In the last three months of 2012, global mobile subscription hit the 89%, and the Asia Pacific region accounted for half of this figure. Of the 140 million additions, 73 million came from Asia Pacific, while North America and Western Europe only added 2 million each. In terms of individual markets, China contributed 30 million, India with 11 million, and Indonesia with 8 million.
These figures were part of the Ericsson Mobility report which was released last week. The report also notes that mobile data usage doubled from 2011 to 2012 (between Q3 and Q4 of last year alone, total data volume increased by 28%), while mobile broadband subscription also grew by about 50% year-on-year.
The key takeaway from the report is that emerging countries are those driving mobile grqowth. And while LTE subscriptions increased from 14 million last 2011 to 57 million to last year, only 15-20% of the world’s mobile phones are smartphones. In emerging regions such as Asia Pacific and Africa, a huge percentage of the population count their mobile phones either as their primary or only device to access the internet. This is why phone manufacturers (most recent of which is Samsung) are coming out with ‘smarter’ feature phones to target this burgeoning mobile market.