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

  • China Daily via Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Jovian Moon, Sunrise Piper, Sea Snot

    An optical illusion at the Eiffel Tower, a presidential election in Peru, a giant sinkhole in Mexico, a sunrise annular eclipse seen in New York City, a platypus health check in Australia, and much more

  • Justin Sullivan / Getty

    Photos: California’s Growing Drought Disaster

    Two years of extremely dry weather have driven the levels of California’s reservoirs to near-record lows, and residents, farmers, and fire crews are preparing for a long, dry summer.

  • Chris McGrath / Getty

    Drought and Sinkholes Threaten Farmers in Turkey

    Chris McGrath, a photographer with Getty Images, recently spent time in Turkey’s Konya province, where extreme drought conditions have been taking a heavy toll on farmers and the land.

  • Brendon Thorne / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Ice Children, Caged Cat, Tango Protest

    Memorial Day remembrances in the U.S., drought conditions in California, a sinkhole in Mexico, sheepshearing in Germany, a daffodil festival in Austria, and much more