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Anorak | Smartphones: the fastest growing technology ever

Smartphones: the fastest growing technology ever

by | 15th, May 2012

ONE way of looking at the current economic world is that it’s a complete disaster. Slow to little growth (and don’t even start talking about Southern Europe), mass unemployment, a general dirge of it all being pretty crappy.

One the other hand, there are bright spots: what economic growth there is is in the poor countries, meaning people are moving from absolute, $2 a day type, poverty to the unaccustomed luxury of three square meals a day.

And it’s also not true that the advanced economies are static: we might not see the changes in the figures about the macro economy but there are huge changes going on. For example, smartphones: this is quite probably the technology to catch on fastest of any, ever.

These figures show that smart phones, after a relatively fast start, have also outpaced nearly any comparable technology in the leap to mainstream use. It took landline telephones about 45 years to get from 5 percent to 50 percent penetration among U.S. households, and mobile phones took around seven years to reach a similar proportion of consumers. Smart phones have gone from 5 percent to 40 percent in about four years, despite a recession. In the comparison shown, the only technology that moved as quickly to the U.S. mainstream was television between 1950 and 1953.

Agreed, we can say that the ability to send each other LOLcats on the move isn’t all that much of an advance in human civilisation. But that isn’t the way that economists look at it. People are spnding money on these things, people are clamouring to have them in fact, so people must be gainaing value from having them. QED really. And it’s very diffiult indeed to think of an economy going through the fastest technological adoption ever as being stagnant…..

 



Posted: 15th, May 2012 | In: Money, Technology Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink