Figures released as a part of the Ericsson Mobility Report 2012 reveal that global mobile penetration touched 91 percent in Q3 2012, while total mobile subscriptions reached the 6.4 billion mark. Ericsson, however, clarifies that the actual number of subscribers is roughly 4.3 billion, since a lot of users have several subscriptions. The number of mobile subscriptions in India fell by roughly 18 million in the review period. Elaborating on this, the report shared that the numbers were the result of increased focus on active subscriptions, and the removal of many inactive subscriptions. The report found mobile subscriptions rising by roughly nine percent year-on-year and two percent quarter-on-quarter. 

Porting worries! (Image credit: Getty Images)

40 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q3 2012 were smartphones (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Roughly 40 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q3 2012 were smartphones, as opposed to 30 percent in 2011. The report found that approximately 15 percent of the worldwide installed base of mobile phone subscriptions used smartphones, revealing their scope. 

As a part of its predictions, the Ericsson report shared that by the end of 2012, total mobile subscriptions would have reached around 6.6 billion. By the end of 2018, they are expected to reach 9.3 billion. Ericsson clarifies that these figures do not include M2M subscriptions, which will also add to the number of subscriptions. 

Global mobile broadband subscriptions will reach around 1.5 billion in 2012, and are predicted to reach 6.5 billion in 2018. Interestingly, most of the devices are, and will continue to be, mobile phones. “Mobile broadband will gain a larger share of total broadband subscriptions in many markets, complementing xDSL in certain segments and replacing it in others,” it added. 

Total smartphone subscriptions will reach 1.1 billion by the end of 2012 and are expected to grow to 3.3 billion in 2018. It shared that a majority of mobile subscriptions are currently on basic phones.

The report added that despite a significant increase in smartphone us, Ercisson expects subscriptions for basic phones and inactive subscriptions to stay at around 5 billion in the coming years. It stated that the reason for this is that a large part of subscriber growth will come from the lower-end phone segment. Regional differences will be large. In 2018, almost all handsets in Western Europe (WE) and North America (NA) will be smartphones, compared with only around one third of handsets for Middle East and Africa (MEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC).

Among its other interesting findings, the Mobility Report shared that the mobile devices such as the smartphone are emerging as a “natural part of the video experience”. Sharing bits from The Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Video Report 2012, Ericsson shows that over 80 percent of respondents browse the Internet while watching video and TV. It went on to add that over 60 percent used social forums or blogs while watching video and TV on a weekly basis. Of those who use social forums and chats while watching, the report found 42 percent to be, on a weekly basis, discussing all that they are currently watching.

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