Since IBM launched the first-ever smartphone called Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) in 1994, a lot has changed. Simon had a touchscreen with a complete keyboard and built-in software that enabled users to check their email, use the internet, and place calls.
Today’s smartphones allow people to do all those things and more. With a smartphone, you can:
- Conduct financial transactions
- Create, edit, save, and send all kinds of files
- Find the latest news
- Go shopping
- Order food
- Participate in conversations
- Play games
- Run a business
- Take photos and videos
- Track deliveries
- Use social media apps
- Watch movies
- Communicate through texting, video calls, etc.
Smartphone capabilities do not end here. And this is probably why almost everyone thinks that having a smartphone is a necessity for this day and age. But is this true for everyone?
Smartphone usage statistics
According to Statista, there are over 6 billion smartphone subscriptions worldwide. Meanwhile, a dedicated site for cell phones states that there are 6.648 billion smartphone users globally in 2022.
Of course, there are some people who own more than one smartphone, like those who keep a work and personal unit. There are also those who change smartphones every time their favourite brand launches a new model. Still, these staggering numbers give one a picture of how dependent people have become on the smartphone.
Indeed, it seems that the smartphone has become an indispensable piece of technology people will never really get away from.
With a smartphone, people can:
- Have quick access to key information about health, disasters, etc.
- Get updates on their flights and keep their families updated in real time whilst they are travelling and more.
- Do their work and conduct or attend meetings whilst on the move or in transit.
- Keep track of their kids and monitor their homes remotely.
With the continuing innovation in smartphone technology, new useful features and apps might yet be introduced in the future.
Smartphone pros and cons
Like most things people own, smartphones have advantages and disadvantages.
Sure enough, smartphones provide a lot of benefits, just like the ones listed above. But if we strip these advantages down to the basics, here are the main areas where smartphones are major pros:
- Availability of a range of useful apps
- Easier, faster communication
- Education, work, and entertainment
- GPS technology
- Internet access
Through the years, since smartphones gradually gained popularity, people realised they were getting hooked on their devices. They began to question whether these electronic devices are a necessity and if they’re doing users harm.
Here are the identified cons with smartphones:
- Health problems
- Security concerns and data loss
- Unhealthy distraction
Besides these reasons, smartphones are getting more expensive to own.
Aside from the unit price, you also need to allocate a budget for your monthly service. To enjoy certain features, you may need to shell out more money to buy accessories. Then there’s also the risk of theft or loss, so you spend more on an insurance protection plan.
So, do you really need a smartphone?
The answer, for most, might be in the affirmative.
However, it all depends on your situation and lifestyle. One thing you need to remember is that you don’t need the most expensive gadget out there to enjoy the features you find most useful.
If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you and your family are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.