Mobility is transforming the way people work and live all around the world with astonishing speed, giving billions of people a small supercomputer to carry snugly in their pockets or stealthily in their purses or messenger bags – a smartphone. The price of entry to mobile phones has now become relatively low and what was once the province of the elite in the developed world is now spreading across the developing world. In sub-Saharan Africa people talk, chat, and browse on smartphones even if they are living somewhere without running water or electricity. Their phones are their portals to knowledge and communication, and finally with the use of eCommerce and business apps — to increasing prosperity.
Soon Almost Everyone will have a Smartphone
This adoption of mobile phones and the upgrade to smartphones is universal and ubiquitous. Africa is not the only place being transformed, China is actually the largest market for smartphones and is adopting mobile technology at a pace that looks effortless to outside observers. As people all over the world acquire mobile technology the number of users blossoms, it is now estimated that by 2020 80% of the world’s population will have a smartphone.
Today, something different: Benedict Evans thinks and writes about technology and works with Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. I was quite struck by a recent podcast of his with accompanying slides about mobility and its transforming effect not only on our lives but on technology in general. I rarely link to outside sources but this was really thought provoking and fun to listen to. Did you know, for example, that more photos have been taken with smartphones in 2014 than all the photos ever taken on film? And that in 1999, 80 billion consumer photos were taken on film and in 2014 800 billion photos were shared on social media. These and other intriguing facts and observations caught my attention and so I am sharing.
Mobility Enables Tech to Transform Industries
Evans observes that tech is eating itself. As tech proliferates with mobility and smarter, leaner machines it becomes more and more like a slightly sexier potted plant strategically placed in just about any office building. In other words, as tech becomes background, something we don’t need to think about, it begins to transform entire industries instead of simply being a tool that companies install. At any rate, I will let Benedict Evans speak for himself — check it out:
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