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It’s official: mobile devices outnumber people in the U.S.


We knew this day would come. Even though only around 75-80 percent of U.S. citizens are online, the number of wireless devices with cell phone plans has increased to 327.6 million, which is higher than the entire population of the United States, which stands at 312.4 million, reports CTIA, which is holding its wireless enterprise & apps conference in San Diego, California this week. Not every living American has a cell phone, which means that there is a significant percentage of people that own multiple connected devices, either more than one phone, or perhaps a connected tablet or mobile hotspot.

“Americans love wireless and continue to rely on the most cutting-edge and innovative devices,” said Steve Largent, president of CTIA, in a statement. “Clearly, we’re using wireless more every day, and the consensus of experts is that demand will continue to skyrocket by more than 50 times within the next five years.”

Interestingly, voice usage for mobile phones increased only 1 percent in 2011, while texting has increased 16 percent and data has skyrocketed 111 percent to more than 341.2 billion megabytes in the last year. Wireless carriers have spent $27.5 billion expanding their networks to deal with the influx of heavy data users on iPhone and Android. 

It’s not hard to believe that a few years from now we’ll have two or three times as many connected gadgets as we do people. That is, if wireless carriers don’t jack the price up too high. 

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