Technology

Smartphone Ownership Continues to Increase

Smartphone ownership continues to increase because of the increasing access to the internet and technology advances. They have become a part of daily life for many nations, both developed and developing.

Smartphones have been around since the early ’90s and continue to be adopted rapidly as technology advances.

The development of the smartphone and easier access has increased ownership in the United States and worldwide.

Read on to learn why smartphone ownership continues to increase.

Functionality and Entertainment

A primary reason smartphones have gained popularity is their ease of use and function for entertainment.

Smartphones can connect to the internet, allowing them to access any information they want in the palm of their hand.

People also use smartphones for entertainment, such as watching TV shows or playing mobile games.

However, most people use smartphones to connect with others, especially through social media. Since the inception of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, and others, people share and post daily about their personal lives or discuss current events.

Smartphones have become more functional than just entertainment in recent years. For instance, you have access to your bank account with mobile banking through an app. You can even board a plane with a mobile boarding pass without the hassle of having to print one out.

Smartphone Usage by Country

Pew Research indicates smartphones are more prevalent in Europe and the United States. Wealthy nations with internet access are more likely to have a high smartphone possession rate.

Lastly, users in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa are more likely to use smartphones for social media than Europe, Asia, and the U.S.

Smartphone Ownership Data

According to a survey from Statista, smartphone ownership in the United States has more than doubled between 2011 to 2021. In April 2011, 35% of Americans owned a smartphone. As of February 2021, it is about 85%.

Pew Research Center gathered demographics of smartphone users and found the following:

  • 96% of ages 18 to 29, 95% of 30 to 49, 83% of 50 to 64, and 61% of 65 and older own smartphones. This suggests younger generations are more likely to own a smartphone compared to older generations.
  • 75% of high school or less, 89% of some college, and 93% of college graduates own a smartphone, citing education may be a factor in ownership.
  • 76% of those earning $30,000, 83% earning 30,000 to 49,999, 96% earning $75,000 or more own a smartphone, showing higher salaries are more likely to have a device.
  • 89% of urban areas, 84% of the suburban regions, and 80% of the rural areas own smartphones, citing internet access as a factor to possessing a device

Apple is the leading smartphone vendor in the U.S., although Google’s Android has a larger market share due to its software in various devices.  

Do People Have a Smartphone Addiction?

An interesting aspect about smartphone adoption is that people do not generally switch back to a regular cell phone.

If anything, people continue to use their phones more because of their unique functionality that apps and the internet offer to users.

However, there are concerns the smartphone is addicting because of its endless entertainment through social media apps, messaging, video, and more.

Deloitte’s Global Mobile Consumer Trends Report shows the following data regarding smartphone addiction:

  • 33% of developed nations check their phones in the first 5 minutes of the day compared to 50% of developing countries
  • 17% of developed nations access their phones 50 times a day or more, compared to 29% of developing countries
  • 57% of developed nations do not access their phone at night, compared to 28% of developing countries

Summary

Smartphone ownership continues to increase because of the increasing access to the internet and technology advances. They have become a part of daily life for many nations, both developed and developing.

One of the biggest draws of smartphones is that they are functional and fun devices, as they connect users from around the world through social media or messaging apps.

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