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Wireless Networking Cellphones Businesses Communications The Almighty Buck Hardware

Number of Cellphones Now Equal To Half the Human Species 233

Posted by Zonk
from the now-if-we-could-only-get-them-implanted dept.
netbuzz writes "A major milestone was reached today, according to communications industry analysts: there are now some 3.3 billion mobile phone accounts worldwide. Of course, it doesn't really mean half the world's population has a cell phone, since users in 59 countries average more than one per person. '"The mobile industry has constantly outperformed even the most optimistic forecasts for subscriber growth," Mark Newman, head of research at Informa said in a statement. "For children growing up today the issue is not whether they will get a mobile phone, it's a question of when," Newman said. In recent years the industry has seen surging growth in outskirts of China and India, helped by constantly falling phone and call prices, with cellphone vendors already eyeing inroads into Africa's countryside to keep up the growth.'"
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Number of Cellphones Now Equal To Half the Human Species

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  • I have two (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:46PM (#21525245)
    So I'm doing my part.
    • by Radres (776901)
      So if cell phones are so important, why are we leaving control of them to these greedy pigs here in America? Imagine our potential that such a communications device could provide if it were open to the "supposedly" richest and best country in the world; land of the free home of the brave and all that.
  • by Foerstner (931398) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:46PM (#21525249)
    Or are their billions of human species besides Homo Sapiens?

    Or...did they mean half the human population?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:56PM (#21525411)
      Or are their...

      See, this is why silly, pointless nitpicking isn't a sound strategy.

    • Anyway (Score:2, Interesting)

      by El Lobo (994537)
      Anyway, believe it or not the major problem with this incredible number of cell phones, GPS devices, wireless routers etc is the so called "ether pollution".

      This is NOT about health problems (tumors, camncer, etc) which, even if there are some theories, there is NOTHING definitively proved. The prolem is more of a technical nature. The number of frequencies, interferences, garbage signals, etc is nowdays alarming.

      And there are also theories that say that this chaos is contributing to the global warming

      • by mikael (484)
        There were dangers back then and now. Sunlight has been proved to be damaging to your body; sunburn - the amount of UV radiation from the sunlight has caused damage to your cells equivalent to being burnt by hot water (which in turn is emitting infra-red radiation a.k.a. as heat). Stand too close to a hot object and you will also damage your body.

        Not forgetting the hazards of the early X-ray equipment (many shoe stores used to have novelty X-ray machines [orau.org] that allowed children to view X-rays of their feet).

        O
    • by glwtta (532858)
      "Number of Cellphones Now Equal To Half the Human Species" is perfectly valid and unambiguous. I don't see how you can read it as "Half of Human Species".

      Also, since we are nitpicking, it's Homo sapiens.
  • by TheMeuge (645043) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:46PM (#21525257)
    Good for them. Now can they all please stop screaming into their phones as soon as my train comes up to the surface. Because if I have to endure one more time of "you won't believe what that bitch said to me" at 100dB and 6 inches away from my ear, I might snap.
  • OCPC? (Score:5, Funny)

    by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:46PM (#21525261)
    Perhaps One Cellphone Per Child is a more useful goal than OLPC? Much cheaper and likely far more useful.
    • Perhaps One Cellphone Per Child is a more useful goal than OLPC? Much cheaper and likely far more useful.

      I don't think this is what you meant by it, but cell phones are being used to jumpstart communications infrastructure in the third world. It's much cheaper to go wireless from the start than to build a grid. I would expect the ratio to jump tremendously in the coming decade. The greater part of Africa will probably be built upon a wireless paradigm in telephony.

      • You're correct. The cost of copper is at a point where it's cheaper to just put towers up and let wireless be the last mile (or several miles, depending on topography).
    • by BigDogCH (760290)
      One Iphone Per Child then.
    • by fm6 (162816)
      Cheaper? Did you forget that cell phones have a recurring cost?

      "Likely" more useful? How? Can you use it to read a book? Do your homework? Write software? The OLPC does all these things.
  • I, for one (Score:5, Funny)

    by noidentity (188756) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:47PM (#21525273)
    I, for one, thank those in the 59 countries who have more than one cellphone so that I don't have to have one of those damn things.
    • by Sporkinum (655143)
      I concur with that statement and raise you a hell yeah! I am very happy to not be in contact 24x7.
  • I had a job in the Navy where I was on the phone all the time. I realize
    phones are useful, and I still use them, but I kind of cringe when I see
    people driving and talking, or jaywalking and talking. And whenever I
    happen to overhear a snippet of conversation is usually something like,
    "Oh I'm on xyz street, where are you?"

    I still need my quiet time, my time when I'm left alone, to think or chill.

    Oh, and I'm not writing poetry with these line breaks. I spent many years
    pounding on manual typewriters, and yea
    • While I agree completely that some people shouldn't drive and talk on the phone, I've never really had that problem. These are generally the people that shouldn't be driving in the first place.

      I fail to see how it is different from driving a stick-shift with a friend in the car.

      • Just like some people have a problem with drinking and driving, but I know how to handle my alcohol!
        • Ok, I see your point here... but tell me, how is talking on a cell phone and driving any different than driving a stick-shift and talking to the person next to you?
          • by palndrumm (416336)

            how is talking on a cell phone and driving any different than driving a stick-shift and talking to the person next to you

            While driving a stick-shift, you only need to take one of your hands off the wheel to change gears, and you don't (or at least you shouldn't) need to take your eyes off the road in order to do it. While talking a cell phone in the car, you've only got one hand on the wheel the whole time, and if you need to actually do anything with the phone (beyond maybe just hitting the 'answer' button) you have to take your eyes off the road and look at the screen of the phone.

            Talking to the person next to you is less

            • Talking to the person next to you is less of an issue, but at least the person sitting next to you in the car can see what's going on around you, so they're going to understand if you stop talking in mid-sentence to avoid the taxi that's just pulled out in front of you.

              I ride a bicycle to work and I have seen a lot of crazy shit in the last couple of years:

              • Bicycle riders chatting away on the phone with one or zero hands on the controls
              • Car drivers stylusing away on PDA's
              • Some guy taking orders from his GPS. Stopping ten metres back from the traffic signals (presumably because of a GPS error) and slowing down before intersections to wait for the GPS to catch up and tell him if he had to turn.
              • People who are out visiting who call up somebody at their destination and tak
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by _ivy_ivy_ (1081273)
            How is driving a stick shift distracting, unless your driving skill are lacking? If anything, a manual transmission makes you far more aware of what your car is doing at any given moment.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:53PM (#21525365) Journal
    Hello and 'can you hear me' are the first two phrases that people learn when learning a new language. I remember the days when it was "I'll have another drink please" and "where is the bathroom", followed closely by "what's your sign?"
    • by gfilion (80497)

      Hello and 'can you hear me' are the first two phrases that people learn when learning a new language. I remember the days when it was "I'll have another drink please" and "where is the bathroom", followed closely by "what's your sign?"

      Hey, I only know two sentences in swedish:

      Du har vakra ögon
      Vil du älska med mej?

      I'll let the scandinavian folks translate that (and find the dozen spelling mistakes I must have made...)

  • by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402 AT mac DOT com> on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:56PM (#21525413) Journal

    There's a reason this growth has happened and will continue.

    Developing countries are going straight to cell networks rather than bothering with landlines. The infrastructure is far cheaper (no last-mile problem) andthe technology is more convenient for users. That's a win-win if ever there was one.

    As still-mostly-undeveloped areas in Africa, Asia, and South America continue making progress, so will this industry. Time to go buy some stock.

    And for those Luddites proudly proclaiming their cellphone-free status: Your position is nonsense. The cell phone is cheaper than your landline (if you get the right plan). And it comes with the ability to carry it, if you like. Here's a hint: you don't have to carry it all the time, and you don't have to have the phone or the ringer on if you don't want to. I think you all are just being willfully obtuse because you don't like the kind of people you associate with cellphones.

    I haven't had a landline in nine years, since I got rid of dialup. I just can't see the point.

    • by slew (2918) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:08PM (#21525585)

      I haven't had a landline in nine years, since I got rid of dialup. I just can't see the point


      If you have ever had an emergency, run for the nearest land line (or program the local police department's emergency number into your cell phone).

      Just the other day at work, one of my co-workers collapsed on the floor and started convulsing (as we found out later from diabetic shock). Everyone in the immediate vicinity dialed 911 on their cell phones and got put in a queue (this is california and I think all 911's go to the state patrol first). I hung up the cell and picked up the nearest land line and dialed 911 and got a local 911 operator right away and she called for an ambulance which came about 5 minutes later. Next time, I'm going to reach for the land-line first...
      • by Dirtside (91468)
        911 isn't the only reason. My cellphone doesn't get good reception from the back of my house (no one's does), but that's where I spend most of my time. So if I want to talk to someone for an extended period while I'm in front of my computer, I have to be in the back of my house... where cell reception is bad. Hence, landline.

        Also, landline cordless phone batteries last a hell of a lot longer than a cellphone battery does, so I just put on my cordless landline headset and talk for hours. (Without using u
      • by moosesocks (264553) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @07:11PM (#21526323) Homepage
        If that's not FUD, I don't know what is.

        If you've got to dial 911, use the closest fucking phone you can find (and do *not* leave the victim unless it's absolutely necessary).

        It's also an egregious abuse of the system for everyone in the room to dial 911 simultaneously. Think about the implications you might be causing...

        I can't find a shred of evidence anywhere stating that the 911 system today will intentionally route calls differently based upon if they were placed via a landline or a mobile phone. Given that there may be more than one PSAP [wikipedia.org] within an exchange, it's certainly possible that two nearby phones will get routed differently. However, it's both stupid and dangerous to suggest that based upon your one anecdotal experience, that there's a special low-priority 911 call center reserved for mobile phone users.

        Thanks to E-911, you should hypothetically be routed to the call center nearest to the tower you're calling from. If the operator's got E-911 Phase II implemented, they'll even know your exact location. I've seen it in operation, and it's an absolutely fantastic system that has the very obvious potential to save many lives.

        Given the spotty reliability of mobile phones in some buildings and rural areas, I'd agree that a landline is superior to a mobile phone if you have the two choices laid out directly in front of you. However, there's definitely no mobile-phone-punishment-queue at the 911 office.

        (Another relevant tip that probably saved the life of a close friend: If you're traveling into the backcountry, make sure your party is carrying at least two phones. You get redundancy in case something happens to the guy carrying the phone, and the CDMA and GSM networks in the US often don't overlap in rural areas. Verizon/Sprint are CDMA, whilst AT&T, T-Mobile, and most of the rest are on GSM. You never know where you're going to get a signal, and carrying both types of phone will greatly increase your chances of finding one. This is also assuming you're not traveling alone, which is just plain reckless)
        • by Mspangler (770054)
          "Thanks to E-911, you should hypothetically be routed to the call center nearest to the tower you're calling from."

          The key word didn't even notice was "hypothetically".

          "Given the spotty reliability of mobile phones in some buildings and rural areas," is another point, though not applicable in the stated case. When I'm on call, the company cell phone gives 1 bar of signal strength inside, 2 bars outside.

          Cheapest Cell phone plan I can find here is about $30/month. Landline, $25/month. So cell phones are not
      • If you have ever had an emergency, run for the nearest land line
        The last time that I had to dial the emergency number was on a motorway bridge a good few miles from anywhere (someone had just turned a car over on the opposite carriageway). Running for the nearest landline would have been quote a jog.
      • by SeaFox (739806)

        Everyone in the immediate vicinity dialed 911 on their cell phones and got put in a queue (this is california and I think all 911's go to the state patrol first). I hung up the cell and picked up the nearest land line and dialed 911 and got a local 911 operator right away and she called for an ambulance which came about 5 minutes later.

        So how is this the cell phone's fault? The problem is your state has some dumb call routing procedures.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LordEd (840443)

        Everyone in the immediate vicinity dialed 911 on their cell phones and got put in a queue

        Are you saying that the 911 provider for the cell service is likely to put you in a queue, or that the mass number of cell phones caused a queue? If you mean it caused it, then at least one person who called got through.

        There are some cases where a land line is not readily accessible. I have called 911 on a cell several times and have never been queued. One time was to report a hit + run. I was on the line reporting

      • by Movi (1005625)
        I know youre talking US here, but over here we have 112 - which is a 3-in-1 ambulance, police and fire dept number. And it's specific for cellphones. Does the US have a mobile-specific emergency number? Maybe that was the problem?
        • 112 - which is a 3-in-1 ambulance, police and fire dept number. And it's specific for cellphones

          I don't think it is. I have heard of european phone techs accidently pulse dialing 112 when they make a connection because it is easy to make a few taps.

    • by solios (53048) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:27PM (#21525799) Homepage
      ...or some of us are just being "willfully obtuse" because either:

      A. We can't afford another bill, no matter how "cheap" other people claim it to be.

      or

      B. We're sick to death of overhearing half of loud inconsiderate conversations on the bus, waiting for the bus, on the streat, in line at the store, etc. and can't fathom being that willfully obtuse to our fellow man.

      I'd carry a celphone distruptor before I'd cary a celphone. No plans to hassle with, no monthly bills. Just the occasional battery and the certain knowledge of a little peace and quiet (or at least some reflected frustration) when some asshat starts bellowing NO NO YOU'RE BREAKING UP I CAN'T HEAR YOU AUGH in the middle of rush hour.
      • by insertwackynamehere (891357) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @07:02PM (#21526219) Journal

        I'd carry a celphone distruptor before I'd cary a celphone.
        Would you ever consider carrying a pocket dictionary maybe?
      • by dal20402 (895630) *

        A. We can't afford another bill, no matter how "cheap" other people claim it to be.

        My post was unclear. Sorry about that.

        What I am saying is that you should replace your landline with a cell phone. Get rid of the landline bill altogether and replace it with a (probably lower, if you're not a heavy phone user) cell phone bill.

        B. We're sick to death of overhearing half of loud inconsiderate conversations on the bus, waiting for the bus, on the streat, in line at the store, etc. and can't fathom being that willfully obtuse to our fellow man.

        Why does carrying a cell phone imply that you'll engage in these behaviors? That's like saying that because I have a mouth I'm going to loudly belch in public.

        • by Sporkinum (655143)
          Are unlimited local calling cell phones cheaper than $15 month? Long distance is supplied by IP phones at either free for IP to IP or 1 or 2 cents a minute to a regular number.
          • Until Verizon crushes them like they're doing to Vonage. Cell phone companies don't face this problem.
      • by vux984 (928602)
        A. We can't afford another bill, no matter how "cheap" other people claim it to be

        You realize that you can often -cancel- your land line if you have a cell phone. Net cost to -switch- could be pretty close to zero, depending on your call habits.

        B. We're sick to death of overhearing half of loud inconsiderate conversations on the bus, waiting for the bus, on the streat, in line at the store, etc. and can't fathom being that willfully obtuse to our fellow man.

        By your logic you'd refuse to own a car because -s
    • Actually, I save the expenses in general by not owning a phone at all. No cell phone, no landline.
      Yes, if I need to call 9-11 for an emergency I'm pretty much fucked. And I can see the benefits of Cell phone (and normal phone) use. I can trust that, with all the cell phones around in the world, I'll be able to find someone within 50 feet of me that has one I can use should the emergency need ever arise. So far, that assumption has proven to be quite true.
      If it turns out not to be one day... well, th
      • Even if you have no landline service, you can dial 911 from a phone plugged in. It's mandated by the FCC. Same way with a cellphone. You can carry a cellphone around with no service, and it will still be able to dial 911.
    • by fyoder (857358)

      The cell phone is cheaper than your landline (if you get the right plan).

      Where do you live? I'm doubting it's in Canada. We have a government anti-competition board which exists to green light the buying up of smaller companies by larger (recently Fido by Rogers) so that collusion between them is easier. Right now the heads of the mobile phone companies could all meet together on a park bench. I'm not saying that they do. Not when they can easily afford the best restaurants.

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      The cell phone is cheaper than your landline (if you get the right plan).

      really? I pay $37.00 a month for unlimited minutes on my landline no times for free weekend, no five I call anyone and everyone I want to (yes 100% of everyone I want to talk to is a local call). What company has that for a cellphone?

      Just knocking holes in your price argument. cellphones are ALWAYS way more expensive than a landline. That is my biggest gripe.
  • by garcia (6573) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @05:59PM (#21525455)
    "The mobile industry has constantly outperformed even the most optimistic forecasts for subscriber growth," Mark Newman, head of research at Informa said in a statement.

    And the telcos constantly outperformed even the most dismal forecasts for subscriber growth by charging people for long distance service automatically because they didn't add a block onto their account (a $7 fee), they force them to have a telephone in order to get DSL, and they charge astronomical flat rates instead of going back to rate plans which are more reasonable for the amount of usage people require out of their landlines.

    When my parents switched from having long distance on their landline (they have to get DSL as there's no cable where they just built) to use only their mobile phones I knew that time was up for the telcos.
  • Anyone from one of those 59 countries want to explain to me what exactly the point of a person having multiple cellphones is?

    I love my phone to death and wouldn't dream of living without one, so I'm not the usual rabid anti-cellphone nutcase. But multiples??

    • by EMeta (860558)
      I don't, but service people at my office often have a phone the company pays for, and one of their own. The idea here being that customers can call their business phones, but they only get voice mail after a certain hour. Also, when they travel to other countries they like the company paying whatever charges might come up, but they don't want the company's bills detailing all their personal calls.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Detritus (11846)
      Many people have a business and personal cell phone. Some people have a personal cell phone and another that's dedicated to talking to their secret boyfriend/girlfriend.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I can think of a few cases, but I can't imagine these cases making up for the babies/children who don't have cellphones.

      Some people have a personal cell phone and one for work that is owned by the company. Also cell phones have kind of replaced radios at many jobs (my office has 3 or 4 cellphones for people who go out and about).
    • by Repton (60818)

      Apparently, many teenagers here have two phones, one from each major network, because it's the most cost-effective way of supporting their hundreds-per-day text habit..

      • Apparently you've never heard of unlimited texting (a cheap alternative to two cell phone bills) and would rather troll
        • by Repton (60818)

          Perhaps I should have been more clear about where "here" is. I live in New Zealand. I don't text enough to follow prices closely, but neither network here offers unlimited texting (Telecom used to, but they stopped -- presumably it was too expensive).

          I think Vodafone offers or used to offer unlimited texts to other Vodafone mobiles on weekends, but Telecom was more cost-effective during the day. The vast majority of teenages here are on prepay plans, so there is no monthly bill; the only cost is the co

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Easy. Lets imagine you are an metal worker. At work you want to maybe use an simpler, roughed and cheaper phone, and when you are in private, you have more advanced and expensive smart phone. Or you could have one cellphone with work number that you use at office hours, and another one that you use in private. Either way, as new services like multisim, which allows you to have multiple phones with the same account and number, people for surely will have more and more phones.
  • by 4D6963 (933028) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:03PM (#21525527)

    Number of cellphones : half the number of humans
    Number of women : half the number of humans

    Let's see, men can hardly give them pleasure for more than 10 minutes, and we hardly can be arsed to listen to them unless an instance of giving them barely 10 minutes of pleasure hasn't occurred yet. Cellphones can vibrate on demand for hours on end, and women enjoy talking to them for hours too!

    Let's face it, we are obsoleted by our technology, and now that there is one cell phone available for every single woman, they no more have a reason to let us live! It's only a matter of time before their collective intelligence realises this and decides to do away with us and for good! We are doomed!! Our only hope of survival is to kill them one by one before they kill us all! WHY ARE YOU STILL SITTING ON YOUR DAMN CHAIR, GET UP AND GO KILL YOUR GIRLFRIEND BEFORE SHE KILLS YOU!!!

    Oh, well, that's for the ones among us who have one, of course.. meh.

  • Great - expanding out into the even wilder world. 'Hellloooo saaaah. If I can just have you bank account number and your sort code we will wire the monies to you. $86M Ugandan dollars... Yes.. That's $32 and 69 cents... But it is totally legitmaaaate'
  • by w3woody (44457) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:13PM (#21525653) Homepage
    So, are cell phones the advanced scouts for the upcoming and inevitable Robot Wars?
    • So, are cell phones the advanced scouts for the upcoming and inevitable Robot Wars?

      Nah, they're part of the alien invasion target acquisition system.

      1) Big mofo saucer appears over every city.
      2) Everyone calls everyone else to tell them about the big mofo saucer.
      3) Several minutes of intense flashes from a billion precisely-targeted death rays.
      4) Big mofo saucers land, aliens pile out and do obnoxious end-zone dances.
  • by FridayBob (619244) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:15PM (#21525679) Homepage
    For years I've been predicting that cellphones are destined to become the future of computing. They are the most powerful computers that we carry with us all the time, every day. Thus, as they gain more memory and processing power, it may become possible for them to one day host a voice activated user interface. Depending on how sophisticated that becomes (critics will claim that this will require nothing less than a true AI) the applications will be limitless and the GUI will become passe. I think that not long after people are able to dictate letters and other documents, we'll see interest in PC software in general start to slump. Just one thing: let's hope it will be Open Source, because whoever starts this will almost certainly become the next Microsoft.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by noidentity (188756)

      For years I've been predicting that cellphones are destined to become the future of computing. They are the most powerful computers that we carry with us all the time, every day.

      I prefer to carry around a much more powerful bowling-ball sized computer atop my neck.

      • I thought this comment was hilarious before I even "got" it :P (Yes I didn't get you meant your head for a good 15 seconds after reading it and still cracked up IRL)
    • by Niten (201835)

      The reason that the PC did so well is widely accepted to be the platform's open nature, thanks to Compaq and the other IBM-PC clones. The hardware, operating system, and software were all, to the greatest reasonable extent, interoperable and interchangeable; this resulted in a thriving marketplace of ideas that drove the whole platform forward.

      We haven't seen this in the cell phone world yet, especially in the US, because of the closed nature of the system. Up to the present, network carriers, cell phone

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Nonsense. I can always tell that people who seriously think voice-driven UI's will displace all other forms of input either haven't seriously written anything in their lives, or are probably extremely poor writers. I'm not just saying this because I'm the quiet writer type--even the most chatty and extraverted people on earth (teenage girls) prefer using the world's worst keyboards to communicate with each other than actually speaking. Just in this very comment I was able to change the thrust of my argument
  • I'm curious if Slashdot posters who own more than one cellphone can post here about WHY they have more than one.
    As a person who's intentionally tried to avoid the devices (and thus owns none), I genuinely don't know why a person would ever need MORE than one. My choice not to own one is mostly due to stubborn anachronism, and I can see the usefulness of having one. But the article said that in some countries people on the average own more than one... why?
    • Companies. You have your personal phone, plus a phone the company pays for so you don't use your own personal minutes for company business.
      • by Sporkinum (655143)
        I have a work phone, and they doesn't mind using it for personal use. It only gets used that way by my wife calling me to pick up milk or for me to ask what crap she wants from the store on the way home from work. If I had to pay for it, it would not be worth paying for for that usage.
    • by pjt33 (739471)
      I'm thinking of getting a second one in a month because I'm moving abroad. It's hard nowadays to get a phone contract without getting a phone, but I will want a phone on a local network so that I'm not paying roaming charges all the time. In addition, my current phone's built-in SMS dictionary doesn't include Spanish, and I'm moving to Spain. I'll keep the old one (which has a pay-as-you-go contract) for use when I'm visiting family.
  • milestone? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vimh42 (981236) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @06:24PM (#21525765)
    Great milestone. "For children growing up today the issue is not whether they will get a mobile phone, it's a question of when" I asked my daughter to write up a Christmas list. You can guess what made it on the list. Yes that's right. A cell phone. She's six. I don't like the trend.
    • So? When I was 6 I wanted a lot of things that my parents would never get me because I was too young. It's not uncommon for children to want things they see everywhere but are too young to have. If it was cigarettes than you should explain to her they are bad, but a cell phone is something that in this day and age, many people will need at a certain point and isn't inheritly harmful or to be discouraged for life, it should just be explained that she is too young. Same as if she asked for a car or something.
  • well (Score:2, Funny)

    by genican1 (1150855)
    I for one welcome our up-and-coming wireless overlords!
  • Half (Score:3, Informative)

    by fm6 (162816) on Thursday November 29, 2007 @07:06PM (#21526271) Homepage Journal
    Actually, it wouldn't surprise me if half the human race did have cell phones. In the developing world, they're actually more practical than landlines, because they require less physical infrastructure. Plus, in some countries, cell phone rates are structured so that people with very little money can afford them, provided they use them only for texting.
    • Well that is totally odd compared to US companies who charge you comparatively more for texting then from voice calls to get the same information across... The 300 some character limit is annoying....
  • That's the number equal to "half the human species" (the number of human species being one).

    The stated number, 3.3 billion, is equal to half the human population.

    The number reflects the number of people who have access to a telephone. Half the world's population does not have access to any telephone at all. Since many people do not have cell phones, the number probably reflects the fact that those that have cell phones tend to lose them and buy another, or upgrade, or own more than one for whatever the reas
  • I think the number of cell phones is so great because people own several cell phones over their life. I know I've had like 3, and most people trade their cell in every 2 years unlike me.
  • The commentary says cell accounts.

    For all we know, given how quickly people in certain countries swap for new phones, we may actually have had more cell phones around than the current population.
  • Cellphones used to be used just to call people. That was back when they are not necessary, simply because we have public phones everywhere. But cellphones are much more useful than that nowadays. With 3G or even 3.5G connections, people are reading news headlines off a RSS feed using their cellphone, checking email using their cellphone, video calling their lady friends in the subway...these are things that public phones CANNOT do. Not forgetting the good old games. So face it. Cellphones are closing in on
  • I personally have one "mobile account," and I am "responsible" for three (mine, my wife's, and a company account that one of my employee's uses.)

    But in my house, right now, there are nine cell/mobile phones. I've got my iPhone, my wife has her Motorola SLVR, I have my previous cell phone, a Nokia N-Gage, which I still use to play games on (ironic, since when I got it, I got it specifically because it was a free S60 smartphone, with no intention of playing games on it at all,) as well as my wife's previous

  • A slashdot post about mobile phones, cue loads of North Americans whining about GSM/CDMA, Verizon, cellphone plans, etc.

    Awesome!

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