Sci-Fi Visions

By 2020, 80% of the Adult Population Will Own a Smartphone

  • Smartphones matter partly because of their ubiquity. They have become the fastest-selling gadgets in history, outstripping the growth of the simple mobile phones that preceded them. They outsell personal computers four to one.
  • Smartphones have also penetrated every aspect of daily life. The average American is buried in one for over two hours every day. Asked which media they would miss most, British teenagers pick mobile devices over TV sets, PCs and games consoles. Nearly 80% of smartphone-owners check messages, news or other services within 15 minutes of getting up. About 10% admit to having used the gadget during sex.
  • Some studies find that in developing countries every ten extra mobile phones per 100 people increase the rate of growth of GDP-per-person by more than one percentage point—by, say, drawing people into the banking system. Smartphones will remake entire industries, at unheard-of speed.

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