According to a new study by tech giant Cisco, within the next 4 years expect 5.4 billion people around the world to own a mobile phone. What makes that so surprising is that only about 5.3 billion folks are expected to have electricity by then.
And many of those folks will have more than one device, because Cisco estimates that there will be 11.6 billion mobile-ready devices out there.
Currently, nearly 65% of American adults own a smartphone. For many, it’s their sole means of accessing the Internet. According to findings by Pew research, 10% of those people say their phone is their only way of accessing the Internet.
Those with incomes under $30,000 a year are most likely to use their smartphone as their primary means of accessing the Internet, and African Americans and Latinos are 3 times more likely to use smartphones as their only Internet access than Caucasians.
What do people do with their phones? Around 60% use their phone for banking with a similar number using their phone to look up health information. Nearly 45% have used their phone for important tasks like looking for a new home or a new job. Almost 20% of those job-seekers have submitted an application using their phone.
Smartphones are especially popular among young adults. A whopping 85% of those 18-29 have a smartphone.
And don’t think smartphones are just for kids. Among users 50 and older, 92% use their phone for texting, 80% for surfing the Internet, 94% for voice and video calls and 87% for e-mail.
While cell phones used to be considered something of a luxury item, that’s no longer the case. Around 80% of households below the poverty level have at least one cell phone.
A full 91% of U.S. adults report owning cell phones and for nearly 50% of the people, that’s the only phone for their home.