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A Mobile Revolution

June 27, 2017

As the tech website Recode notes, June 29 marks the iPhone’s 10th birthday. Because of the birth of this technology, Recode says that today:

  • We Can Capture More “Kodak” (iPhone?) Moments. This year, individuals will take 1.2 trillion (trillion!) digital photos, 85 percent of which will be taken phones. That compares to 400 billion digital photos in 2011. Just six years ago, only half of our digital photos were taken on phones.
  • “App Developer” Is A Lucrative And Growing Career Path. Today there are 2.1 million apps on the Apple App Store and 3.4 million on Google Play. That compares to the measly 500 apps that existed in 2008.
  • Flexible Work Is More Prominent. Today there are 3.9 million people working in the “on demand” sector (think Uber and Lyft). By 2020, it’s expected there will be nearly eight million.

Recode argues, “While [the iPhone] wasn’t the first smartphone, it leapfrogged far beyond the competition and launched the mobile revolution. Few industries or societies have been left unchanged.”

It wasn’t just Apple, though, that was behind this revolution. Billions of dollars in private investment in mobile broadband technology also helped bring us to the point we’re at today. In 2015 alone, broadband providers invested $49 billion in wireless infrastructure. Today there are 66 mobile broadband providers in the United States, and the vast majority of those are small businesses that provide jobs in rural communities and substantial revenues to local governments.

According to Broadband Now, because of this massive private investment even some of the most rural states in the United States—think Alabama, Nebraska, and Utah—have 100 percent access to wireless broadband. Other states, like Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho have near universal coverage.