21 Jun The Importance of Smartphones in Today’s World
Mobile phones started being an issue already in the nineties of the 20th century, but the true boom did not happen until the wide introduction of smartphones, arguably beginning with the introduction of the first iPhone by Apple in 2007. Yes, Sony Ericsson and Nokia each did sell more mobile phones than Apple and Samsung combined, but today it is being estimated that more than two billion people all over the world are having some sort of a mobile device used for communicating. If every third person on this world is using a mobile phone, then smartphones and handheld devices cannot be called luxury or exceptional anymore, but a daily necessity.
Statistically viewed, in the so called Western World, the number of old fashioned landlines is drastically diminishing. These numbers are somewhat preserved by the fact that most cable television providers, who also offer internet in package deals, also do offer landline phone services, which in a package costs next to nothing and thus people still have it. Landlines in the manner Alexander Graham Bell envisioned are becoming extinct, at least in the First World, where IP telephony seems to take over. The main culprits for the impeding extinction of the landline phone network are the mobile phones.
Last year eMarketer website estimated that the global mobile phone user mark will hit 4 billion by the end of 2014 and that there are currently more mobile phones in use than there are people in the world, creating an uproar, because their research implied an upcoming total saturation of the marketplace. It is questionable how these numbers were estimated, because neither Southeast Asia, nor Africa nor the entirety of South America have reached mobile technology area covering that is as similar as in the Western World. Thus, it is highly unlikely that more than two thirds of the World’s population is currently using a mobile phone regularly.
Statistics are very interesting to behold, for instance in the UK the number of mobile phones in use is larger than the combined population of the whole UK including Northern Ireland. Of all the mobile phones in use, in the UK, around 62% are smartphones. Since that the cost of a smartphone is almost equal to the cost of a classic mobile phone, it is estimated that the smartphone penetration will continue until the regular, simple mobile phones are used only as secondary phones. For purposes of comparison, in United Arab Emirates every person living there has two mobile phones, with a smartphone penetration ratio of around 74%.