For the first time ever, the number of active wireless devices in the United States is greater than the number of people, CNN Money reports. Industry analysts peg the number of wireless subscriptions, which include tablets and both dumb- and smartphones, at 327.6 million in the second quarter of 2011, a 9 percent increase from last year, in a country of only 312.4 million. That's an average of 1.05 wireless devices per person, which probably also explains why wi-fi never works on the Bolt bus.
But while we're talking comparing the populations of humans and machines, let's consider the last technology to become ubiquitous: the television. As far as we can tell, there's never been a point in time when TVs outnumbered people. In 2003, there were only around 741 TVs for every 1,000 people in the U.S., according to the CIA World Factbook. In 2006, there were 285 million U.S. televisions, the same year the U.S. hit the 300 million person mark. And since then, TV ownership has shown some signs of erosion--or at least plateauing: between 2010 and 2011, the percentage of households with TVs decreased for the first time in 20 years, from 98.9 percent to 96.7 percent, according to Nielsen.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.