Smartphones have transformed almost every aspect of our lives. The mobile devices have dramatically changed communication, entertainment and how we process information.
There are now 3.8 billion smartphone users worldwide. This figure is set to continue to grow as more industries rely on the devices.
This article will look at five industries that have been changed forever by smartphones.
Banking can now be done in detail with the touch of a button or a swipe left or right. Personal finances are easy to check and managed via a wide variety of apps. Transferal of funds from one account to another can also be done simply and securely. Payments are also easy to authorize by smartphone.
Near-field communication, or NFC, has made payments secure and easy to do. NFC is when two nearby devices communicate together to fulfil a specific function. Think of tapping a card on a reader to make a purchase. Using a smartphone to do likewise is also possible. Apps such as Apple Pay can link a bank card or credit card to a smartphone which can then be tapped on the reader to complete a payment.
This change is rapidly bringing about a cashless society, as more and more of us have less need for notes and coins. It is good news for societies tax and financial legal teams as well, as transactions are all recorded bringing about a greater transparency.
2. Online Gambling
The internet completely changed how the gaming market looks. When devices became fully online they changed even more. A huge part of the gaming and gambling world is online, allowing players to access games at their leisure wherever they are. Much of the success of online gambling companies like Draftkings Online Casino is that it is easy and secure to play online casino games with a smartphone.
The fact that this is linked to the financial industry is firm evidence of how many different areas smartphones have played a part in changing. Players can easily keep track of their accounts, their gaming history, and purchase any new features vis smartphone.
This has had an inevitable effect on old-style physical gaming and bookmakers. Traditional organizations such as casinos and sports bookmakers have been forced to keep up with technological advances. As physical venues find it harder to stay afloat, more gaming and gambling companies have looked to the online world to bolster their chances.
Who hasn’t seen someone switch from listening to music via an app to taking a call? Music is just one of the areas or entertainment completely changed by the smartphone. Pre-smartphones, music fans would invariably use a portable tape, CD, mini-disc or MP3 player when out and about.
The advent of the smartphone and the combination of music apps and vast online libraries have supplanted the need for physical media. Linked to this is the convenience of being able to pay for purchases from an online account. New cloud-based technology also means that music aficionados don’t even need to download their favorite music. The songs will be there waiting for them whenever they want to listen to them.
Movies have also been changed forever. Not only do people watch movies on smartphones – think of all those people glued to their screens on long flights – they also make movies on smartphones. From filmmaker to the audience, the way that movies are made and consumed has been unswervingly changed by smartphones.
There are few industries changed more dramatically by smartphone technology than the media. And of all sections of the media, news media services have perhaps been changed the most.
The way we consume the news is completely different. In the past it was the daily newspaper plus supplementary radio and TV reports that told the news.
These days we are more than likely to find out about the latest news developments from our smartphones. Either via a news app, a website online, or a messaging service.
Sales of traditional print media have been falling steadily since 2008. This had a massive effect on advertising revenue with earnings of $37.8 billion in 2008 falling to $14.3 billion in 2018, a drop of 62%.
The way we think of the news has also changed. The rise of the citizen journalist has seen non-professionals arm themselves with smartphones to capture local and national stories. They then have a ready-made publishing service in their social media networks of friends and colleagues.
This blurring of the lines between who and what is making the news, and what is being reported, is another side of the smartphone revolution.
5. Digital Cameras
Smartphone tech has hit the digital camera industry hard, sales have dropped by 87% from 2010.
It’s no coincidence that this is around the time that the cameras in our phones started getting much better.
These days it is only the professional or dedicated camera expert that would find much to complain about tin the image capture capabilities of a new smartphone.
Looking at the iPhone in particular, it is illuminating to note that in 2010, 109 million pocket cameras were sold in the USA. By 2018, this figure had dropped to only 9million digital cameras sold.
There does not appear to be much that the older camera industry can do about this drastic upheaval. Aside from offering big discounts on their models, it looks as though all they can do is attempt to specialize further for the professional market.
But as ever, the market will continue to vote with their feet… and their smartphone-linked wallet.
All of these industries have been altered forever, for better or worse. Every society in the world is still managing the fall out from the internet revolution. The smartphone effect could turn out to be the biggest change of all.