The Internet seems to offer countless chances to win — “You’re Our Lucky 10,000 Visitor!!! Click Here to Claim Your Free iPod!!!” — but this month you really could be the lucky winner. According to IMS Research, sometime this month the 5 billionth device will connect to the Internet, and within a decade that number will swell by more than four times.
While that number largely consists of PCs — there are some 1 billion connected in the world that connect to the Internet regularly — and mobile devices like smartphones, future growth will be driven by machine-to-machine technologies like smart grid-enabled appliances, e-book readers, public safety systems, traffic and parking control devices, sensor networks, Web-enabled TVs, and automobiles that sync up to the Net. IMS also projects that by 2020 there will be 6 billion cell phones in the world, most of which will have Internet connectivity.
We should note here that we have no idea how IMS is keeping count, but we’re not ones to spoil a perfectly good celebration.