Smartphones – An Essential Part of Modern Life


Ever since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have rapidly become one of the most ubiquitous technologies in the world. What started out as just a phone with some additional internet capabilities has evolved into a mini computer that we carry with us everywhere.

Rise in Smartphone Adoption
Smartphone adoption has skyrocketed over the past decade. According to recent statistics, over 6 billion smartphones have been shipped worldwide since 2007. In developed nations, smartphone penetration rates are well over 80% of the population. Even developing countries are seeing tremendous growth, with global smartphone sales expected to surpass 2.5 billion annually by 2021. The decline of basic phones paired with falling smartphone prices have helped drive this pervasive adoption across all demographics.

Constant Connectivity
One of the biggest impacts of smartphones is that they allow for constant connectivity. With our Smartphones in our pockets, we are never truly offline or unavailable. We can check emails, social media, maps, and more from anywhere at any time. This level of constant reachability has revolutionized how we communicate and get information. Work has also blended into personal life as people are contactable around the clock. While freedom from being tied to traditional phones has benefits, constant connectivity can also enable new forms of distraction and information overload.

Transformation of Photography
The camera capabilities of modern smartphones have had a huge impact on photography. Basic phones could only take low resolution photos suitable for sharing on early social networks. Smartphones now feature high-quality cameras on par with point-and-shoot devices of the past. As a result, smartphone cameras have become the primary way most people capture and share photos. Popular apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok have thrived due to the proliferation of mobile photos. People are also using smartphone cameras for more practical purposes such as document scanning and product research. Photography itself has become more candid, immediate, and integrated into daily routines thanks to always-having a capable camera in your pocket.

Evolution of Mobile Payments
Smartphones have played a revolutionary role in advancing mobile payments and commerce. Contactless payment systems like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay allow users to pay for items at retail stores or online just by holding their phone near a payment terminal. In many developing economies that lack credit card infrastructure, mobile money systems based on smartphones have surged in popularity and accessibility for activities like funds transfers. Leading e-commerce platforms are also optimizing their mobile websites and apps for easier purchasing on the go. As biometric authentication like fingerprint sensors become standard, smartphones are poised to replace physical wallets altogether and dominate all types of payments.

Impact on Productivity and Business
Of course, smartphones have massively impacted how businesses operate and professionals get work done. Mobile apps, cloud services, and constant access to communication/collaboration tools allow knowledge workers to be productive from anywhere. Many remote and digital jobs are only possible thanks to smartphones. Enterprises rely on smartphones for functions ranging from warehouse logistics to field service work. And for small businesses, smartphones enable setting up digital storefronts, managing inventory, processing payments, and more all from a single device. The rise of mobile first design indicates just how central smartphones are to digital transformation and the future of work.

In just over a decade, smartphones have evolved from simple internet-connected phones to sophisticated handheld computers that are deeply integrated into almost all areas of modern life. Their ubiquitous adoption has had widespread impacts on communication, photography, productivity, payments, commerce, and more. As 5G networks and advances in AI, AR/VR, and other technologies take smartphones to new frontiers, their influence in society looks set to grow even stronger. Smartphones have become an indispensable part of daily life for individuals and organizations alike.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it