“Firefox Mobile for Android” (CC BY 2.0) by Johan Larsson
Are people now using mobiles more frequently than laptops? Quite simply, yes. Mobile sales overtook laptops back in 2014, and their popularity is still continuing to rise. Smartphone shipments worldwide are projected to surpass 1.71 billion by 2020. The projection for laptop sales in that same year is meager in comparison at 154.5 million. So how did the smaller, more portable device manage to totally dominate the market? Social media apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp have certainly helped, and online gaming is also a huge factor.
How on Earth did people manage before smartphones were invented? They actually had to talk to each other, read books, and manually fill in crossword puzzles and suchlike in newspapers. Now this can all be done from a handy little pocket-sized mobile screen, and it makes sense that these devices have taken the world by storm. Although laptops certainly have greater processing power and can serve more purposes than mobiles, you can’t just pull out a hefty laptop on a busy train, for example, open it up and start gaming, can you?
On a smartphone you can, and research has shown that playing games is one of the primary uses for these high-tech pieces of kit. In America, nearly 56% of the entire population were playing smartphone games in 2016. The gambling sector is a massive contributor to this statistic, and it had a market value of 47.11 billion in 2017. The pick-up-and-play, simple style of mobile games harks all the way back to Snake on the Nokia 6110 (see video below) in 1997 and casino games lend themselves perfectly to this format.
As explained by bgo, anyone can win at slots by following a few simple instructions such as increasing one’s line bet and using auto spins. The bgo guide explains that there are three types of slots; classic, bonus, and progressive. If you want old-school gaming you might choose to play classic, or for bigger jackpots you could go for the progressive games. Slot games are not time-consuming in the slightest, which is why sites like bgo now offer games such as Scruffy Duck and Wild Wild West straight to the smartphone screen. Other sites are realising this too. For instance, Lucky Admiral has a mobile friendly site, and Mr Mobi is designed specifically for the smaller screen. In addition to this style of games, puzzle adventures have become a huge hit in the mobile format. Candy Crush which makes $850,000 a day, led to other games like Jewel Mania. Chatting apps are another reason why people are choosing mobiles over laptops. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp both have over 1 billion users, and other chat apps such as WeChat, which is big in China, push that figure up to nearly 4 billion.
With smartphones becoming more advanced by the year, it almost appears as though they could relegate laptops to the history books in the future. There are, however, a few things that laptops can do that mobiles can’t. Laptops have a much higher amount of memory and processing power, meaning that they are unrivalled for streaming, downloading, more advanced games such as Call of Duty, and editing. They are also much handier for writing on, and this is a big thing that mobile developers have yet to rival laptops on. Laptops will soldier on, but long gone are the days where it was preferable to own one before a smartphone.