Barely a day goes by without research from one organisation or another showing that Britons are becoming increasingly reliant on smartphones and have an insatiable appetite for new apps, games, features and anything else which works on these ubiquitous devices.
Industry figures left, right and centre have claimed these tools are about a lot more than communicating with friends and family. Instead, they have become lifestyle solutions and allow consumers to do almost anything.
One thing that is becoming increasingly popular is booking tables at restaurants and the trend is growing at such a rate that those eateries which do not get on board will be missing out.
According to Andris Berzins, chief marketing officer at Livebookings, the proliferation of location-based applications means consumers can easily organise a table for two without having to speak to a single member of the restaurant’s staff.
We believe the smartphone revolution has created a new type of diner – MoDs, or mobile diners – that locate, research, book and review restaurants while on the move,
he recently stated.
The humble mobile phone has come a long way in recent years and the smartphone represents the pinnacle of such devices.
But how far can the smartphone go?
Well, according to former Nokia executive and head of consultancy firm Asymco Horace Dedia, they could soon be as common as TVs.
Speaking in an interview with the Guardian, he noted that smartphones give consumers a huge amount of computing power right in the palm of their hand and with the technology improving by the day, it will not be long before one is found in every home across Britain.
They will be more popular than TVs and more intimate than wallets,
the expert predicted.
There is plenty of research to support such claims. One such report is the KPMG Media and Enterprise Barometer, which found that smartphone ownership has increased by more than one-third in the last six months.
But will smartphones take the place of desktops and laptops in people’s affections? There are contrasting views on this subject, with a survey by Kinetic suggesting that this could happen.
The company found that 45 per cent of people already own a smartphone and 50 per cent of those use them to access Facebook and other websites.
Nick Mawditt, global director of insight and marketing at Kinetic Worldwide, said that practically everyone who lives in a big city will own one of the devices sooner or later, particularly the younger generation.
However, not everyone is convinced that the smartphone will take over the world. Marketing director at Crucial.com Roddy McLean said recently that rather than taking the place of desktop computers, the devices will co-exist with them.
The saving grace for laptops and desktops is the fact that many people view them as the central component of their computer infrastructure, using them to save photos and important documents.
Tablets and smartphones won’t replace our personal computers but actually swerve to complement them,
Whether they consign the traditional computer to the graveyard remains to be seen, but one thing is certain – smartphones are here to stay.