Nearly Everyone on the Planet Has a Mobile Phone

Have you been hearing the phrase “mobile is eating the world” lately? Well… it kind of is.

As covered by Brian Hall of ReadWrite Mobile, ITU says that nearly all of the population has a mobile device:

“According to the ITU’s “facts and figures” publication, mobile penetration rates (pdf) are now about equal to the global population – including an 89% penetration rate in “developing countries,” which currently have the highest mobile growth rates.

In other words, nearly everyone on the planet has a mobile phone – or will have one soon enough.

The ITU report also notes that “mobile broadband” subscriptions have grown from 278 million in 2007 – when the iPhone was first introduced – to 2.1 billion in 2013 – an annual growth rate of 40%.

While larger still in the developed world, since 2010, mobile broadband adoption has grown fastest in developing countries – with rates hitting 82% in Africa and 55% in the Arab states.”

This is great news for developers, but it also means releasing apps internationally will become increasingly important. With a growing number of countries adopting mobile, there is huge potential for an international app presence. Testing for localization issues and knowing how your app performs in different parts of the world will be very important for developers. Every country’s language, culture and standards are different – so it’s nearly impossible to know if your app translates correctly inside the lab. You could spoof an IP address, but you still likely won’t have access to the contextual knowledge to verify content accuracy.

Despite the challenges, one thing is for sure; the opportunity for developers through mobile has grown considerably – and it will continue.

Looking for resources on Localization Testing? Download this free whitepaper.

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