back to article Humanity now making about 41 mobes EACH SECOND

The world is now manufacturing just under 42 mobile phones a second thanks to an uptick in global production, IDC's presumably-very-tired handset-counters say. The firm's latest quarterly phone count found shipped 327 million mobiles in the year's third quarter. Do the math: there's 7,862,400 seconds in 91 days. Divide 327m by …

  1. AndyS


    It took me 3 minutes 30 seconds to read that article, during which time apparently 1,410 mobiles were produced. That's enough to give one to every person in a decent sized company.

    Those figures are actually mind-boggling.

  2. Denarius Silver badge

    junk wave coming

    how many will be recycled ? Will any of them finally, finally get a decent well designed UI ? Maybe aside from Apple.

    1. S4qFBxkFFg

      Re: junk wave coming

      If Google's Ara idea takes off, the junk generation rate might drop slightly. If your phone is modular enough that the individual components can be replaced, then there's no need to bin it if one bit is too crap/broken.

      It'll end up a bit like the Trigger's broom of phones if it does happen.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ara will fail

        They're going to be inherently more flaky - even Google has been embarressed during presentations, the phones don't work right!

        It will never be cost effective to make a modular phone that can have individual components replaced. Let's say you want to upgrade to a higher resolution screen. You not only have to replace the display, you have to replace the SoC since the graphics is part of it. If you replace the SoC you probably have to replace other stuff, too.

        Even something as simple as replacing RAM chips to upgrade memory is very hard to be cost effective. You have to socket them, which uses up more space and you give up performance (socketed connections can't be clocked as high) and reliability (socketed connections are less electrically stable than soldered - same reason as why they can't be clocked as high)

        Then there's the matter of who is going to do it. How many people are comfortable opening up their PC and upgrading the RAM? I suppose the unwashed masses could rely on a handy friend to do it, but if those who don't have such a friend would have to pay someone. In phones that cost $100, is paying someone $20 and buying RAM for $20 really worth it?

        Google would be much better off trying to get people to recycle phones than trying to make them upgradeable. All electronic goods, including PCs and laptops, are less upgradeable/repairable than they were a decade ago, or two decades ago, and there are reasons for that trend which aren't "because big companies are trying to screw us and make us buy new stuff all the time".

  3. jake Silver badge

    During the meanwhile ...

    My 14 year old Nokia 5185 cell still makes & receives telephone calls. As does the 1950s Western Electric Model 500 landline at my elbow[1].

    Sometimes it's better for a telephone to just be a telephone.

    The mind boggles at the amount of money being wasted world-wide on what should be a simple utility.

    [1] My Father's first telephone. Yes, I still have pulse-dial access from the telco. When that goes away, I have a simple circuit to convert the pulse to DTMF.

    1. AndyS

      Re: During the meanwhile ...

      Oh look, it's Jake.

      Surely you're still using two cans and a bit of string, which you hacked together from home-grown hemp while living in a hand-carved igloo in the arctic? After all, you wouldn't have needed anything else as you single-handedly coded Slackware from simple stone tablets and fingernails.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Out of curiosity, AndyS (was: Re: During the meanwhile ...)

        Why do people like yourself insist on putting words into my mouth? I never said anything that you imply.

        Inferiority complex? Perhaps getting a life would be a better option.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: During the meanwhile ...

      It's like listening to a stuck record.

    3. Tapeador

      Re: During the meanwhile ...

      Nokia 3210, still the business :-)

      Makes my ear a little bit hot though ;-)

      1. jake Silver badge

        @ Tapeador (was: Re: During the meanwhile ...)

        Indeed. But then I rarely use a telephone for more that a couple-three minutes. It's a communications device, not an entertainment center.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...say very tired analysts..."

    All that writing a report and badgering press offices all over the world to print it must be a strain.

    They should relax by taking a busman's holiday at, oh I dunno, Foxconn maybe?

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Now if we could just isotropically throw them at the universe at 0.999c ...

    ... that would be awesome.

  6. another_vulture


    World Human population is growing at 75 million/yr. This is 2.38 net new humans/second.

    There are about 7 billion humans. At the current rate, 7 billion phones will be shipped in 5.35 years.

    If we assume that half the world's population will eventually have phones, then in 2.6 years we saturate even if nobody currently owned a phone, and the current production rate would sustain a phone replacement rate of once every 2.6 years.

    Presumably the market penetration will increase, but probably not past 100%. Meanwhile, the replacement rate will decrease as the technology matures.

    Conclusion: the production rate must decrease some time in the next 5 years.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Every time i click me fingers <click>

    a child in Africa gets a mobile phone".

    Yours faithfully,


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