There is nothing like an idea whose time has come and the mobile industry continues to grow at unprecedented rates, according to  The International Telecommunication Union, there were over six BILLION mobile subscribers as of the end of 2011 which represents a substantial gain over the previous two years with 5.4 billion in 2010 and 4.9 in 2009 and accounts for 87% of the population of the entire planet. This global growth is being led by China and India adding over 300 million subscribers, which is more than the entire population of the United States. These statistics indicate that the growth of the mobile market is being led by developing countries that have not yet reached a saturation point of mobile subscribers like in major industrialized nations which have at least one subscription for each person.

Key Global Telecom Indicators for the World Telecommunication Service Sector in 2011
(all figures are estimates)
Global Developed
Africa Arab
Asia & Pacific CIS Europe The Americas
Mobile cellular subscriptions
5,981 1,461 4,520 433 349 2,897 399 741 969
Per 100 people 86.7% 117.8% 78.8% 53.0% 96.7% 73.9% 143.0% 119.5% 103.3%
Fixed telephone lines
1,159 494 665 12 35 511 74 242 268
Per 100 people 16.6% 39.8% 11.6% 1.4% 9.7% 13.0% 26.3% 39.1% 28.5%
Active mobile broadband subscriptions
1,186 701 484 31 48 421 42 336 286
Per 100 people 17.0% 56.5% 8.5% 3.8% 13.3% 10.7% 14.9% 54.1% 30.5%
Fixed broadband subscriptions
591 319 272 1 8 243 27 160 145
per 100 people 8.5% 25.7% 4.8% 0.2% 2.2% 6.2% 9.6% 25.8% 15.5%
Source: International Telecommunication Union (November 2011) via: mobiThinking

According to opinion from Mobi Thinking, “Mobile subscriptions outnumber fixed lines 5:1 (more so in developing nations); Mobile broadband outnumbers fixed broadband 2:1. With stats like this, it is easy to see why the experts predict that mobile Web usage will overtake PC-based Web usage. This will happen more quickly in developing nations (if it isn’t happening already) where fixed Web penetration remains low. In developed nations, this will happen more slowly. IDC believes that mobile Web usage will not overtake PC Web usage in the US until 2015. Regardless of the timescale, this inevitability makes your mobile Web strategy more important than your PC Web strategy in the long term.”

With mobile subscribers in China and India reaching nearly one billion in each country and accounting for 71% and 73% of their populations respectively, these two nations account for nearly one third of the mobile device users on the entire planet. Conversely, the United States saturation level is over 102% with over 323 million mobile subscribers. This information should make it very obvious to any company in the mobile industry that China and India are very lucrative markets to tap into.

With respect to smartphone usage, even though Apple maintains a dominate media presence, Android is forecast to control nearly half of the market share by 2015 according to research compiled by Mobi Thinking as indicated in the chart below:

Worldwide smartphone operating system (OS) market share in 2009-2015, according to Gartner Smartphone OS market share and compound annual growth rate 2011-2015, according to IDC
(listed alphabetically)
market share
market share
market share
market Share
market share
market Share
Android 3.9% 22.7% 38.5% 48.8% 39.5% 45.4% 23.8%
BlackBerry 19.9% 16.0% 13.4% 11.1% 14.9% 13.7% 17.1%
iOS 14.4% 15.7% 19.4% 17.2% 15.7% 15.3% 18.8%
Symbian 46.9% 37.6% 19.2% 0.1% 20.9% 0.2% -65.0%
Windows Phone/Mobile 8.7% 4.2% 5.6% 19.5% 5.5% 20.9% 67.1%
Others 6.1% 3.8% 3.9% 3.3% 3.5% 4.6% 28.0%
Total smartphones sold 172 million 297 million 468 million 631 million 450 million N/A 19.6%
Source: Gartner (April 2011) Source: IDC (March 2011) via:mobiThinking

When studying the information above it becomes obvious that the best business model for those in the Mobile Industry to achieve maximum market penetration worldwide will be to offer products that can be utilized on Android, iOS, and Blackberry as well as ramping up for the growth of Windows Mobile which is expected to exceed the iOS platform by 2015.

According to a report from Gartner, Mobile Advertising Revenue will explode to over 20 billion dollars by 2015 with location based ads giving the highest revenues while video and audio advertising shows the most growth.

For a complete analysis of Global Stats in the Mobile Industry see the entire Compendium of global mobile stats


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