Survey: connected mobile devices outnumber people in U.S.

By on October 13, 2011, 3:00 PM

In case you needed more proof that the future of computing is mobile, a new study by the wireless trade group CTIA has found that for the first time the number connected mobile devices in the U.S. has exceeded that of people living in the country.

Specifically, there are 327.6 million active phones, tablets and laptops on cellular networks, up 9 percent from January. That compares to 315 million people living in the U.S. and its territories.

The incredible numbers are bolstered by several factors, such as children getting cellphones at younger ages or seniors embracing the simplicity of tablets and smartphones. There's also the fact that many people have more than one wireless device. "Clearly, we’re using wireless more every day, and the consensus of experts is that demand will continue to skyrocket by more than 50 times within the next five years," noted Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA, as he highlighted the industry's need to purchase underutilized or unused spectrum from the government.

CTIA delivered a host of statistics on the state of the wireless industry, including service revenue hitting an impressive $164.6 billion in the 12-month period that ended June 2011, up 6 percent compared to the same period last year.

Other interesting tidbits from the survey:

  • Wireless network data traffic: 341.2 billion megabytes; mid-year 2010: 161.5 billion megabytes (up 111%).
  • Average local monthly wireless bill (includes voice and data service): $47.23; mid-year 2010: $47.47.
  • Number of active smartphones and wireless-enabled PDAs: 95.8 million; mid-year 2010: 61.2 million (up 57%).
  • Number of active data-capable devices: 278.3 million; mid-year 2010: 264.5 million (up 5%).
  • Wireless-enabled tablets, laptops and modems: 15.2 million; mid-year 2010: 12.9 million (up 17%).
  • Minutes of Use (MOU): 1.148 trillion; mid-year 2010: 1.138 trillion (up 1%)
  • SMS sent and received: 1.138 trillion; mid-year 2010: 982.9 billion (up 16%).
  • MMS sent and received: 28.2 billion; mid-year 2010: 32.1 billion.

CTIA’s data comes from a semi-annual survey that includes information from service providers. Since this is a voluntary survey and not everyone responds some of the figures are estimates. Still, it's indicative of peoples' habits when it comes to wireless devices. Are you contributing to these numbers? How many connected devices do you own?




User Comments: 5

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MilwaukeeMike said:

It says "327.6 million active phones, tablets and laptops on cellular network" Does that include Smartphones? Because only 28% of cell phones are smart phones. Might be the reason the avg wireless bill is only $47 a month, but no one offers a plan for that low that includes data. I know it says that amount includes data... someone please tell me where i can get a data and voice plan for $47/month.

Guest said:

This is the reason we need to go to/use IPv6.

Guest said:

And if all of these people using smart phones decide to get a new phones whenever they're eligible - as most people are likely to do - think of the huge amounts of e-waste we're creating. We live in a disposable culture, for sure.

Atham said:

Guest said:

And if all of these people using smart phones decide to get a new phones whenever they're eligible - as most people are likely to do - think of the huge amounts of e-waste we're creating. We live in a disposable culture, for sure.

Couldn't agree more. But isn't it the same with PC parts?

MilwaukeeMike said:

Atham said:

Guest said:

And if all of these people using smart phones decide to get a new phones whenever they're eligible - as most people are likely to do - think of the huge amounts of e-waste we're creating. We live in a disposable culture, for sure.

Couldn't agree more. But isn't it the same with PC parts?

I can' tspeak for all carriers, but Sprint offers you $150 off your bill if you return to them a working phone that you're no longer using because you upgraded. Every new phone I've ever bought comes with a self-addressed bag to mail my old one in for recycling.

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