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Summary:

Once you subtract all of the M2M connections and factor out all of the people who don’t own mobile devices, the number of devices owned by the typical U.S. wireless user comes to one-and-a-half per person.

Man with two mobile phones smartphones
photo: Shutterstock / Stanislav Komogorov

How many mobile devices do you own? According to Wireless Intelligence, the research arm of the GSM Association, the number is 1.57 if you’re an average American subscriber. It’s even higher in the rest of the world, coming out to 1.85 mobile connections per subscriber.

If those numbers seem kind of high, it’s because Wireless Intelligence has done a bit more digging into the numbers. Instead of merely dividing the total number of mobile connections by a country’s population, it’s focusing exclusively on mobile device users – infants, Luddites and other non-phone owners don’t factor into the final figures. In addition, WI is eliminating the machine-to-machine (M2M) communications from its count. So what’s left are 225 million unique U.S. subscribers (71 percent of a the U.S. population) that own a combined 354 million mobile devices.

A lot of the 1.57 can be chalked up to people owning separate phones for work and personal use, but according to WI Senior Analyst Joss Gillet, connected tablets and laptops, and 4G modems are starting to make big contributions as well. New shared data plans from AT&T and Verizon will only spur multiple-device adoption.

Globally, overall penetration levels are lower – only 45 percent of the world population owns a mobile device – but on average those customers tend to have more than one connection. This can be explained in part by the growing popularity of dual-SIM card devices in developing markets.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Stanislav Komogorov

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  1. Its really huge number.

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