UN Says World Has 6 Billion Cell Phone Subscribers

The U.N. telecom agency says there were about 6 billion cell phone subscriptions by the end of 2011.

The U.N. telecom agency says there were about 6 billion cell phone subscriptions by the end of 2011.

Associated Press + More

GENEVA (AP) — The world now has nearly as many cell phone subscriptions as inhabitants.

The U.N. telecom agency says there were about 6 billion subscriptions by the end of 2011 — roughly one for 86 of every 100 people.

[PHOTOS: The Evolution of the iPhone]

In a report Thursday, the International Telecommunication Union said China alone accounted for 1 billion subscriptions, and India is expected to hit the 1-billion mark this year.

The Geneva-based agency says 2.3 billion people — or about one in three of the world's 7 billion inhabitants — were Internet users by the end of 2011, but there's a strong disparity between rich and developing countries.

ITU says 70 percent of people who use the Internet live in wealthier, industrialized countries, compared with 24 percent who live in poorer, developing nations.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.