At the end of 2012, there were 7.1 billion humans on the planet – and 6.7 billion total active mobile subscriptions, i.e., 94% of all humans have mobile phone accounts. Of those, 4.3 billion humans (60%) are unique users (those who have at least one phone and account).
Regarding phones in use: 5.2 billion humans have two phones (73% of the global population). This is according to the latest monthly mobile report from Native digital agency, which provides a snapshot of mobile news, views, events and developments locally and abroad. In an exclusive partnership with TREND. this monthly report is published at www.trendlives.info first.
Mobile highlights for 2013, as identified by Native, include:
- Industry experts expect that “mobile” as we know it will never be the same. Its definition is changing to facilitate more connected machines and gadgets. Global 3G strategy consultant Tomi Ahonen predicts 2013 to be the year of the “Mobile Moment” – when mobile handsets exceed the human population (no gadget in the world has ever achieved this).
- Mobile ad spend doubled last year to $8.41 billion, with double-digit growth expected for 2013. The Africa region appears to be on par with worldwide estimates for the year.
- The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) plans to measure the value of mobile and standardise mobile advertising industry guidelines. Nielsen and the global MMA will also launch SMoX.me, Smart Mobile Cross Marketing Effectiveness, in an attempt to measure the economic value of mobile marketing.
- The highly anticipated ‘Jobs’ movie is set to be released on Apple’s 37th Anniversary this year, April 19, 2013, at the Sundance Film Festival. It stars Ashton Kutcher in the title role as Steve Jobs and the script was written by The Social Network writer, Aaron Sorkin, off Walter Isaacson’s official biography of Jobs.
- Old Mutual makes a strategic move in the acquisition of the personal financial management app 22seven. The start-up caused a stir in January 2012 in the local banking sector as it links to users’ online banking accounts and draws the information into a single ‘smart statement’ with detailed categorisation of spending, and mechanisms to assist in meeting savings goals.
- The total mobile device market for the year ending 2012 showed Samsung, Nokia and the big surprise, Huawei, also taking top spots. Samsung will try dominate this year.
- Mark Shuttleworth announced that he plans to release a Linux-based Ubuntu operating system (OS) for smartphones.
- The first Firefox OS handsets were revealed. What makes them special? Every phone feature (calling, messaging, games and so on) is an HTML5 application.
- Orange, owned by French Telecom, launches a retail telecoms website to build brand awareness in South Africa ahead of the possible launch of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service here. It used is sponsorship of the African Nations Cup (Afcon) to unveil several initiatives in Africa to position itself in the market.
- All eyes were on the launch of the Blackberry 10 in January. It also renamed its Blackberry App World to Blackberry World; and Research in Motion (RIM) to Blackberry.
- The social networks were also busy, with MySpace opening again for business, the launch of Facebook’s Social Graph, and Twitter’s Vine.
- We are keeping a close eye on Mxit, with the naming of a new executive committee, new innovate apps and very ambitious plans for 2013 – watch this space.
- The local Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) released top insights from its conference, which also revealed that: 75% of people who access the internet on their mobile phones do so every single day.
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