Gizmodo has a fascinating article on the world’s most popular phone.
It has been said that more of the world’s population has access to a cellphone than to a sanitary toilet. But of the planet’s estimated 5 billion cellphone users, a privileged minority have smartphones; a paltry few, iPhones.
If you spend hours thumbing through pages of apps, scoffing at less-than-perfect software upgrades and grousing about screen resolution and pixel density, it’s easy to forget that the very concept of a mobile phone is a miracle. It’s a device that shrinks your day to day world into a single point, making you simultaneously accessible to and able to access nearly everyone you know, instantly and everywhere.
One summer in 2005, a man in Nigeria wanted in. He found a shop, put his money down on the counter, and left with a cellphone: a Nokia 1100, nearly identical to the model discontinued by AT&T that same year. Statistically, this was likely his first handset. He’d probably used a similar one through family or friends. Personal milestone or not, the tiny Clarkian miracle of that day represented a cold milestone for Nokia. It was their billionth phone sold.
In buying that phone, this man was joining a slightly smaller club. He became a Nokia 1100 user. Along with a staggering 250,000,000 others, he had traded up in the communications world, from little or no phone access at all to this little brick of a phone.