IDC also estimates worldwide phablet shipments will surpass tablets in 2015

There will be more mobile phones than humans by the end of 2014

There are almost more mobile phones on the planet than there are humans, according to a new report.

There will be 7.3 billion mobile phones on the planet by the end of this year, up from six billion now, claims a study by the International Telecommunications Union.

Comparatively, the United Nations estimates the world population currently stands at 7.243 billion.

Mark Roden, CEO of mobile top-up provider Ding, said: "Mobile phones have the ability to drastically improve lives in some of the poorest parts of the world where communications are restricted.”

The news comes as analyst IDC estimates worldwide phablet shipments will surpass tablets in 2015.

It reckons worldwide phablet shipments (smartphones with screen sizes from 5.5 to less than 7 inches) will reach 175 million units worldwide in 2014, passing the 170 million portable PCs expected to ship during the same period. Next year, total phablet volumes will top 318 million units, surpassing the 233 million tablets forecast to ship in 2015.

"With Apple expected to join the space in the coming weeks, we anticipate even more attention on phablets as larger screen smartphones become the new norm," said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

IDC expects phablets to grow from 14 per cent of the worldwide smartphone market in 2014 to 32.2 per cent in 2018.

Image source: Shutterstock (cell phones stacked up)

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