Cell phones are something that we all have but really think very little about.
For example, have you ever wondered where your cell phone comes from or how they are made? Or even how apps come to be? We are going to take a deeper look at those little yet powerful computers that we keep in our pockets and how they fundamentally changed the world. So what are cell phones? Cell phones are handheld devices which use a radio frequency carrier to connect calls made to and from them through the networks in the world. But making calls is by far the least important thing that these can do.
With the dawn of smartphone technology, we can now connect with our friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers at the touch of a button. Shockingly, today’s Smartphones actually have more computing power than the army of computers that allowed the Apollo 11 moon landing. But think about that all of that power sitting in the palm of your hand. It is pretty cool.
So who owns a cell phone? Well, almost everyone. If you compared the number of cell phones owned by the number of personal computers, cell phones would win by a landslide with over five times the number of PCs in the world. More than four billion people own a cell phone, making the mobile phone industry the fastest growing industry in the entire world. In 2012, Apple saw an iPhone get sold every four seconds! That’s over 340 thousand sold every single day. But it was Nokia who held the record in 2007 with their Nokia 1100, which was the best-selling consumer electronics device in the world.
Where do phones and apps come from? Nearly 80% of the Earth’s population has a cell phone and 90% of them keep their phones closer than four feet from them at all times. Over 70% of the mobile phones in the world are made in China while mobile applications are made all over the world. And the app world is beyond huge. Over 800 apps are downloaded every second from Apple’s app store and just as many are downloaded in the Google Play store. And the fastest growing segment of the app world is mobile gaming. More and more people are playing games on the go and many of them are free to download.
When did cellular technology advance? The first mobile call ever made was by Martin Cooper of Motorola on April 4th, 1973. Now, the technology didn’t become available to the public until 1983, though it came with a price tag of $4,000.
In 1991, second generation, or 2G equipment and networks became available, though the first text message was not successfully sent from a mobile phone until 1993. Today, it is texting that is the most commonly used data application on cellular devices, while its pseudo-competitor, Facebook, and its Messenger service saw over five million downloads by the end of 2008 with well over half a billion downloads by 2014.
So why do we love our cell phones so much? Over 79% of the time the average user spends on their phone is playing games and checking out social networking sites and apps. Mobile gaming alone has grown exponentially, especially with the dawn of in-app purchases. The premium model has single-handedly transformed a world full of free apps that make companies no money into one that is a real business model. Today, there are over 15 million apps available to download in the app store and over 16 million that you can get through Google Play. That’s a whole lot of apps more than enough to keep you busy for pretty much the rest of your life. Or, until your battery dies it happens a little too often.