I am starting a three part series on how the last five years has changed our lives and entire industries around us. If you don’t live under an excessively large boulder, you will have noticed a fundamental paradigm shift; that being the massive increase and accessibility of the internet. A mere five – ten years ago, you probably wouldn’t have a clue what WIFI is or know about a company named Apple. We have truly and completely changed a deep-seated part of our lives: our ability to communicate. There are three major things that have aided with our current ability to access the internet: Smartphones, WIFI (wireless fidelity), and Tablets/Laptops.
After the release of the first blackberry created by RIM, there has been a multi-billion dollar market created for smartphones around the world. There is something about having your entire computer carried with you wherever you go that is tantalizing for the general population. Then the iPhone was released, changing the market entirely and boasting a sleek new way to access their data whether it is email, calendar, or web surfing. Currently the two biggest Smartphone carriers are RIM and Apple but Google has also created a free operating system for smartphones called Android that is used by many different companies, installing it on their hardware. Now with the approximate 3.3 billion smartphones being shipped worldwide, more and more people are able to connect to the internet 24 hours a day.
As you may know, not everyone has a smartphone; it is a relatively new phenomenon. A separate yet huge change that has allowed the global population to have online access is cheap and fast home network capabilities. Massive infrastructure changes in different cities around the world has allowed virtually anyone (who wants to pay for it) to have internet at home. This lets adults be connected to their work at all times as well as having their children grow up with access to the internet. This allowed full integration of the internet into our newest generation as well as influencing all other generations to use it as well. As home networks increased, we saw this paradigm shift occurring before our eyes and faster than ever.
Throughout the entire of process of internet development and accessibility over the last 5 years, not surprisingly the number of laptops has increased. People are now demanding a portable computer that can give them full hands on OS experience when away from home. WIFI has now increased enormously in public places such as coffee shops and even grocery stores such as Safeway. We can get out of the house with a portable computer at a cheap price and be productive throughout the day.
Along with the laptop, Apple has stimulated the tablet market which is argued by many if it can replace the functions of the laptop (see my post about that). This is another device designed to increase productivity and relies on you having constant access to the internet…which is now a given.
These three items are the core backbone that supports many of the things used today such as Facebook, Twitter and so on. The next part of this series will be about the industries created due to this shift that has occurred in the last 5 years.