Smartphone technology has transformed these devices from simple communication equipment for businesses to fun, consumer devices. Busy executives used the original BlackBerry and in 2007 Apple released the first iPhone. Apps soon followed the release of these devices and combined, they have changed business, entertainment, learning, and social interaction.
Economic development throughout the world is driven by technology. But, mobile technology has become significant in many economies. Much of the manufacturing of smartphones is done overseas.
How smartphones fit into the mobile economy
According to the GMSA, an organization which represents the industry of worldwide mobile communications, the U.S. GDP received a contribution of $3.6 trillion from the mobile industry in 2017. The fact that so many people in the world have them is a clear sign that smartphones are an essential part of the mobile and general economy.
The Pew Research Center estimates that 64 percent of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone. They have also found that 90 percent of American adults own some kind of cell phone. They think that as smartphones increase in function and drop in price, that 64 percent will increase.
On a global basis, the presence of smartphones has nearly doubled over the past 5 years. It was estimated about 20 percent of the global population used smartphones in 2010. By 2014, that number rose to 37 percent. Comparing the year 2008 (the first complete year that Apple’s iPhone was available) through 2014, that number more than tripled from 12 percent to 37 percent.
Smartphones and apps: their impact on the economy
The economic impact of smartphones has been a hot topic to cover, especially with the development of applications. One reason why is that they have been adopted by citizens across the world at amazing rates. Here are a few ways that smartphones have taken a role in economic development throughout the world.
The app economy
It is estimated that as early as 2012, there were about 500,000 jobs created in the U.S. because of the app economy. This has, in turn, been a major boost to the larger economy. This estimate of jobs does not include the design, manufacturing, or marketing of smartphones and other mobile devices, which are often created in other countries.
Collaboration and communication
Economic growth will occur if the ability to engage with others from anywhere on the planet is available. This has contributed to reduced business costs that were once spent on travel and communication expenses. An example of this would be the software by Citrix, “GoToMeeting,” which is mobile compatible. Smartphone users can share their data and voice from any mobile location or worksite. Delays are reduced, and so is the need for people to travel to remote locations for business.
Almost anyone can now create apps
The app economy now offers the benefit of lowering the barrier to entry. You do not need employees or massive amounts of resources to create an app for smartphones. You can learn how to code or outsource someone to do it for you. Another option is to use Google, Apple, or Microsoft’s platform to distribute your software solution to the world market.
Anyone can use smartphones to do more business
An economic term, excess capacity refers to assets or capital that are not used to their full potential. Smartphones have encouraged the growth of apps that reduce or stop this issue. For example, a ridesharing app called Uber is a great example of using excess capacity. You can use Uber to give anyone a ride and make money if you have a new enough and well-maintained car.
How the smartphone affects the developing world’s economy
Smartphones are able to help in developing countries by providing citizens with communication and jobs. A cell signal is a better option than laying data lines and hardwiring telephone lines in some areas. The affordability of smartphones and access to mobile technology offers economic opportunities to companies and people worldwide.
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