Steve Jobs was right when he promised in 2007 that smartphones “would change everything”, says The Economist. They have become the “defining technology” of our age and the fastest-selling gadgets in history, outstripping the growth of the basic mobile phones that came before them: 1.3 billion were shipped last year alone. They now outsell personal computers at a rate of around four to one.
Around two billion people now have a smartphone and that number is set to double by the year 2020. That means around 80% of the global adult population will own one within five years, up from 50% today. The average American spends a total of two hours on one every day.