As I catch up on back reading, I came on Tomi Ahonen's "Putting 2.7 billion in context: Mobile phone users". It's a long but interesting article, worth printing out and reading in detail (something I can't do in the airport lounge) as it puts mobile phones in context:
...context. 800 million cars, 850 million personal computers, 1.3 B fixed landline phones, 1.4 billion credit cards, 1.5 billion TV sets. How many mobile phones in use today? In use today, yes, 2.7 billion (technically 2.7 billion in January, not December). They sold 950 million phones last year and the total worldwide mobile subscriber base grew from 2.1 billion to 2.7 billion. Three times as many mobile phones as automobiles or personal computers. About twice as many mobile phone owners as those of fixed landline phones or credit cards. And almost twice as many mobile phones in use as TV sets.
Yes, that 2.7 billion subscriptions includes duplicates. There may be 2.4 to 2.5 billion discrete users, but the context is clear. More importantly for the Web 2.0 crowd to think about:
During 2007 the first cross-over will happen, with more users accessing via phone than PC. Fascinating data coming on that usage as well, the Japanese regulator reports that those who access the web via mobile phone do so more frequently than those who access via a PC. Similar data now coming from several converged (broadband and mobile phone) web services like Flirtomatic in the UK. Its no wonder Google's new CEO Eric Schmidt, says the future of the internet is mobile.
So pay attention to Internet and mobile phone usage in Japan, Korea and China as there, mobile phones are already the dominate form of Internet access.