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Number of Cellphones Now Equal To Half the Human Species

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the now-if-we-could-only-get-them-implanted dept.

Wireless Networking 233

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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Never had one, probably never will. (1, Interesting)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525239)

I've never required a cellular phone.

I've never missed having one, even when my wife was quite pregnant.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525301)

I don't own a TV. Never had one. I call it the idiot box. Yesterday at work some was talking about CNN. I was like "CNN, what's that some sort of new car or something?" The told me it was a news channel on TV. At that point I politely reminded them that I don't own a TV and never have.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525349)

"I've never missed having one, even when my wife was quite pregnant."

I have one....I just don't give the number out.

Cuts down on the incomming calls....

:-)

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (1)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525595)

I've never required a cellular phone.

I've never missed having one, even when my wife was quite pregnant.
Nice... but, for every cell phone you don't have, I'll have three!
http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=sponsor [thebestpag...iverse.net]

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (1, Offtopic)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525675)

Funnily enough, I'm a vegetarian.

Meat is murder! ...tasty, tasty murder.

(Seriously, I'm a vegetarian for health reasons, but now we're going to get modded as offtopic.)

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (0, Troll)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525635)

Why am I being modded as a troll? /. doesn't have a "Haha, u sld hv a fon lk m3!" option, so you opted for "troll" instead?

Most people have cellular phones. I'm not one of them. My post is a counterpoint to the article, stating that there are 3.3 BILLION cell accounts. Not everyone has one, and not everyone on /. has one. I choose not to pay hundreds a month to a phone company. I have never wanted one, and I have not encountered a situation where one was warranted. I went to classes and meetings while my wife was 9+ months pregnant - didn't miss a thing. When I was looking for work - I didn't miss a thing.

I'm not a luddite, either. I'm an Electrical Engineer who has done a fair bit of work "advancing our tech level." Some of the things I've worked on are Penokio, P25 radio, and Project Lifesaver. I've literally used my craft to save lives. That's probably more than that mod can say.

Also, it's nice to be first. I've been waiting for seven years.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525739)

Your reply post also, is a troll.

Who cares if you don't have a phone, you seem to be waiting for a reply that says "You need a phone [stupid reason X]" so you can say 'I don't need one [any number of equally stupid counter-arguments]".

Then the thread would just spin into further stupidity.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (3, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525967)

The whole point of /. is to have a series of "stupid reasons" and "equally stupid counter-arguments". It's not like we're doing anything even remotely productive. I've even managed to meta-troll your post.

Every thread will spin uncontrollably into previously unimaginable levels of stupidity.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (1)

smilindog2000 (907665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526395)

Excuse me... is this the Arguing Room :-) I actually have some mod points for a change, but I need another category for great-grandparent. He's neither flame-bait nor informative, nor off-topic. He just doesn't have a cell phone. Let's face it, we slash-dotters are weird. There should be a weird category :-)

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525759)

I choose not to pay hundreds a month to a phone company.
So do I, which is why I have a cell phone. If you rarely use the phone, there's no cheaper service available than pre-paid wireless.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (4, Interesting)

Saxerman (253676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525951)

If you've never owned a cell phone, you don't know what you're missing. I'm not saying that you would learn to love it, I'm just saying you're criticizing something you've never reviewed.

My own anecdotal story was that I came in late to the cell phone game, and I originally cited similar reasons to your own. As someone who used to have to carry a pager for work, I used to call cell phones the new 'digital leash' and swore I had no use for them. And, perhaps, in the grand scheme of things, I don't really need one, seeing as how I was able to function without one for so many years. But now that I have one, I find it damn convenient.

Although I do know too many people who feel obligated to answer their phone every time it rings. The 'trick' for me is that I control the tool, rather than the other way around. Turn the ringer off, and set it for wiggle mode on specific numbers who don't abuse the privilege of being able to contact you directly.

Certainly a cell phone is a tool that's not for everyone, but I find both the ability to communicate with who I want when I want, and easy access to information (operator, I need an exit) are new abilities that have increased the quality of my life. Even simple pleasures, like being able to call the pizza place while on the way home from work. The more pedantic will claim that I could have merely called before I left work, and they're certainly correct. But, for me, the ability to be more spontaneous is entirely the point.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526459)

For an alternative viewpoint:
I have one.
I use it MAYBE once a week. It's useless.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (3, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525995)

My guess would be that you were modded troll because you were being overly smug. (Shrug, I'm an EE too. I know where my products are used, but no one else reading or posting on this topic cares.)

I have a cell phone. It cost me $8.95. My minutes cost me $90 per year. Only my dad and my wife know the number, and both know I don't like being called. It doesn't mean I'm better (or worse) than anyone else, it just means I don't like being permanently connected a large number of distant (read: not my wife or dad) acquaintances and have no need to chat with anyone constantly.

Other people feel differently, and are perfectly happy to pay $50 a month in pursuit of their goal. My wife, for instance.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (0, Redundant)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526421)

Hundreds a month? Welcome to 2007 - if you pay even $100 you're doing something really fancy or really stupid.

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526131)

judging by your signature it sounds like you might be a little paranoid about owning a cell phone, too :P

Re:Never had one, probably never will. (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526441)

I've never missed having one, even when my wife was quite pregnant.
But that's the most important time to have one -- when she's far to preoccupied to notice all those phone calls to your lover.

I have two (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525245)

So I'm doing my part.

So there's only 0.5 cell phones? (3, Insightful)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525249)

Or are their billions of human species besides Homo Sapiens?

Or...did they mean half the human population?

Re:So there's only 0.5 cell phones? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525411)

Or are their...

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

Anyway (2, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525589)

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, but this is also debatable. Anyway, if you compare our planet today, this chaotic sea of signals is a BIG change from the "clean planet" we had 200 years back in the past.

Next goal... (4, Funny)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#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? (4, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525261)

Perhaps One Cellphone Per Child is a more useful goal than OLPC? Much cheaper and likely far more useful.

Re:OCPC? (1)

Alexx K (1167919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525381)

I don't think this would be proffitable, as a huge amount of cell towers would have to be built and maintained. Not to mention, it is easier to lose or steal a cell phone than a laptop.

Re:OCPC? (1)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525425)

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.

Re:OCPC? (1)

Alexx K (1167919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525429)

The OLPC was mainly designed to educate kids. It'll be pretty difficult to educate kids when they're shouting into their cell phones, or sending text messages.

omg ths sks were out of brd.

Note: I don't speak textspeak.

Re:OCPC? (1)

BigDogCH (760290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525437)

One Iphone Per Child then.

Re:OCPC? (1)

SmlFreshwaterBuffalo (608664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525533)

I think the idea was to teach kids to type with more than just their thumbs.

Re:OCPC? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526223)

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 (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:I, for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525451)

Just think, if people had more than two ears there would be even more cellphones out there. I dunno how people can function with a phone glued to each ear though.

I've hate telephones ever since I was in the Navy (2, Insightful)

shoor (33382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525313)

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 years on 80x24 character display
terminals, DEC VT-100s and various Hazeltine models mostly. It feels weird
not to hit that carriage return on a regular basis.

Re:I've hate telephones ever since I was in the Na (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525651)

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.

I agree completely (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526155)

Just like some people have a problem with drinking and driving, but I know how to handle my alcohol!

Re:I agree completely (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526237)

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?

Re:I agree completely (1)

palndrumm (416336) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526481)

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 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.

and in other news... (2, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525365)

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?"

Better than landline infrastructure (4, Insightful)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525413)

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.

911 the only reason for land lines (5, Informative)

slew (2918) | more than 6 years ago | (#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...

Re:911 the only reason for land lines (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525661)

That's because America's emergency call system sucks.

Routing calls from cellphones works nicely here in Switzerland. The Mobile phone towers know where you are...

Re:911 the only reason for land lines (1)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526319)

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 up any minutes or draining my relatively short-lived cellphone battery.)

Re:911 the only reason for land lines (5, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526323)

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)

Re:911 the only reason for land lines (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526325)

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.

Re:911 the only reason for land lines (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526371)

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:911 the only reason for land lines (2, Interesting)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526407)

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 the current position of the guy as we followed them (I don't think they realized we were). After about 5 minutes, the police were pulling him over.

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525731)

In British Columbia, Canada having a cellphone is *NOT* cheaper than having a landline. That's why I don't have one. When Telus, Rogers, et al quits shafting us, then I'll probably get one.

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (1)

Alexx K (1167919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525829)

Here's some good news [www.cbc.ca] on that front.

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (1)

Cecil (37810) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525923)

Canada's mobile phone providers suck ass [thomaspurves.com]

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (3, Insightful)

solios (53048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525799)

...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.

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525973)

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.
Amen bother. I carry my cell phone with me everywhere, but it stays off unless I'm making a call (AAA, etc). It irritates the hell out of my when I'm with a friend and we're talking, then their phone rings. They pick up an talk on it for the next half hour like you're no longer there.

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (4, Funny)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526219)

I'd carry a celphone distruptor before I'd cary a celphone.
Would you ever consider carrying a pocket dictionary maybe?

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (1)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526475)

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.

Re:Better than landline infrastructure (1)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525809)

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, then I'll take whatever happens as a result. My fault for being a miserly poor bastard that had to choose between paying for internet or paying for phone, and chose the one he found to be less annoying and more useful for day-to-day operations.

Telcos suck as bad as the mobile companies! (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

More than one per person? (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525465)

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??

Re:More than one per person? (1)

EMeta (860558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525561)

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:More than one per person? (2, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525577)

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:More than one per person? (2, Interesting)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525625)

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).

Re:More than one per person? (1)

Repton (60818) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525873)

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..

Re:More than one per person? (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526247)

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

Re:More than one per person? (1)

nesta (11896) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525959)

So the person you're cheating on doesn't see or get the calls from the person you're cheating with.

Re:More than one per person? (2, Interesting)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526153)

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.

I thought I was the only one (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525477)

Who didn't have a cell phone. I can't imagine why some people would need two of them for?

Re:I thought I was the only one (1)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525747)

Work and home, prehaps.

Re:I thought I was the only one (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525771)

How about front and back (vibrate)?

Re:I thought I was the only one (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525837)

My first cell phone is my only 'home' phone. No land line needed.
The second one is paid for by my employer. Like hell am I going to do work email and be on call with a blackberry *I* pay for.

Interestingly enough many of my friends (and my girlfriend) are the same way. And my friends are adults (30's, 40's mostly).

Re:I thought I was the only one (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526111)

Simon David 'Sick Boy' Williamson notoriously had three phones. One for men, one for women he was trying to have sex with, one for women he had already had sex with.

Gentlemen, our end is nigh! (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Gentlemen, our end is nigh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525991)

Time to become gay. (Personally, I'm glad I already am.)

Re:Gentlemen, our end is nigh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21526259)

Women... collective intelligence...

You're funny!

inevitable? (1)

mackil (668039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525567)

"For children growing up today the issue is not whether they will get a mobile phone, it's a question of when"

Not in my house! If my kids want cell phones, they will have to pay for it themselves, after passing a stringent exam and physical fitness test. And even after that I will probably say no.

Depends where you get your numbers from.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525579)

I've found Plenty of other sources [google.com] that say quite different.

In Soviet Amerika... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525593)

In Soviet Amerika cell phones control YOU.

Fonejacker (1)

Colourspace (563895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525639)

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'

The upcoming robot wars. (2, Funny)

w3woody (44457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525653)

So, are cell phones the advanced scouts for the upcoming and inevitable Robot Wars?

The future of computing (5, Interesting)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525679)

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:The future of computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525859)

I think there are already quite a few phones that are voice-activated now...unsure of how useful that feature is, because I don't use it, myself. It would be weird to be able to 'speak' an e-mail message, then send it off with only your voice...

Re:The future of computing (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525915)

Great, now instead of one or two butt wipes yacking inanely into their cell phones on a bus, subway car or train, everyone will be yammering at them pointlessly. Mebbe I could make mucho pesos selling ear plugs...

Still want to kick Martin Cooper in the gonads for inventing the damn technology in the first place.

Re:The future of computing (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525961)

It is much more likely that some successor to bluetooth will have the bandwidth to support high resolution video and the difference between a cell phone and a pc will become moot. Throw in the trend towards terabyte flash drives(my six month old, $20, 2GB keychain drive is ~20 gigabytes per cubic inch, so 1 terabyte isn't all that ridiculous, just sort of far in the future) and you have a pretty nice situation.

Re:The future of computing (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526353)

Ha! That will be nothing more than a local problem: the bandwidth available between the cell phone computer and any peripheral components, such as a pair of display goggles. The real problem will be increasing the bandwidth between cell phone nodes: this is where the damned telcos will be responsible for limiting our bandwidth. For instance, at least in the beginning, we will, for example, be forced to pay hefty subscription fees for the privilege of being able to see (live) through the cameras that are built into other people's display goggles.

Re:The future of computing (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525977)

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.

Re:The future of computing (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526309)

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)

Re:The future of computing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21526037)

And I've long said that cellphones will be the first widespread videophones out there. Hell, nearly every single one already has the capability--we just need the bandwidth.

Re:The future of computing (1)

Niten (201835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526045)

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 hardware, and mobile operating systems are locked together. Users and developers aren't free to have their way with the system; worse, your cellular network operator often has the ability to remotely override your software and do nasty things like install roving bugs for the FBI [wikipedia.org] . The phone can't become a universal computing platform to rival the PC until control is handed over to users and third-party developers.

In this regard, the iPhone is a step in exactly the wrong direction. But overall, I think the industry is headed the right way: Just recently we saw news that Verizon plans to open its network to third-party devices [slashdot.org] . And Google's Linux and Java-based Android could be exactly the software platform we've all been waiting for. The times are a-changin'...

Who uses more than one Cellphone? (1)

Vthornheart (745224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525749)

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?

Re:Who uses more than one Cellphone? (1)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526049)

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.

Re:Who uses more than one Cellphone? (1)

ipsi (1181557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526115)

In the case of New Zealand, where I live, there's only two Cellphone Companies - Vodafone and Telecom. Telecom has a nice deal where prepay users can text up to 500 texts for NZ$10/month (this is damn, damn good by NZ standards), and that's for either Vodafone or Telecom numbers. It also has up to 2000 for the same price, provided you're only texting to Telecoms network. Vodafone, on the other hand, does not like letting people text to Telecoms network, and as such many people will own both to take advantage of good deals that specifically target each network. And so that their friends who only own a cellphone on, say, Vodafones network, can text them cheaply. A good example: Person A has Vodafone and Telecom so they can have Vodafones BestMate for their partner (who must also be on Vodafone), which allows unlimited calling, texting and video calling, and have Telecom for texting to all their friends. I personally don't, but there are more cellphones in my house than people, so there we go. There's other reasons as well. You may have a Vodafone for going overseas (Telecom is CDMA :(), and Telecom for local texts. I suspect that most people who own two mobile phones for personal use are on prepay, not on contracts, so calling is hideously expensive (NZ$0.89/minute).

Re:Who uses more than one Cellphone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21526171)

Well, I have more than one cell phone. 1 is strictly for business, and I have 2 for personal use. That means weekends I'm only reachable by family/friends, and it also means that if a 'personal' phone rings while at work, it's something important.
Now, for the 2 personal use phones, I hate that, actually, but, believe it or not, I'm saving A LOT of money by using a phone from each of the mayor carriers (in Mexico): with my Iusa I can call most of my family and friends for free (as they're all in Monterrey) and with the Telcel I'm communicated with most of Mexico city (where I am studing), since everyone here seems to love Telcel.
The thing is, Iusa lets you call other Iusas for free (wherever you/they are) and it's MUCH cheaper to call a Telcel from a Telcel. I know, EVERYONE ought to get a Iusa, then we'd all be calling each other for free [yeah, I pay a monthly fee, it's not technically free, nitpickers fuck off]. Hope that helps ;)

Re:Who uses more than one Cellphone? (1)

donut1005 (982510) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526199)

Does no one on here know anyone that has two? One for personal use and one for work? I've known of a few people who have that setup. It's a little different than having a home land line and a work land line because you have to actually carry the two phones, but it's not that different or unusual in concept.

Re:Who uses more than one Cellphone? (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526243)

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? (2, Insightful)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:milestone? (1)

insertwackynamehere (891357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526367)

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 (2, Funny)

genican1 (1150855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21525777)

I for one welcome our up-and-coming wireless overlords!

# of humans controlled by unprecedented evile = (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21525781)

less than 1/10 of 1% of planet's population. they sure do a lot of damage though. time to get real.

the lights are coming up all over now.

micro management of populations has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster.

we're intending for the nazis to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather'.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption.

fortunately there's an 'army' of angels, coming yOUR way

do not be afraid/dismayed, it is the way it was meant to be.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected.

after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit?

for each of the creators' innocents harmed, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available.

beware the illusionary smoke&mirrors.con

all is not lost/forgotten.

no need to fret (unless you're associated/joined at the hype with, unprecedented evile), it's all just a part of the creators' wwwildly popular, newclear powered, planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

or, is it (literally) ground hog day, again? many of US are obviously not interested in how we appear (which is whoreabull) from the other side of the 'lens', or even from across the oceans.

vote with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable.

we still haven't read (here) about the 2/3'rds of you kids who are investigating/pursuing a spiritual/conscience/concious re-awakening, in amongst the 'stuff that matters'? another big surprise?

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

they must be loosing money (1)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526149)

(population/2) * ((.25 * minute usage) + (.10 per text)) = loss in profits for telecos. We need less telecom regulations! Poor Bastards /sarcasm

And I'm not one of them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21526157)

How about it? Is there anyone else left here who also hasn't got a cell phone?

Half (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526271)

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.

Geez (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526373)

I wish that bitch driving in front of me didn't have one....

Err....Oh yeah, how am I posting?

They're not so bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21526385)

I, for one, welcome our new cellular ov...

WHAT?

Can you hear me now?

I SAID, CAN YOU

0.5 cell phones (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526403)

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 reasons.

I wonder how many of them are connected to a service. I know there are plenty out there that people carry and even pretend to use, but aren't connected.

I refuse to own one, and use them only under duress. I only carry one in the car on trips (said duress coming from my wife) in case I have a break down. It stays turned off unless such an incident occurs. Damn tiny buttons too close together. I push three buttons at a time with one of my big fingers.

Here's the easy reason why (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21526411)

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.
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