Is 2014 the Year of the Smartphone?

Is 2014 the Year of the Smartphone?

By Bryony Morris on 1st May 2014,

When we consider that it took 38 years for the radio to reach 50 million people worldwide, and only 50 days for the ‘Draw Something’ app to reach the same number, the way in which technology has changed our world is brought into sharp focus.

The same can be said for the adoption of mobile phones, which in the 1980s had a limited market, with clunky devices only managing half an hour of talk time. Fast forward 30 years and unlike the early devices of the 80s, mobile phones are now devices with real power. Today, the Mobile Operators Association state that mobile phones feature in the lives of 94% of the UK population, with a whopping 82.7 million mobile phone subscriptions in existence.

Many of us still use a desktop in order to perform everyday tasks, both at work and at home. However, as smartphones and tablets continue to develop technologically, they will become further embedded in our lives, and adoption rates will continue to increase. Guy Phillipson, Chief Executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau, has predicted that in 2014 smartphone penetration will reach 75% and tablet penetration will reach 50%. It is easy to see that away from an office environment, the desktop may find itself redundant.

Smartphones have also helped to fuel our obsession with the digital world. Ofcom reports that in the UK, seven in ten mobile users browse the internet on their device and according to a recent ONS survey, it is as high as 89% for 16-24 year olds. As a nation, we are extremely adept at using mobile devices to consume information, to create content, and to purchase items online, and we are using them less for traditional forms of communication than ever before.

Some have commented that 2014 will be ‘The Year of The Smartphone’; however, this is irrelevant when the technological landscape has been dominated by the exponential market growth over the past few years. It is now impossible to imagine a world without smartphones, and as our lives become faster and more connected, take up of mobile devices will continue to grow markedly.

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