A Few Interesting Facts to Start Your Day

WhiteboardWhen you’re trying to put together a business case, it’s good to be able to base it on statistics, facts, and projections from well-respected authorities. Here are some quick facts and trivia items, to help you get some perspective on the shift to mobile, connected devices.

Phones to Mobiles to Smart Phones

  • According to the CIA World Factbook, there were approximately 1,181 million land line telephones in the world, at the end of 2012. It appears that the number of landlines peaked in 2008, roughly 132 years after the invention of the telephone, and a gradual decline has been evident since then.
  • The first digital cellular network was introduced in Finland, in 1991. The number of mobile subscriptions is expected to exceed the world’s population sometime in 2014, just 23 years later.
  • The Centers for Disease Control reports that, as of 2013, only 8.6% of households in the United States (where the telephone was invented) now have only a land line phone, whereas 38.2% of households have only mobile phones.
  • Palm introduced the first commercially viable smart phone, the Kyocera 6035, in 2001. Twelve years later, market research firm IDC reports that 1,004 million smart phones were shipped in 2013, more than half of the total 1,822 million mobile phones. The total number of smart phones shipped in 2017 is expected to increase by 71%.
  • By volume, Samsung has about 30% of the smart phone market, while second place Apple has nearly 19%. Huawei, LG, and Lenovo each had between 4.5% and 4.9%. Of the five, Apple showed the slowest growth. The three smaller vendors had the largest growth, mostly in the developing world.

Computers and Portables

  • According to various sources, there are approximately 1.6 billion desktop, portable, and kiosk computers in use in 2013, 32 years after IBM introduced the first Personal Computer.
  • IDC estimates that 134 million desktop and 181 portable computers were shipped in 2013. They project that in 2017, the total number of desktop and laptop computers shipped will be approximately the same, although they expect a shift of about 8% from desktop to portable.
  • Despite the end of support scheduled for April 8, 2014, it is estimated that 500 million computers still run Microsoft’s XP operating system, including 95% of the world’s automated teller machines.


  • Although the Pencept and GRiDPad were introduced in the 1980’s, and Microsoft introduced a short-lived tablet PC in 2001, the first general-purpose, practical tablet computer to gain widespread acceptance was the iPad, introduced by Apple in April, 2010. Just three years later, IDC estimated that 221 million tablets were shipped in 2013.
  • Apple still has about 35% of the market, although Android tablets account for 61%. IDC projects that the total number of tablets shipped in 2017 will increase to 386 million devices.
  • IDC expects Windows tablets to account for 10% of the market by 2017, while Android will account for 59%.


  • By 2016, Cisco expects there will be 3.4 billion Internet users ― about 45 percent of the world’s projected population.
  • Cisco forecasts annual global IP traffic in 2016 to be 1.3 zettabytes – (a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes). By that time, over half of all internet traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections.
  • Also in 2016, an expected 1.2 million video minutes―the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) ―will travel the Internet every second.
  • According to Statista, as of 2013, mobile phones account for 17% of global web usage. This ranges from 15.2% in North America and 9.7% in Europe to nearly 27% in Asia. Note that mobile apps and mobile web sites tend to be more efficient in bandwidth utilization than their non-mobile counterparts.
  • Estimates vary, but approximately 70% of global web usage flowed through desktop and portable computers in 2013.
  • While the “Internet of Things” appears to be a growth market, it appears that it will not consume an appreciable volume of internet traffic, in the next few years.

If you have other estimates, questions, or counter-arguments, leave a comment below.

This entry was posted in IT Management and tagged , , by Dave Gordon. Bookmark the permalink.

About Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty five years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including SaaS solutions like Workday and premises-based ERP solutions like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise. He has an MS in IT with a concentration in project management, and a BS in Business. In addition to his articles and blog posts, he curates a weekly roundup of articles on project management, and he has authored or contributed to several books on project management.

1 thought on “A Few Interesting Facts to Start Your Day

  1. The day after I published this post, Google announced that they were selling their Motorola cell phone business to Lenovo, who intends to use acquisition as a way to move into the U.S. market.

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