The Ubiquity of Smartphones, as Captured by Photographers

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.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Attila Kisbenedek / AFP / Getty

    It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

    A collection of holiday cheer and light wrapped up in 35 photographs

  • Danish Ismail / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Sweet Spill, Bovine Rescue, Miss Universe

    Big waves in Portugal, holiday lights in Europe, images from the asteroid Bennu, a flight with Virgin Galactic, a giant middle finger in Vermont, and much more

  • USGS / Reuters

    2018: The Year in Volcanic Activity

    Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava.

  • Jassen Todorov

    Winners of the 2018 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year Contest

    National Geographic magazine has announced the winning entries in its annual photo competition.