Smartphones are everywhere – 30 photos

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According to reports issued by several market-research firms, including Forrester Research, the total number of smartphone users worldwide will reach 3 billion this year—40 percent of the human population. For many, these versatile handheld devices have become indispensable tools, providing connections to loved ones, entertainment, business applications, shopping opportunities, windows into the greater world of social media, news, history, education, and more. And of course, they can always be put to use for a quick selfie. With so many devices in so many hands now, the visual landscape has changed greatly, making it a rare event to find oneself in a group of people anywhere in the world and not see at least one of them using a phone. Collected here: a look at that smartphone landscape, and some of the stories of the phones’ owners.

People use their smartphones to take photos of the L’Oreal fashion show on Champs Elysees Avenue during a public event, part of Paris Fashion Week, in France, on October 1, 2017. #

Charles Platiau / Reuters


A Palestinian woman takes a picture of a member of the Israeli security forces as he also takes her picture in a street in Jerusalem on December 16, 2017, as demonstrations continued to flare in the Middle East and elsewhere over the U.S. president’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. #

Ahmad Gharabli / AFP / Getty

Young women lying in a pool of plastic balls take a selfie at the Supercandy! Pop-Up Museum on October 5, 2018, in Cologne, Germany. #

Michael Gottschalk / Getty

Inna Salminen, 27, a forest engineer, uses her smartphone as she inspects a forest in Nurmijarvi, Finland, on November 5, 2018. Inna uses an application on her smartphone for forest control—to plan maintenance work and to make sure that the protected areas are respected. #

Alessandro Rampazzo / AFP / Getty

The live-streamer Qiao Xi, 21, uses her smartphone at her agency studio Redu Media in Beijing on November 7, 2018. #

Nicolas Asfouri / AFP / Getty

The full moon rises behind a man taking a selfie on a bicycle in Van, Turkey, on July 27, 2018. #

Ozkan Bilgin / Anadolu Agency / Getty


Chen San-yuan, 70, known as “Pokémon Grandpa,” talks on his cellphone as he plays the mobile game “Pokémon Go” by Nintendo on multiple devices mounted to his bicycle’s handlebars, near his home in New Taipei City, Taiwan, on November 12, 2018. #

Tyrone Siu / Reuters

Reda Zerrouki, a 36-year-old Algerian who is among thousands of migrants crossing the Balkans in hopes of reaching Europe, explains the importance of his smartphone in front of Main Railway Station in Sarajevo, on November 7, 2018. For Zerrouki, his smartphone is more than just a way to message family and friends; it is also a crucial tool used to map his route through the Balkans region and to avoid police patrolling the borders as groups of migrants pass through Bosnia and attempt an illegal crossing into neighboring Croatia, hoping to travel further into the EU countries. #

Elvis Barukcic / AFP / Getty

Fans record videos as the boy band Modern Brothers performs during a live webcast at Andong Old Street in Dandong, Liaoning province, China, on June 30, 2018. Modern Brothers has more than 20 million fans on the TikTok app, a music-powered short-video social platform, which is very popular in China. #

VCG via Getty

In this July 28, 2018, photo, a young participant of the “Temper of Will” summer camp, organized by the nationalist Svoboda party, uses his cellphone to call his parents in a village near Ternopil, Ukraine. #

Felipe Dana / AP

The Italian cattle breeder Pier Domenico Dotta uses his smartphone to check the cattle-stall-register app in his farm in Villafalletto, near Turin, Italy, on October 25, 2018. With this free app made by “Anaborapi” (Piedmontese Bovine Breeders Association), cattle breeders check the conditions of every single cow. Animals wear a special collar with a chip used to connect each animal to the app software. #

Marco Bertorello / AFP / Getty


A woman checks her cellphone in a bar in the capital city of Thimphu, Bhutan, on December 11, 2017. #

Cathal McNaughton / Reuters

Supporters of Selahattin Demirtaş, the imprisoned presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party (HDP), hold HDP flags and their lit cellphones in the air during an election campaign in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 17, 2018. #

Yasin Akgul / AFP / Getty

Pope Francis blesses a photo of a child, displayed on a cellphone, at the end of a special audience with members of the Christian Workers’ Movement in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on January 16, 2016. #

Alessandra Tarantino / AP

Imelda Mumbi, 13, holds her smartphone as she studies online using an application, in a common area of a residential apartment next to her home in the Riruta suburb of Nairobi, Kenya, on November 8, 2018. Mumbi has been studying for four years on a web-based tutorial platform developed by Eneza Education. The platform aims to offer education opportunities, especially for rural areas in Africa, through SMS or internet for 10 Kenyan shillings (10 U.S. cents) per week. About five million learners are registered in Kenya, Ghana, and Ivory Coast. #

Tony Karumba / AFP / Getty

The setting sun moves across 42nd Street as people stand on the Pershing Square Bridge on Park Avenue during Manhattanhenge on July 13, 2018, in New York City. #

Gary Hershorn / Getty


Women use their cellphones in Duomo Square in downtown Milan, Italy, on February 25, 2016. #

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters

Muhammad Noshad, a Pakistani employee of the state-run Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO), takes a meter reading with his smartphone at a commercial building in Islamabad on November 7, 2018. Noshad, who has been with IESCO for 23 years, said the introduction of the smartphone has impacted his job by making it easier to take images of the meters and record their information to prepare monthly bills for customers. #

Aamir Qureshi / AFP / Getty

A Central American immigrant, moving in a caravan through Mexico, looks at her cellphone as she journeys in an empty car of a freight train, after it stopped in Guanajuato state, Mexico, on April 14, 2018. #

Edgard Garrido / Reuters

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake speaks with reporters after a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, on Capitol Hill on September 28, 2018, in Washington, D.C. #

Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty

The Bulgarian photographer and journalist Vera Gotseva takes a picture of her student during a photography course in the village of Sarnitsa on November 3, 2018. #

Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP / Getty


The Nigerian refugee Aicha Younoussa poses with a smartphone in front of her tent in Bol on November 8, 2018. Due to Boko Haram’s threat, Aicha and her family left Nigeria four years ago, finding shelter in the refugee camp of Baga Sola in southern Chad. #

Michele Cattani / AFP / Getty

Guests take pictures during the Addition Elle runway presentation at New York Fashion Week in New York City on September 11, 2017. #

Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty

A Chinese tourist gives it his all as he takes a selfie in front of the Old Opera in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 2, 2017. #

Michael Probst / AP

Honduran migrants taking part in a caravan heading to the U.S. charge their cellphones at a temporary shelter in Juchitan de Zaragoza, Oaxaca state, Mexico, on October 30, 2018. #

Guillermo Arias / AFP / Getty

The faithful, holding selfie sticks and cellphones, take photos of Pope Francis (bottom center, partly hidden) as he arrives for his weekly general audience in Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on August 22, 2018. #

Vincenzo Pinto / AFP / Getty


A woman uses a smartphone at her home in San Salvador on October 7, 2018. #

Marvin Recinos / AFP / Getty

Sangeeta Agnes Hosea (center), the lead singer of the Indian band Midnight Poppies, poses for a photograph with her smartphone during a jam session in Bangalore on November 10, 2018. Hosea uses her smartphone to record her songs and also to promote the band on social media. #

Manjunath Kiran / AFP / Getty

The 75-year-old Vietnamese food vendor Ngo Thi Pho uses her cellphone while waiting for customers at her roadside stall in Ha Giang province on October 28, 2018. #

Nhac Nguyen / AFP / Getty

A young boy checks out an iPhone at Thailand’s first official Apple store at IconSiam, a 54 billion Baht (1.65 billion U.S. dollars) luxury retail and residential complex on the Chao Praya River, during its grand opening in Bangkok, on November 9, 2018. #

Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP / Getty

Attendees take photos and videos of President Donald Trump as he attends the 2018 Young Black Leadership Summit in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on October 26, 2018. #

Cathal McNaughton / Reuters


A man in costume waits for tourists to take pictures with him under a snowfall in Times Square during a winter storm on January 7, 2017, in New York. #

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez / AFP / Getty

Spectators photograph Tiger Woods as he tees off on the 13th tee during round one of the Northern Trust FedEx Cup Playoffs on August 23, 2018, at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey. #

Tim Clayton / Corbis via Getty

A woman checks her cellphone as the Holy Fire burns in Cleveland National Forest in Lake Elsinore, California, on August 8, 2018. #

Mario Tama / Getty

 

 

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