What’s the first thing that you check for when you leave the house? Right wallet tap, left wallet tap, make sure you’ve got the keys.
It’s interesting that keys tend to come last, isn’t it? Your wallet normally second; but the only thing that nobody can do without is their smartphone.
2021 kids are basically raised with one in their hand, those from earlier generations grew into them but smartphones are pervasive now. Apple and Android might have cornered the market, but the rise of gaming phones and different manufacturers have kept this battle between operators red hot.
Our whole lives can be carried within those 14 inches, those thousands of pixels. Banking details, social media passwords, emails, camera; everything. We have everything stored on that memory and in that device, we can’t do life without smartphones.
Businesses are centred around keeping people on the little screen – just look at the rise of TikTok, and this is something we’ll explore later. Instagram doesn’t even have full functionality on desktop, for goodness sake.
So let’s dive into the stats that show how important smartphones have become, and how important they are to life in 2022.
Humans spend nearly two days per week on social media. It’s true, our consumption of five main apps is at record levels and we spend nearly two full days per week glued to our screens.
This couldn’t have happened without the rise of smartphones, and these numbers wouldn’t have been anywhere near these levels 10 or 15 years ago.
Just get your head around these stats, courtesy of one of the world’s best enterprise educators, Social Media Knowledge.
- TikTok – 21.5 hours, up from 12.8
- Facebook – 17.7 hours, up from 15.5
- WhatsApp – 7.7 hours, up from 5.7
- Instagram – 7.5 hours, up from 7.1
- Facebook Messenger – 3 hours, up from 2.7
This time last year, the population was spending considerably less time on social media. In 2022, there were 57.4 hours per week spent on those five platforms – this time last in 2019 time spent was just 43.8.
Here’s a breakdown of those same five platforms, again from Social Media Knowledge.
- TikTok – 12.8 hours
- Facebook – 15.5 hours
- Instagram – 7.1 hours
- WhatsApp – 5.7 hours
- Facebook Messenger – 2.7 hours
Things like the pandemic have forced us all inside, onto our big screens and our small screens, but the rise of short-form video app TikTok has got a lot to answer for in regards to keeping us glued to our screens.
The rise and rise of online slots
Over the last few years, online gambling has grown incredibly quickly. The industry is now worth an absolute fortune, and it’s only predicted to get bigger. Smartphones will have a massive part to play in this growth.
According to BusinessWire, the gambling industry is expected to grow at 13.2%, from $58.9 billion to $66.7 billion. That’s absolutely huge and it’s no surprise that phones are expected to be at the heart of that.
A study in England found that 50% of people who gambled used their mobile phone to do so, said the Birmingham Mail, but that number is a 6% increase on the year before. If that trend continues, it won’t be long until more than half of gamblers do so using a smartphone.
76% of gamblers between the ages of 18-24 use their phones, which is a 300% increase in the percentage of that age bracket that gambled on their devices in 2017.
One of the most popular casino games is online slots, such as those offered by BetNero. Sites like BetNero are responsible for part of that meteoric rise in value – and this industry is only set to grow moving forward.
Mobile gaming is a growth industry
As we’ve read, mobile phones are now incredibly important to our everyday lives. According to Statista, the amount of time we spend on these devices has increased by an eye-watering amount in the last three or four years. In 2014 we clocked 152 minutes per day on our phones; now that number stands at 234.
Back in the day, you’d go on your desktop to browse the internet and go about your daily business, but now more people are turning to their phones for that as well. Nearly 50% of the time spent on browser occurred via mobile, as opposed to just 27% in 2013.
Mobile game has been an incredibly important part of this paradigm shift. Gaming revenue from smartphones is predicted to hit more than $63 billion in 2022, while table games will earn more than $13.7 billion. These revenues are expected to continue growing and should surpass $100 million by 2023.
Apple and Google generate huge sums of cash from their app stores, which have been bolstered thanks to the success of games like Candy Crush and Pokemon Go.
As we’ve seen throughout this piece, smartphones have become more entrenched in our daily lives and that isn’t going to change any time soon. The pandemic may have accelerated certain trends, but it didn’t create them.
We were already spending more time on social media, gaming more and using our smartphones to access online slots.
Manufacturers are going to double down on this as consumers shift their demands and will want products that look and feel good on mobile devices. There’ll be new apps developed, better technology to capitalise on that and a shift from the big screen to the small.
Industries such as online gaming, social media and traditional games are going to continue to grow and become more sophisticated. There’ll be a race to get ahead of the curve, while Apple and Google will continue to set and make trends due to the size of the companies.
The smartphone is on the rise, and it’s only going to continue to become more important as we move through the 2022s.