There Are Now More Phones Than People in the World According to This Report

It has now been 50 years since the first ever call was made from a cell phone. This call was made by Martin Cooper, who was an engineer working at Motorola at the time. Over the half century that has passed since then, cell phones have advanced by several orders of magnitude, quickly becoming essential items for every single person to own.

The shift to smartphones made these cellular devices even more useful than might have been the case otherwise. People needed a smartphone because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up keeping them well connected and helping them with socialization and work.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that there are now more smartphones in the world that human beings. Or rather, the number of mobile phone subscriptions have now surpassed the total number of people living on the planet.

This comes from a report published by the International Telecommunication Union which revealed that there were around 8.58 billion mobile phone subscriptions out there. This is slightly more than the around 7.95 billion people that have been recorded in the present day.

In spite of the fact that this is the case, this still doesn’t mean that everyone in the world is in possession of a cell phone. Indeed, while there are 8.58 billion subscriptions in total, these are spread over 5.4 billion users worldwide.
Hence, there are still nearly 2.5 billion individuals out there who don’t have a cell phone, or at the very least have not yet signed up for a mobile phone subscription with all things having been considered and taken into account.

This gap needs to be bridged, otherwise inequality will be higher in the long run. The growth rate has tapered off a bit, but we might start to enter a world where everyone is connected if the trend does not slow down too much. The future will be brighter if cell phones become as ubiquitous as they were always meant to be.

This chart compares the number of mobile subscriptions to the world's population growth.
Chart: Statista
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