Data Consumption Reaches All Time High in the US

It might sound shocking to think about it, but smartphones have only been around for a couple decades at most. That’s if we stretch the definition of the tech to its breaking point.

Many would consider the original iPhone to be the first true smartphone, and that was unveiled as recently as 2007! In spite of the fact that this is the case, smartphones have had a massive impact in the world, and you can see their influence by looking at data consumption numbers.

It turns out that data consumption just reached a record breaking high in the US. With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that smartphones have definitely played a role in making this happen. The amount of data transferred from one server to another in the US reached 53.4 trillion megabytes per year back in 2021.

This represents a 140-fold increase from 2010, when just 400 billion megabytes of data were exchanged with all things having been considered and taken into account. Increasing mobile broadband speeds have further exacerbated this trend by allowing people to exchange larger chunks of data faster than might have been the case otherwise.

However, while data use is on the rise, the same can’t be said for voice traffic. Back in 2010, 2.2 trillion voice minutes were recorded, and this barely increased to 2.4 trillion by 2021. The volume of SMS actually decreased from 2.1 trillion to just 2 trillion in the same period.

This seems to suggest that smartphones are being used more often as personal computers rather than devices that you can call people with. Voice calling and SMS is falling out of favor because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up providing inferior results to internet based alternatives.

The stagnation of voice minutes and SMS points to one conclusion, which is that other uses for smartphones are on the rise. It will be interesting to see how these numbers look in the future as the trend continues to grow and the gap further widens.


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