Tomi Ahonen shared his snapshot of global mobile stats this week and cast his eye toward the end of 2011, too. The whole thing is worth a look, but here are a few eye-popping nuggets to get you started:
There are 7 billion people on earth, but already an astounding 5.3 billion mobile phone accounts (around 3.9 billion unique mobile phone owners, or 55.7% population, with about 4.6 billion individual phones).
Only 17% of phones are smartphones, but even the feature phones have a pretty impressive set of basic functionality: 96% of all phones have at least a basic browser (WAP or HTML); 94% have color screen; 77% have a camera. (This means that more than 3.5 billion cameraphones are in use; literally half the world's population has a camera in their pocket.)
71% of all phones have a HTML web browser (not just WAP), or 3.3 billion. That's almost three times the number of internet-connected PCs.
1.8 billion Nokia phones are in the wild, which means 27% of the world's population has a Nokia phone in their pocket.
SMS text use is approaching global literacy rates. It literally can't get bigger. 85% of Europe mobile subscribers are active SMS users. In China it's 90%. USA is past 74%. By end of year, we'll see 4.5 billion active SMS users, "the most widely used data application on the planet." Domino's Pizza and Coca Cola are aggressively using the platform for marketing.