion total subs (for 7.5B total humans). I had the number at 7.8B so first off, we are pretty close and secondly, obviously, more mobile subs than humans. Nice to see that number now verified.
Secondly on the big numbers. The GSM Association has upped their count of unique mobile owners and by quite a lot, since their count last year was clearly too low. They now have joined several others who get a number that starts with 5. GSMA says its an even 5.0B unique mobile owners worldwide, and I'll take that as near-enough to consensus now (I said 5.2B at the start of the year). Even at 5.0B it is 67% of actual humans alive and that is a truly monster number, as 16% of the planet is so young they are not even old enough to go to school ie learn to read or write (and mostly apart from some nutty countries like Finland, tend not to have mobile phones yet at that age). So of 'people old enough to go to school' haha, a massive 80% now have a mobile phone account including all the poorest parts of the world. This is a WONDERFUL industry to be in.
While on those numbers, Africa is on the verge of hitting 1B mobile subs (I told you so, that even the poorest continent would get mobile).. Ericsson says we are on the brink but lets not yet celebrate as that milestone has not been passed.
Now about the mobile internet? Zenith counts that among the total time spent in various media television is still in the lead but mobile is already the second largest time spender/waster. We consume 95 minutes of mobile internet time per day on a global average (two thirds of all internet is now mobile by time measured). There is still a way to go to catch TV but of the five media uses measured by Zenith (TV, radio, internet on mobile and desktop, and newspapers) only mobile is growing .We will eventually pass TV too. Go mobile!
Talking about going mobile. Uber. Gosh, this is huge news. Uber - the ultimate poster-child for the 'apps economy' nonsense - now acknowledges what just about all industry experts have said for years already (and I said from the start of the app hysteria) that SMS reaches a larger audience than an app. So even Uber now added SMS support to its service. You can buy an Uber ticket with your Uber app - but have the ticket sent to someone who doesn't have the app loaded, and do that of course.. with SMS text messaging. Duh. SMS has 6 Billion active users, Uber has what, some hundreds of millions. Even Facebook is under 2B and YouTube is at 1.5B. Of COURSE you do SMS if you do mobile. To be mobile first means.. to do SMS text messaging.
Thats the numbers update for today. Go mobile!
PS if you need ALL the mobile numbers in one place (and stored on your phone as a pdf file) get the TomiAhonen Almanac every year. It has a chapter on mobile subs, has a chapter on the mobile internet, has a chapter on SMS text messaging... 200+ pages, 100+ stats. Get your Almanac 2017 here.