20 Odd Facts About the Smartphones in Our Pockets

From its origins to how often we check it every day.
20 Odd Facts About the Smartphones in Our Pockets
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4 min read

Be honest: Do you think you could go a day without checking your phone? Obviously, if the answer is no, you're far from alone. If you’ve ever stopped and looked around a doctor’s waiting room or a subway car, it's most likely the people around you are engrossed in their devices.

But whether you’re focused on scrolling through the news, keeping tabs on an ex or getting your inbox down to zero, it seems that there is more than just mental strain we have to worry about with constantly looking at our phones.

Related: Are Our Smartphones Actually Making Us Dumb?

At the end of 2017, the California Department of Public Health put out a report about the effect that energy that comes from smartphones can have on our long-term health. The CDPH issued some guidelines that essentially boil down to not keeping your phone on your person too much of the time and putting it away from your bed.

They also recommended decreasing cell use when you have a weak signal, streaming less audio or video, reducing downloads of big files on your phone and removing headsets when you aren’t making a call. Also, those products that say they can block radio frequency energy? Turns out, they can actually increase your exposure to it.

Clearly, the force of mobile phones in our lives is powerful, but how much do we really know about them? Read on for 20 odd facts about the smartphone in your pocket.

Seventy-seven percent of U.S. adults say that they own a smartphone, according to a 2017 report from the Pew Research Center.

Fifty-one percent of U.S. adults reported to Pew that they have used smartphones to buy items online.

Forty-six percent of U.S. adults told Pew that they “couldn’t live without” their smartphones.

According to a recent study, the average U.S. adult spends two hours and 51 minutes a day on his or her smartphone, which adds up to 86 hours every month.
 

A 2015 study reported that the average U.S. smartphone user sends and receives 32 texts and makes and receives six phone calls a day. These actions take 26 minutes and 21 minutes, respectively.

ComScore’s Mobile Hierarchy Report from the beginning of 2017 found that apps account for 87 percent of total time spent time on smartphones.

Sixty-two percent of smartphone owners used their cell phones to research health conditions. Please don't go down a Google rabbit hole without some sort of medical professional guidance.

The first handheld mobile phone went on sale in 1984. It was made by Motorola and called the DynaTAC 8000X. You could only talk on it for up to a half hour.

The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X weighed 1.75 pounds -- it’s nickname was “The Brick” -- and retailed for $3,995.

As far as research and development, Motorola spent roughly $100 million to turn the idea for the device into a reality.

The first mobile phone call was made in 1973, when Motorola researcher Martin Cooper called his rival Joel Engel, head of research at AT&T - Bell Labs.

The world’s first smartphone was launched by IBM and BellSouth Cellular. It was called Simon.

The Simon went on sale in 1994 for $899. It was 8 inches by 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches and 2,000 of them were made in total.

As ever, keeping your information safe is a concern, but cell phones can often be vulnerable -- 161,000 users had their mobile phone accounts stolen in 2016.

As of the summer of 2017, the top 10 most popular mobile apps were Facebook, YouTube, Facebook Messenger, Google Search, Google Maps, Instagram, Snapchat, Google Play, Gmail and Pandora.

In June of 2017, there were 5 billion people with mobile phone internet connections all over the world, which is two thirds of the global population.

In 2014, an interesting milestone occurred in that there were more mobile devices on the planet than people, when the number of active SIM cards hit more than 7.2 billion.  

In Japan, roughly 90 percent of phones are made to be waterproof.

Even though Apple is ubiquitous, iOS isn’t the most widely used operating system. In 2016, Android phones made up 88 percent of the global market.

As of 2016, the top five countries with the highest number of smartphone subscriptions are South Korea, Australia, Israel, U.S. and Spain.

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