One to 1.2 million Raspberry Pi microcomputers have shipped since the device’s launch just over a year ago but where in the world are they located? While it’s impossible to say exactly where each Pi has ended up, the vast majority sold to-date have shipped to developed nations — including the U.S. and the U.K. But the Pi Foundation wants to get more developing nations buying into Pi.
Analyst Strategy Analytics is forecasting that the worldwide base of mobile subscriptions will rise to 8.9 billion over the next five years — and a massive four out of five of these (80 per cent) will be in developing countries. China and India will account for the bulk of emerging market subscriptions, according to the analyst, but it also expects “rapid growth” in the Middle East and Africa.
In less than three decades, the mobile phone has gone from being a status symbol to being a ubiquitous technology that facilitates almost every interaction in our daily lives. One month after the world’s population topped 7 billion in October 2011, the GSM Association announced that mobile SIM cards had reached 6 billion. A 2009 study in India illustrated that every 10 percent increase in mobile penetration leads to a 1.2 percent increase in GDP.
Yet patterns of mobile phone use in developing countries are vastly different from what you see on the streets of New York, San Francisco, and Berlin. This is a market underserved by technologists and startups. This is where the majority of future growth lies, and Silicon Valley has yet to realize the huge economic opportunities for network operators, handset developers, and mobile startups. Where are these opportunities?