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Mobile devices set to outnumber humans

Feb. 7, 2013 at 6:54 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Smartphones, tablets, laptops and Internet-capable phones will outnumber people on Earth before the end of the year, U.S. networking firm Cisco says.

The increase in the use of smartphones and tablets will see more than 7 billion in use -- equaling the world's current population -- with the biggest growth in use in Asia, the Pacific and Africa, the forecast released by Cisco said.

Much of the increase will be in a class of "machine-to-machine" devices such as Internet-connected monitors for "smart metering," video surveillance, maintenance, building automation and healthcare, the report said.

But mobile devices will continue to lead the proliferation of Internet-connected devices and will put the existing data infrastructure under increasing strain, as smartphones, while making up just 18 percent of the handsets in use globally, currently consume 92 percent of global mobile data traffic.

Tablet computers will see the fastest growth in mobile device adoption in the next five years, Cisco said, growing an average of 46 percent annually, while their data use will more than double from year to year.

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