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

  • Brook Mitchell / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Pony Man, Ancient Sword, Foam Fight

    Container ships at the Port of Los Angeles, morning light on mountains in Switzerland, a wearable soft toy in France, drag racing in Tennessee, glacier exploration in Austria, and much more

  • Saul Santos / AP

    The Ongoing Volcanic Eruption in the Canary Islands

    A month of lava flows and ashfall has taken a toll on several small towns on the island of La Palma.

  • Johan De Ridder / cupoty.com

    Winners of the 2021 Close-up Photographer of the Year

    Some of the winning and honored images from this year’s competition in close-up, macro, and micro photography

  • © Mauricio Narea / The 12th Epson International Pano Awards

    Winners of the 2021 Epson International Pano Awards

    The 12th annual panoramic-photo competition has just come to a close, and the winning images and finalists have been announced.