Smartphone era is double-edgedThe number of smartphone users in Korea topped 20 million as of the end of October. In less than two years since the high-end multipurpose mobile device arrived here, it is now used by nearly half of the country’s cellular phone subscribers.
The growth rate for smartphone usage in Korea is the fastest in the world. The fast penetration of smartphones has changed our lifestyle. Mobile phones that were used primarily for communication have now become indispensable gadgets for entertainment, business and connections.
Everyday lives cannot go on without smartphones. Young people on subways and buses are glued to their phone screens. People drive and walk around the streets at the instruction of their phones’ navigation systems.
But the popularity of smartphones has already generated downsides. The portable multi-media player raises privacy concerns with applications that locate phone users.
Smartphone devices, which have relatively unsophisticated security systems, carry ample personal and financial information, making them susceptible to hacking dangers. The surge in wireless data is also of concern.
Since the introduction of smartphone technology, data trafficking has surged 20-fold. With many subscribed to unlimited data plans, the top 1 percent of users take up 40 percent of total data service.
Communication is frequently cut off because of traffic overload. Authorities and service providers have to reinforce the backbone network and increase smartphone frequencies in order to provide better service.
There is no turning back to a pre-smartphone era now that consumers are used to the advanced and trendy phones. Smartphone technology served as a boon to and a turning point in the saturated communications industry and was a game changer for phone manufacturers as well.
Samsung Electronics has now beaten Apple to become the world’s largest smartphone producer. Parts suppliers are also enjoying a heyday. Smartphones have also generated political and social repercussions.
Mobile phone networking emerged as the most popular electioneering tool during recent elections. The smartphone revolution is a double-edged sword. We must exercise wisdom to maximize its merits while also reining in the dangers.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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