When asked what was the original smartphone, most people will likely say BlackBerry, a device that revolutionized communication and ran software services via its own servers.
However, the truth is that IBM’s Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) was a portable computer with many of the features we now associate with smartphones, including a touch screen.
Still, it must get said that the reality is that the debut of the iPhone was the real game-changer in this sphere, and it activated a domino effect, creating the trend where phones can take professional-quality pictures and use complex apps that allow various monetization opportunities.
In the past decade or so, smartphone revenues globally have grown almost three-fold, and, without question, these devices have had a fundamental impact on the world, affecting everything from communication, work, education, access to information, and so on.
Around 85% of Americans rely on them to conduct business, talk to friends and family, and browse the Web. Even though they are relatively new inventions, they have so deeply ingrained themselves in our daily practices that without them, everyday life is unimaginable for most.
Hence, as such, they have substantially changed and advanced many industries. Here are five that have gotten super-influenced.
While some people believe that ride-sharing apps will cause taxis to go extinct in the near future, that is still some ways away from happening. In fact, most insiders believe that taxi drivers face a bigger threat from autonomous cars, and that when they hit the market their jobs will disappear.
Still, it goes without saying that software like Lyft and Uber has had a massive impact on transportation. They have created new job opportunities and ways for people to get around. They have also provided a cost-effective alternative to car ownership.
In 2022, Uber posted $31.8 billion in revenues, representing an 82% year-on-year increase. And Lyft generated $4.09 billion, four times the company’s 2017 amount.
The concept of ride-sharing got introduced in 2009, when Uber got launched from its San Francisco base. Over time, aside from Lyft, Bolt, Ola, Grab, Careem, Via, and Gojek have also emerged as popular options for users in select countries. Nevertheless, it is vital to point out that smartphones have not only affected transportation through these pieces of software.
They have done so in many other ways. One of the most poignant is giving every user a Global Positioning System (GPS) in the palm of their hand, allowing geolocation and navigation virtually from anywhere on the planet.
Travel & Tourism
The old travel agency model from a couple of decades back is largely dead and has been condemned to failure with the rise of new technology.
The Internet has given birth to many plane/bus/train ticket comparison services and route planners, which supply free info in seconds. The role of the traditional travel agent is now obsolete since anyone can book a trip in seconds on their phone.
The same applies to accommodations as companies like Booking.com and Airbnb have made finding affordable and desirable places to stay in any city a breeze.
So, as online booking has grown, the part of this industry that focuses on point-to-point trips is more-or-less dead. Most agents have navigated towards niche, corporate, and luxury travel, trying to survive in that section of the sector.
Booking Holdings, the owner of Booking.com, produced revenue numbers that surpassed $19.3 billion in 2022, and Airbnb’s figure for the same year was $8.4 billion. Moreover, Skyscanner, one of the most popular airfare booking services, estimates its 2022 annual revenues at $266 million.
Naturally, most of the business conducted with these businesses now happens via smartphones, as 55% of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices nowadays.
Peer-to-peer payment services are now all the rage, as they allow people to send and receive money almost instantly to others and pay at thousands of merchants. The top two US players in this landscape, Venmo and Cash App, have 78 million and 44 million users, respectively, and have engaged in a fierce battle over the past couple of years for US market dominance.
Globally, PayPal reigns supreme, holding 42% of the world’s payment app user pool. Some of its main competitors include Stripe, Google Pay, Skrill, and Payoneer. It is paramount to note that these are its global competition.
Plus, it should get noted that PayPal is not available as a viable service for sending and receiving money for residents of all countries. Consequently, local digital payment processors have popped up in multiple territories that are those regions’ top choices. Examples include Paytm in India and SnapScan in South Africa.
Internet betting on games of chance and sports has been around since 1994. Even though the first mobile wager got made in 2001, it was not until a decade later that people started to gamble more seriously on their phones.
The reasons for these are plentiful. For one, most pre-2010 mobile devices lacked the processing power needed to run high-end games, and at this point in time, streaming products like live blackjack and roulette were off the table.
Today, most Internet game of chance fanatics and bettors do their gambling on their phones at what they believe are the best casino sites this sector offers.
While a few years ago most operators required dedicated software for smooth mobile play, on account of HTML5 adoption, that is no longer a necessity. And thanks to massive global smartphone betting, the online gambling markets should pull in $95 billion in revenue in 2023.
Smartphone app development has made more than decent contributions to people’s general well-being, at least for those who have chosen to implement software in health tracking in their daily lives.
Fitness apps like Fitbit allow users to monitor calorie intake and physical activity and set long-term goals. Chronic disease sufferers have a wide range of choices that let them track their conditions and share info with care providers.
Then, we have the telemedicine department, which facilitates remote doctor-patient consultations and virtual status monitoring. Plus, there is an abundance of medication reminder and adherence apps, diagnostic tools, mental support tools, and more.
Smartphones and their apps have really brought a wealth of health-related benefits for those wise enough to take advantage of them. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that the telemedicine sphere alone gets valued at $94 billion.
By Joe Booth