If you ever wanted to understand exactly how fast smartphones have proliferated since the iPhone essentially made them the new standard in 2007, there are 640 million iPhone and Android phones in use.
To give you an idea of how fast that is:
Compared to recent technologies, smart device adoption is being adopted 10X faster than that of the 80s PC revolution, 2X faster than that of 90s Internet Boom and 3X faster than that of recent social network adoption. Five years into the smart device growth curve, expansion of this new technology is rapidly expanding beyond early adopter markets such as such as North America and Western Europe, creating a true worldwide addressable market.
Here’s a better question: what does that mean for the man on the street?
Essentially, that the world is changing under our feet without our even realizing. Stop and think for a minute. Six years ago, the iPhone was science fiction, literally. Three years ago, the iPad was a joke. But these are widely adopted systems. We now have, in our pockets, a computer about as powerful as one from 2006. It’s not perfect, but it’s serviceable. It’s cheap. It can run apps for everything from serious scientific functions to fart noises.
And it’s everywhere.
Personally, I think mobile phones are already affecting our society in ways we don’t even realize. Take for example the American crime rate. As cell phone use began rising, the crime rate began sinking. We’re currently in one of the worst recessions ever. In theory crime should be through the roof… but it just keeps dropping. I think that everyone having a phone in their pocket has a lot to do with that.
Citizen journalism is another obvious one: nothing happens now without videos, photos, and Tweets piling up around it. We haven’t really seen the full impact of this technology. But in another five years… well, think of everything that’s science fiction now.