By 2017 there will be 8.9bn mobile subscriptions in the world, with 80% of them in the developing world. That’s according to industry analyst Strategy Analytics, which sees China and India accounting for the majority of subscriptions in these emerging markets, but with the Middle East and Africa also seeing “rapid growth”. SA’s report admits that many of the devices sold in emerging markets will be relatively basic feature phones rather than smartphones, but points to a growing middle class in Africa as one likely source of more demand for digital services on phones.

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