The Evolution of the Smartphone

Mobile phone use continues to experience explosive growth throughout the globe and smart phone use is the dominating component of this growth.  Mobile phone use has been growing for more than 30 decades now so that doesn’t come as a surprise, but what is really exciting is how the field is changing.  Let’s have a look at the evolution of the smartphone.

Smart Phone Use

Most western countries have had a mobile phone saturation rate near a 100% for more than 10 years now, but a study done in 2014 showed that only 55% of mobile phone users carried a smartphone.  In 2015 that figure grew to 69% which was a growth of more than 20% in just one year.  This goes to show how much smartphones are changing the industry.

With growing smartphone use comes the evolution of the handset itself.  Most smartphone users are on their second or third handset and each has more capabilities than the last.  What used to be used as primarily an oral communication device with occasional access to the internet has completely reversed.  Now internet access is the primary function of the phone while talking is very much secondary.  The simultaneous growth of social media and the embedding of social media apps have changed how the phone is used.

Apps and the Smartphone

When Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone back in 2007, we were introduced to the world or apps, or applications.  This was the definitive point where how we used smartphones changed.  While the use of apps has had their ups and downs it is still an integral part of smartphone use across all demographics.  Here is a video of the original unveiling of the iPhone.

Banking and Payments

While the novelty of apps has worn off the use of social media and banking apps continues to rise.  Banking apps are not just used to check your balance anymore, they have become integrated with payment systems.  You can now use your smartphone to pay for your morning coffee at Starbucks with ApplePay and integrated payment services from your bank.

Social Media

Social media based apps are the most widely used apps across all smartphones, and for some it is their only access to networks like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Instagram and Snapchat were built entirely for mobile use and desktop use was very much secondary when it came to development.  For business owners particularly those targeting millennials as their target market better understand how to use these networks if they every want to reach their audiences.

We have barely scratched the surface of the ways in which mobile phone use has changed the way we live our lives and the impact it has had on our culture.  On the one hand there are many that claim it distances us from human interaction, while others claim the ease at which we can now communicate with others around the globe has brought us closer together.

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