Most Shocking Phone Statistics

The Most Shocking Phone-Related Stats 2024

Posted by

Last updated March 14, 2024

Here at SellCell, we have our fingers well and truly on the pulse when it comes to phone data, especially when it comes to shocking phone-related stats! Here, we have compiled a list of the most daring data we can find. Hand picked from our ocean of smartphone statistics, prepare yourself for audible gasps, toe-curling tidbits, what-the-hell moments, and some true eyebrow raising.

Given that we bestow our smartphones with the same degree of importance as our dominant limbs, it is fair to say they have a profound effect on our lives, and not always for the better. Without further ado, let’s dive into the data and see what phone stats are THE most shocking in 2024. The faint of heart should exercise extreme caution here!

Shocking Phone-Related Stats

There are lots of statistics available via SellCell’s blog in relation to smartphones and the data surrounding them. Here, we have collected the most salacious stats from the archives to show how shocking our smartphones—and our behaviours surrounding them—actually are…

👁️🚫❤️🫵🏻: Smartphones and Our Relationships

We have a very close relationship with our smartphones. So close, in fact, that they can interfere with interpersonal relationships. Here are some of the most shocking smartphone and relationship statistics.

  • During intimate moments—including time between the sheets—with their partner, 17% of women and 7% of men will happily check their smartphones.
  • Almost half, or 49.6%, of people can’t resist sneaking a peek at their phones during a date or dinner with their partner.
  • 8% of smartphone owners sneakily check Tinder or send messages to other potential romantic interests even while they’re on a date.
  • When on a date, or during a meal with their partner, 4% of people will happily waste two hours looking at their phone instead of their partner.
  • A brazen 36% of smartphone owners will blatantly ignore their partner on a date or during a romantic meal, by checking their smartphone right in front of them!
  • A massive 80% of people admit they argue via text message, and 60% of people say it has a negative impact on their relationships.
  • Almost 50% of people say that they argue via text with their current or ex partner more than anyone else.
  • 78% of women admit to “phubbing”; the act of snubbing another person in favor of a phone. Comparatively, 64% of men engage in phubbing.
  • A shocking 54% of people would rather spend time on their phone than spend time with their partner.
  • Worryingly, 76% of people check their phone before they even greet their partner a good morning.

Experts Are Calling for a Phone Ban on Valentine’s Day… and Here’s Why…
Phubbing is Set to Be the Biggest Divorce Trend of 2024
Smartphone Relationship Survey: 71% of People Spend More Time With Their Phone Than Their Romantic Partner
Arguing via Text (Fexting) Survey 2023

The Tech Tidal Wave: How Many Phones Are Out There?

There is no denying the popularity of the humble phone. Especially looking at the data above. But how many people have a phone, and how many are out there?

  • An incredible 134,296,000 children under 5 years old have a smartphone of their own.
  • An equally astounding 670,000,000 kids aged between 5 and 14 years old own a smartphone.
  • In 2023, the world saw sales of smartphones hit 1.82 billion, but this isn’t the highest figure. In 2014, we shipped 1.85 billion handsets worldwide.
  • Of those smartphones sold in 2023, globally, 235 million of them were iPhones. This shows that Apple has a huge grip on the smartphone market.
  • Samsung isn’t far behind Apple; in 2023 it shifted 227 million smartphones across the world. Samsung, therefore, is currently the biggest Android phone manufacturer.
  • China manufactures a massive 4.5 million cellphones EVERY. SINGLE. DAY…
  • …and across the world, we manage to sell an incredible 5 million cell phones every day!

How Many Kids Have a Mobile Phone?
How Many Mobile Phones Are Sold Each Year?

Never Off Your Phone: Shocking Phone Use Statistics

So, we know we spend far too long staring at our many smartphones, but what are we actually doing with them?

  • In the entire world, there are 8.65 billion active subscriptions to a mobile phone service. That is a LOT of people using a mobile phone.
  • Estimates suggest that there are around 2 billion 5G subscriptions in existence, which is just under a quarter of ALL phone subscriptions.
  • With so many mobile phone subscriptions, it is no wonder that we make around 13.5 billion phone calls every day.
  • And the same goes for text messaging; we send 23 billion text messages each day…
  • … which is dwarfed by WhatsApp messages, of which we send in excess of 50 billion every day!
  • This is probably why 54% of remote workers say that their smartphone is the biggest distraction when working from home.
  • 88% of people admit to having sent a “sext”; a text message with sexually explicit content. 96% of racy folk endorse the act of sexting!
  • We take a stupendous 93 million selfies across the world every year!
  • The average person takes around 450 selfies in one year alone, which is an average of more than one selfie a day. How self absorbed!
  • This could explain why 48% of people admit to having an addiction to their smartphones, with phone owners clicking, tapping, and swiping an average of 2617 times a day.
  • A worrying 66% of phone owners suffer from nomophobia—an abject fear instilled when a person is without their phone.

NB: if you recognise you are suffering from smartphone addiction, then you may feel like you want to seek assistance. The ITAA (Internet and Technology Addicts Anonymous) is a great starting point to get advice and treatment in dealing with addiction to your device. The ITAA is a global community dedicated to combating tech addiction and its effects.

How Many Phone Numbers Are There? (2023 Statistics)
How Many Phone Calls Are Made a Day? (2023 Statistics)
How Many Text Messages Are Sent a Day? (2023 Statistics)
Mobile Phone Statistics 2024
How Many 5G Subscribers in the World?
LA Times

Woman shocked by phone stats

Smartphones: Potentially Deadly Devices

Smartphones might only be small, but they can have an effect on our health and wellbeing. So, let’s look at the data relating to how our phones can harm us.

  • In the US between 2011 and 2020, there were an estimated 50,000 reported hand and wrist injuries involving the use of a smartphone.
  • Given that we send 23 billion text messages every day, it comes as no surprise that 14% of smartphone related injuries are caused by the physical act of texting.
  • Around 30% of accidents involving cellphone use are falls. 3% of incidents are down to lacerations, presumably from broken screens.
  • As with all electronic devices, phones can catch fire. Burns (non-scalding) and phone explosions account for 1.6% of smartphone related injuries. Scalding burns account for 0.5%.
  • In the US in 2021, there were 382 deaths relating to texting and driving. In the UK in the same year, there were 20 fatalities due to mobile phone use behind the wheel.
  • There were 65,000 cellphone-related crashes (all crashes, not just fatal crashes) in the US in 2021. The UK saw 616 total crashes involving the use of a mobile phone that year.
  • The most commonly reported symptoms of digital eye strain, caused by prolonged electronic screen use (i.e. the use of a mobile phone are:
    • Eye fatigue (53%)
    • Blurred vision (39%)
    • Irritated/burning eyes (34%)
  • 24% of cellphone related fires are caused by improperly charging the device, or using a third-party charger.
  • A scary 27% of all fires caused by smartphones involve a punctured or crushed battery inside the device.
  • 14% of US citizens admit that they have their smartphone under their pillow as they sleep, which can cause it to overheat and potentially burst into flames.
  • Fires caused by a mobile phone make up 6% of all fires caused by household electrical equipment.

Journal of Hand Surgery Global Online (via National Library of Medicine)
23 Billion Text Messages Sent Daily BUT People Warned This Could Lead to Declining Hand Health
Texting and Driving Statistics 2024
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International (via National Library of Medicine)

Tech Tykes: Shocking Phone-Related Stats About Children

Kids are certainly becoming more tech-savvy, but is this a benefit or a drawback? With so many children having their own phone, let’s see what statistics surround kids and their smartphone usage.

  • We can’t limit smartphone addiction to adults only. A phenomenal 42% of kids use a smartphone for 30 hours or more every week!
  • 40% of parents admit to shoving a phone in their child’s hand in order to give themselves some peace and quiet.
  • 57% of children use their smartphone to play games, while only 18% of them will use the same handset to complete homework assignments.
  • Just under 5% of parents admit to spending over $850 on placing an expensive smartphone in the clumsy hands of their children!
  • 12% of children will first use a cellphone or smartphone between the ages of one and two; presumably more once the “terrible twos” kick in!
  • Nine-in-ten parents know the password, pin, or pattern to unlock their children’s smartphones, which is probably quite sensible these days.
  • 67% of parents state that they worry their children will spend—or are spending—too much money on in-app purchases.

Kids Cell Phone Use Survey—The Truth About Kids & Phones
Kids Mobile Gaming Report: More Than Two-thirds of Parents Worry Kids Overspending on in-app Purchases

Dangerous TikTok Trends

If you see young people scrolling mindlessly on their smartphone, the likelihood is that they are one of the many people using TikTok. However, it can be a dangerous environment for children. Here are five dangerous TikTok trends we’re exposing children to…

NB: SellCell doesn’t endorse attempting any of the below activities, as they can cause significant injury or death.

  • Skullbreaker Challenge: The skullbreaker challenge is as dangerous as it sounds. Essentially, you have three people in a line, the two on the outside jump, and then when the middle person jumps, the two people on the outside trip the middle person. This leads to the middle person smacking their head on the floor, which is obviously incredibly dangerous. And stupid.
  • Chroming: No, we’re not referring to TikTok videos showing people recklessly scrolling through Google’s browser. It involves encouraging people to abuse solvents and aerosols via inhalation. At its worst, can lead to instant death, and is therefore incredibly dangerous.
  • Cha Cha Slide: Nope, not the dance. This involves filming yourself speeding in your car while you listen to the famous Cha Cha Slide song. Then sliding the car left and right when prompted by the lyrics, with the “criss-cross” segment accompanied by abruptly steering the car left or right. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out this is potentially a fatal move.
  • Blackout Challenge: This is another TikTok trend that does exactly what it says on the tin. The participant in the video will hold their breath or choke themselves until they pass out, recording for posterity the adrenalin rush they get when they regain consciousness. If they regain consciousness, that is.
  • Benadryl Challenge: Yes, this involves overdosing on Benadryl (a widely consumed, over-the-counter, anti-allergy medicine) until you hallucinate. This can affect your heart, breathing, and can lead to coma or even death. This actually killed a 13-year-old.

As parents, It is important to be aware of these TikTok trends and talk to children about their tech use and the ramifications of any of these dangerous challenges. Parents should also look at ways that they can monitor and protect their child’s phone use.

Warning for Parents: Most Dangerous TikTok Trends

Smartphone Misuse: Sinister Smartphone Statistics

Sadly, not everyone uses their smartphone for wholesome reasons. Some people use it as a tool for crime, bullying, and abuse.

  • It is a sad indictment on society that 40% of women have experienced or witnessed sexual harassment on social media.
  • Equally horrific is the fact that 20% of women have been the victim of sexual harassment on social media.
  • 41% of all adults have experienced some form of online harassment. 61% of young adults aged 18-29 have experienced the same at least once.
  • Over 90% of US citizens say that they think cyberbullying is a problem. 79% of them don’t think social media companies do enough about cyberbullying.
  • Around 65% of US adults state that social media is where most cyberbullying takes place. 45% said it was prevalent via text message or through messaging apps.
  • Astonishingly, a quarter of the global population doesn’t even know what cyberbullying is.
  • Female teenagers are three times more likely than male teenagers to be victims of cyberbullying.
  • Approximately three quarters of all online harassment takes place on Facebook and Facebook Messenger.
  • There is, on average, between 1.8 and 2.1 million cyber attacks on smartphone users EVERY MONTH.
  • According to statistics, antivirus software detected 1.7 million instances of malware on smartphones in 2022 alone.
  • 73% of the most popularly stolen devices are smartphones, with laptops making up 20%, and desktop computers at 6%.

SURVEY: 1 in 5 Women Have Personally Experienced Sexual Harassment on Social Media
How Do I Secure My Phone Against Hackers?
Exploding Topics
Prey Project

Picture showing woman shocked by phone use

Phone Hygiene: Disgusting Smartphone Facts

Our phones are in our hands, bags, on tables, and on toilet cisterns (personal and public), frequently each day. Our smartphones are, therefore, pretty disgusting…

  • 100% of smartphone screens host the following bacteria; E. coli, fecal streptococci, bacillus cereus, and S. aureus.
  • 50% of smartphones will present with P. aeruginosa on their screen; a bacterium found commonly in cockroach faeces.
  • Almost 75% of people of all ages and genders admitted to using their phone while they visit the bathroom (toilet or urinal).
  • A staggering 93% of young people (people aged 18-29) of any gender admit to using their smartphone in the restroom.
  • 33% of people have never cleaned their smartphone. 75% of people say they clean their smartphone less than once each day.
  • Less than half of us who clean our phones do so with a chemical solution. Some people even think wiping their phone on their trousers is a sufficient method of sterilizing their phone.

How Dirty is Your Phone?
Vioguard via PRNewsWire

Smartphones and the Environment: Ecological Smartphone Data

With so many smartphones on the planet, it is easy to imagine how many of them are going to waste. Possibly at an equal rate to the manufacture of new handsets!

  • There are more smartphones on earth than there are humans. Data suggests that there are around 7.7 billion people on earth right now. There are approximately 9 billion smartphones in existence.
  • The US sees up to 143 million smartphone sales per year, and US citizens discard 350,000 smartphones every single day.
  • Millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—recycle most. 56% of every person recycling tech in the US is within this age bracket.
  • Of all the people who recycle their smartphones, only 11% of them are baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964).
  • Women lead the charge when it comes to recycling tech. 64% of those who recycle are women, saving their tech from going to landfill. Men, therefore, only account for 36% of tech recyclers.
  • California is the best US state for recycling tech. 20.5% of recyclers are located in California.
  • In terms of phone brands, Apple owners are the most responsible, with 66% of all recycled smartphones being an iPhone.
  • 2023 saw an estimated 61 million metric tons of electronic waste generated across the world. Experts project this figure to hit 75 million by 2030. So, this demonstrates the critical need to recycle your old tech.
  • In 2022, experts stated that 5.3 billion smartphones fell out of use, and only a fraction of those were recycled or disposed of correctly. Therefore, most of them will have gone to landfill.

Cell Phone Recycling
Report: Which Americans are Best at Recycling their Tech?
Older Generations Biggest Contributors to E-Waste
Weee Forum

Smartphones: The Most Shocking Statistics, Revealed

Now that you have had a chance to sit down and review the most shocking phone-related stats SellCell could muster, why not head to its general Smartphone Statistics 2024 page, for even more data across a range of smartphone-related topics?