Mobile devices now outnumber people on Earth

There are more mobile devices - including feature phones, smartphones and tablets - on earth than there are people, according to the GSMA.

The organisation said its real-time tracker shows there are 7.230bn mobile devices being used at the moment and only 7.197bn people in the world.

The research detailed how smartphones and mobile phone usage is growing five times faster than the human population, which is increasing at a rate of 1.2 per cent annually.

Kevin Kimberlin, chairman of Spencer Trask & Co and campaigner to get mobile technologies to the developing world, said: "No other technology has impacted us like the mobile phone. It's the fastest growing manmade phenomenon ever -- from zero to 7.2 billion in three decades."

However, the GSMA measures mobile connections rather than active devices and it's common for people in developing countries to use dual-SIM devices or have multiple active connections at the same time to get the best deal.

It also said some of these connections were attributed to machine-to-machine networks that connect to smart systems like cars rather than being used for communication purposes.

The company also looked at how many active connections there were around the world and measured 3.6 billion unique global mobile subscribers, which represented a 5.35 per cent rise from 2013's figures.

Kimberlin says there is still a way to go until everyone in the world is connected though and it's a group effort to get all four corners of the globe connected:"So while we toast this mobile evolution milestone, let's redouble our efforts to connect the rest of the world."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.