The global market for mobile communication devices is huge and growing rapidly.
Global voice and data revenue for 2010 is estimated at $830 billion. This represents 1.4% of world GDP of $60.63 trillion.
Global mobile services revenue is projected to exceed $1 trillion by 2014 —an annual growth rate of 7.1% compared with forecast world GDP growth of 3.1% for the next several years.
Global mobile device sales revenue for 2010 is estimated at $137 bn.
There are 5.28 billion mobile subscribers worldwide, representing 76% of the world's population of 6.75 billion.
That leaves an untapped market of 1.47 billion people who will acquire one or more mobile devices in future years. The mobile penetration rate in Asia is only 68% and in Africa only 41% (see table below). The majority of the world's population lives in these continents—a vast emerging market with economies growing much faster than the developed world.
But this figure still greatly understates the opportunity, because existing owners are now increasingly upgrading from basic phones to smartphones and smart mobile devices such as the iPad, creating a huge market for upgrades among the world's 5.28 billion existing subscribers.
In 2010, barely 20% of the total mobile devices shipped were smart devices-which means 80% of the existing user market is still untapped. And media tablets such as the iPad currently make up less than 8% of the smart device market—a 99% untapped market.
Thus even in developed countries where the mobile penetration rate already exceeds 100%, there is massive growth as existing users switch from basic phones to smart communication devices, and from basic cellular service to mobile broadband, which currently only has 14% penetration globally.
In developing countries, basic phones will continue to dominate in the near term. However, as prices drop and become more affordable, smartphones and media tablets will shift from being a niche market to taking over the mainstream market.