The ubiquity of the smartphone we highlighted in our last post has been greatly facilitated by the increased capabilities of the technology on offer.
Besides devices that propose ever increasing processor speed and storage space, the deployment of 4G and 5G technology has been a key factor in the adoption of Smartphones on a daily basis. As 4G and 5G allow for faster download and upload speeds, lower latency, and the ability to connect more devices at once.
According to the GSM Association in ‘The Mobile Economy 2023’, 4G amounts to 60% of worldwide connections today; by 2030, the majority of mobile connections will be made through 5G. In Europe, 5G is in fact expected to represent 87% of mobile connections.
Since 2017, AI has been integrated into several aspects of smartphones, with AI-powered camera settings for better image and video quality, enhanced speech-recognition for more responsive and intuitive voice assistants, and learning from users' habits to provide personalised experiences.
Work, play, creativity, and everyday convenience at home
These features indicate a trend towards smartphones that are not just communication devices but powerful tools for work, play, creativity, and everyday convenience.
A new insight from recent discussions with members of our community is seeing them use their smartphone for anything and everything, including at home.
For several years they've been using the device on the go, or accessed their bank account [as we highlighted in our 2017 update]. Yet it’s only in the last couple of years that Smartphones have trumped other devices at home, for shopping or watching videos.
I use my phone for different types of shopping online. It could be from shopping for food to clothing. I find it easy. (France community, 2022)
It surprised me that I spent four hours on my phone today. However I am using my phone a lot on Google Search as well as other apps. (UK community, 2023)