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More mobiles than people worldwide

10 October 2011

By the end of next year there will be more mobile devices in use globally than people, according to Mike Short, who was inaugurated as president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) last week. The new president made the bold assertion during his inaugural address titled “Digital century – the web is your oyster” at the IET's headquarters in London.

The current global population is around 7 billion, but Dr Short is confident that uptake of mobile devices will pass that mark during the course of next year. He also predicts that China and India will each have more than 1 billion mobile subscriptions during the first half of 2012.
“Right now there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes," said Dr Short. "Unlike toothbrushes, mobile phones and devices are wonderfully inclusive and with access to the Internet they are empowering for billions of people – especially those in emerging nations who will access the internet for the first time through a mobile.

“We are all innovators now in a digital world, thanks to the marriage between the two great innovation platforms of the last 20 years now coming together: internet and mobile. This combination will drive digital innovation everywhere as these technologies become ever more pervasive and useful to all people. 

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