Mobiles will outnumber people in five years, according to the technology group Ericsson.
That's working handsets connected to a network. If you include all those "resting" handsets that you meant to do something with but never got around to, then surely we're there already.
You know how it is. You're looking for something at the back of a cupboard and an old Nokia or long superseded BlackBerry falls to the floor and triggers a little memory: the digital equivalent of Proust and his Madeline cake. You just can't throw it away. That's the one you got that first missed call from your wife on. Ah, the memories.
Incidentally, here's an idea for all those old handsets. Why not space them out in a line on little wooden sticks, put those sticks in a criss-cross shape and then suspend the whole construction on a thread from the ceiling above the baby's cot: there, it's a phone mobile. That should get her off to sleep – if she'd only stop texting.
Don't look so surprised. Yes, baby's just got her first handset – well, she is three months old now. You can't start too early, don't want to get left behind. We're so pleased actually – she's just texted her first word: "Upgrade".
Listen: she loves this song: "The apps on the phone go touch touch touch, touch touch touch, touch touch touch/The apps on the phone go touch touch touch/All day long."
The talk now is about people owning multiple devices – Grace Jones, for example, apparently has 17 and needs a hula hoop to generate the extra current to power them all – but really it's the other way around. It's the devices that own us.
Just watch how people behave. If you say: "Here" to your mobile at home, it just stays put. Frankly ignores you. Even with voice recognition, it doesn't move. But when it calls you, with its telltale little ping, or with that familiar vibration which the toaster seems to amplify, or with the opening bars of 633 Squadron (just for Jubilee weekend), you're on your feet before you can say "pay-as-you-go or contract?"
Stop to think about where all this is heading and it's like a story by the late Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451 isn't the temperature at which paper ignites, it's the temperature the planet will reach if we all use our chargers at the same time.
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