History has a funny way of changing things. When the first telephone was installed in the White House in 1879 Rutherford B Hayes said:
“It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one? “
And we all know how that turned out. It was a rare and expensive commodity which is best expressed by Anna Kavan who said:
“I had never before met anyone who owned a telephone and believed in dragons.”
And finally we come to the world that is today, which is best expressed by someone known as Junaid e Mustafa (whoever he is):
“A man is known by the company of phone he keeps.”
It has been an interesting evolution, from a mildly as essential as air. But, fear not, you are not alone in valuing it so highly. There are others who rate it equally high. Let us find out:
Some Background Perspective
There are currently 7.1 billion people in the world and they are set to reach 7.4 billion by the end of the year. In comparison to that, there are 2 billion PCs at the moment, but we all know that their market has become pretty much stagnant. Nevertheless, every 2 out of five people own PCs in the world, just based on gross averages.
Now, we come to the smartphone market. At the moment there are 1.4 billion smartphone users in the world. This is set to increase to more than 2 billion smart phones, crossing and leaving behind PCs in the race. When we calculate the figures for mobile devices, which include smartphones and tablets, then by the end of this year they will be touching the 7.7 billion mark.
Of course these are just gross averages and people in the developed world would have a higher density of smart devices than the developing world.
What do we use it for?
Different people use it for different things.
For some it is the ideal way to stay connected with their family and friends. This is definitely one of the most popular things on people’s minds because on a daily basis there are some 380 million tweets, followed by some 370 million likes using smartphones. This is one of the major reasons why social media has become a favorite for companies to advertise.
Others use it for having some fun. With almost 80 million hours of videos being watched on YouTube in a day alone, it has made some major inroads in usurping TV for entertainment. Some 75% of Americans use their smartphone while watching TV.
The average time an American uses their smart phone comes out at 3.3 hours. Of this, more than 50% is spent on browsing apps. These include social media apps, as well as games. And 75% Americans take their phone to the bathroom.
Business is another area which considers it essential. Almost 191 billion emails are sent out every day on the internet. And let us tell you this is a very big figure. For comparison, USPS sends out only a small fraction of mail in a whole year. This is followed by 27 billion in SMSs and 12 billion in calls. Apart from this, the amount of transactions done using mobile payments has crossed $1.1 Billion and is constantly increasing.
Another major usage is for search and analysis. Google receives almost 50% of its queries through smartphone users. This is why there is a craze in mobile site optimization because it is one of the factors in SERPs. Of these search queries, one in four Americans uses a coupon code to save some money. In fact coupons rate amongst the highest searched items on the internet. The mobile payments combined with coupons leads to some epic savings.
So, what does this all mean? Well, first of all it just means that the importance of our smartphone is only going to increase in the future. Secondly, the total number of users is also going to increase as prices become more favorable for people in the developing countries. The second most populous country in the world India is already the second largest mobile phone user after China and we come at a respectable number 3. So, let us keep our fingers crossed for the events to come.
But, if you are just confused by numbers with dry words, we have another form ready for you. Following is the summary of details in the form of an infographic.