The World of Mobile by the Numbers

The number of mobile users is approaching the number of people on earth. Some 6.9 billion people will have cellular subscriptions by the end of this year — or about 95 percent of the world’s population, according to the International Telecommunications Union. More than half of these subscribers will be in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to surpass 1.2 billion units this year, a more than 23 percent increase from just a year ago, based on International Data Corp.’s forecast. Volume will reach 1.8 billion phones annually in four years — with shipments more than doubling within key emerging markets, including India, Indonesia and Russia. By 2018, China will account for nearly one out of every three smartphones shipped.

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Google’s Android will remain the market share leader among smartphone operating systems for the foreseeable future, with IDC projecting its share will hit 80 percent this year. Android has been and will continue to be the platform driving low-cost devices. Apple’s share of the mobile market is expected to drop to 15 percent (though IDC’s forecasts were made in May, prior to the record-setting iPhone 6 launch).

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It’s no surprise that mobile Internet companies are experiencing a mini Gold Rush. Private investors pumped a record $19.2 billion into these companies over the last 12 months, according to the latest research from Digi-Capital. Big money flooded into mCommerce ($4.2 billion), travel and transportation ($3.3 Billion), utilities ($1.8 billion) and games ($1.1 billion). But 10 other sectors also raised more than a half billion dollars each — spanning the gamut from food and drink to messaging and more.

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