Mobile numbers

A happy side effect of the mobile revolution is an array of stunning stats.

By Sustainability 08 May 2013

A happy side effect of the mobile revolution is an array of stunning stats.



The Motorola DynaTA C 8000x, the original mobile phone, took over a decade to come to fruition; however, the original working model was created in only six weeks by a team of engineers. The haste was due to the company hearing that rival AT&T was considering making mobile phones.



In the UK, veteran comedian Ernie Wise made the first mobile phone call on the Vodafone network on 1 January 1985. The first Vodafone mobile phone was the size of a briefcase and cost £2,000. It had a battery life of about 20 minutes.



$50 – the price point for smartphones to become affordable in the developing world, as announced at the 2012 Mobile World Congress by CEOs of several telecommunications companies.



85% of Americans in 2102 had a mobile phone. In contrast, 58% have a desktop computer; 61% a laptop computer; 18% an ebook reader; and 18% a tablet computer.


Mobile data usage x40

In the UK, the amount of data used on mobile phone networks increased 40 times between 2007 and 2010.



Almost half of the British population has a smartphone. The latest figure is 48.9%.


“An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices! And we are calling it iPhone! Today Apple is going to reinvent the phone.” - Steve Jobs


The first mobiles able to send email and use the web became available in April 1999.


1 billion

The one-billionth Nokia 1100 phone was sold in 2005 in Nigeria.


Global texting

75% of mobile phone owners text, according to a study by the Pew Research Centre conducted in 21 countries. Texting is used around the world, but it is most common among cell phone users in Indonesia and Kenya – two of the poorest nations included in the survey.



An increase of 10 percentage points in mobile phone penetration implies a 0.6% difference in growth rates compared to countries with less mobile phones.

Source: The Power of Communications in Development, 2005

“When you get a mobile phone it is almost like having a card to get out of poverty in a couple of years.” - Muhammad Yunus

8 hours

The iPhone 5, launched in 2012, weighs a mere 112 grams and has up to eight hours of talk time.



Four years ago less than 10% of Kenyans had a bank account. Now almost 60% do so thanks to M-Pesa. The mobile phone service has 14.9 million customers and can be accessed at more than 39,000 points of service. It transfers 10% of Kenyan GDP per annum.

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