Cell Phones Far More Than Just Phones

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Last updated April 12, 2019

The humble cell phone has come a long way, with a new survey of people covering as many as 21 countries show that the devices are increasingly used for an ever-widening range of purposes.

“People really are using their cell phones for way more than just phone calls now,” says the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitude Project’s associate director, Richard Wike, who organized the conduction of the survey.  The Global Attitudes Project covered 21 countries in a bid to try and find out just how people from all over the world are making use of their new and old cell phones in the 21st century.  The great majority of cell phone users still use them to make phone calls, but an increasing number are using them for other tasks as well.  “In particular, they’re texting,” Wike notes.  Seventy-five percent of all cell phone users say that they make use of their smart-phones in order to both send and receive text messages, with the activity most common in poorer nations such as Indonesia and Kenya, where 96 and 89 percent respectively say they use the devices for the purposes of texting.

Around 50 percent of those in the global survey use their cell phones to take photographs, with the most likely to do being the Japanese, 75 percent of whom admit to using their cell phones as cameras, while around 25 percent of people use cell phones to surf the web, although the figure is higher in some nations than others.