China, the rest of Asia, and Africa together accounted for 75 percent of new mobile subscriptions in the third quarter of 2012, with 38 million in China, 31 million in the rest of Asia, and 25 million in Africa. That contrasts rather sharply with only one million new subscriptions in western Europe and two million in North America.
With 6.4 billion global cellular subscriptions and a world population just shy of seven billion, it would seem that almost everyone has a mobile phone or other mobile device connected to the internet. However, Ericsson, says, those 6.4 billion subscriptions are spread over only 4.3 billion people, meaning that many people have more than one plan … for example, a phone and a tablet, both with a cellular connection.
Which leads to a penetration percentage of well over 100 percent in some areas:
Mobile subscriptions penetration globally
40 percent of all phones sold in the third quarter, Ericsson says, were smartphones, but only 15 percent of the global installed base of phones is smartphones … so there is still a long runway for growth. In fact Ericsson is predicting smartphone subscriptions alone will reach 3.3 billion in 2018."