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In data: How smartphones took over our time

As smartphone functionality has increased, so has the time we spend on them

By Chris Tilbury   November 2018

In 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled a new gadget—a music player, phone and internet browser in one: the iPhone. It didn’t matter that geeks already had mobiles that hooked up to the web. Jobs’s patter convinced us that smartphones were the future—and the world hasn’t looked back. Between Apple itself, Sony, Samsung and others, almost 1.5bn of them have been shipped this year, as in each year since 2015.

Indeed, total smartphone shipments since 2014 are not far off the number of people on Earth.

As well as being de rigueur in the prosperous west, they are used by—to take random…

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