Cars overtake smartphones to become a key player in mobile growth.

Internet connectivity is becoming a key feature in modern automobiles but it's a little surprising to learn that nearly a third of new cellular subscriptions were created for cars last quarter.

According to data compiled by industry consultant Chetan Sharma, 32% of new subscribers bought a data contract for their automobile.  For comparison, only 31% of people bought a new subscription for their phone.  That doesn't mean there has been a dramatic drop in smartphone sales though as the figure focuses on new subscriptions - or so called "net adds" - and not existing smartphone subscribers.

Tablets also played an important role in the growth of the mobile industry as 23% of new subscriptions came from owners of slabs running Android, iOS, or Windows.

Unsurprisingly, the growth of connected cars has been a huge boon for mobile providers.  In the United States, AT&T is dominating the competition as it added more connected cars than rest of the other mobile operators combined.

The trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future as new models are being introduced with internet connectivity and owners of older vehicles will upgrade to something new.

Source: Chetan Sharma via Recode