IBM invented the world’s first smartphone in 1994. The smartphone, dubbed Simon, included new features such as a touchscreen, email, and built-in programs such as a calculator and a drawing pad. 1 Since then, cellular phone capability has improved significantly, particularly in 2000. More than 200 million people were using 3G worldwide by 2007 when Apple (AAPL) debuted its innovative iPhone (and the 3G version of the phone in 2008). Shop Now on T-Mobile
The arrival of smartphones has had a significant impact on the telecoms industry. While mobile phones were once thought to be the end of landlines, smartphones were once thought to be the end of the conventional cell phone. Before the addition of internet surfing to mobile phones, network operators depend on a price structure that had been in place for decades: contacting another line costs a particular flat charge, and sending a text message costs another flat rate.
Mobile technology has rapidly expanded around the world. More than 5 billion individuals are projected to own mobile devices today, with smartphones accounting for more than half of these connections. However, progress in mobile technology has not been equal between nations or within them to date.
- People in industrialized economies are more likely than those in developing economies to own mobile phones, particularly smartphones, and utilize the internet and social media. For example, smartphones are used by 76 percent of people in 18 established nations studied, compared to 45 percent in emerging economies.
- Even in wealthy countries, smartphone ownership varies significantly by nation.
- While nine out of ten South Koreans, Israelis, and Dutch citizens own smartphones, ownership rates in other industrialized countries such as Poland, Russia, and Greece are closer to six out of ten.
Smartphone ownership rates vary widely in developing economies, with highs of 60% in South Africa and Brazil and lows of approximately 4% in Indonesia, Kenya, and Nigeria. India has the lowest smartphone ownership rate among the nations examined, with only 24% claiming to own one.
Impact on Social Media
Outside of the development of operating systems and device hardware production, smartphones’ popularity has spawned new economic prospects. Smartphone software programs, or apps, have grown into a multibillion-dollar business.
- Apps are downloaded to a smartphone through a store controlled by the firm that produced the Smartphone’s operating system.
- Apps are generally free to download, although there may be a charge in some situations.
- When an app is launched, the developer may put adverts in the content or sell things through the app.
- Social networks like Meta (FB), previously Facebook, have significantly benefited from the surge in smartphone use.
- The ability to enter into a social network account from a smartphone has significantly boosted the number of hours spent on the network, resulting in a significant rise in income.
- Smartphone users’ activity has been a driving element in the evolution of social networks formerly controlled by those accessing them via their personal computers.
Some sectors, notably those that create digital cameras, have suffered due to the growing popularity of smartphones. Most smartphones can take pictures comparable to those taken with digital cameras, but unlike digital cameras, they can also easily communicate with other smartphone apps and the internet.
Calculators, web browsers, alarm clocks, documents, and notepads are just a few smartphone apps that compete with technology formerly only available on personal computers.
Younger individuals, those with better levels of education, and those with higher incomes are more likely to be digitally connected, whether in established or emerging countries. 1 and 2 Younger individuals are far more likely to have cellphones, access the internet, and use social media in every nation examined.
The large majority of people under the age of 35 own a smartphone in all advanced economies assessed. In contrast, smartphone ownership among the elderly in sophisticated nations varies greatly, ranging from a little over a quarter of Russians aged 50 and up to over nine out of 10 older South Koreans.
- However, since 2015, the age difference in smartphone ownership has narrowed several of these affluent economies.
- This critical gap might be due to two factors: First, when questioned in 2015, people under 35 were already quite likely to acquire cellphones, establishing a “ceiling” of sorts.
- Second, it indicates that the older generation is increasingly adopting smartphone technology. For example, since 2015, nine out of ten Americans aged 34 and younger have had a smartphone, while the ownership rate among those aged 50 and more has climbed from 53 percent to 67 percent.
Changes in the Cost of Smartphones
Because of the growth of mobile technology and Moore’s Law, the cost of cell phones has fallen over time. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, the first portable cellphones cost a stunning $9,000 in today’s money.
- That price has dropped dramatically. The average cost of a smartphone, for example, was roughly $471 in 2014 and fell to $402 in 2016. Although the prices are down, they are still not inexpensive.
- Apple, for example, charges a premium for its iPhone gadgets, which is primarily due to Apple’s well-known and trusted brand.
- The market saw the iPhone’s arrival as the company’s saviour since Apple’s computer sales and income had lagged in the years preceding the device’s release. Other firms use white labels to disseminate their technologies.
The End of Closeness!
The researchers spent 16 months living in communities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America, studying how people use smartphones.
- Their report is chock-full of tales about the people they interviewed, including Sato san, a Japanese flower arranger who is 90 years old. Sato san arranges her pupils, writes a blog, gets meals, checks bus schedules, and more from her home in Kyoto, all using her smartphone, which she describes as “essential to her career and life.”
- With the ability to carry the gadget with you everywhere you go, you can rest confident that you will never be far from the things that matter most to you.
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