A new study finds that the mobile industry last year produced more than $3.3 trillion in revenue.
That breaks down to more than $400 for every man, woman and child on earth. So everyone must be feeling a little wealthier, right?
Well, no. It turns out the mobile revolution is still benefitting some more than others, with a lot of that money going to the giants of the industry, like Apple and Qualcomm, the latter of which commissioned the Boston Consulting Group study released today. Six of the 25 most valuable companies in the world, BCG says, are companies directly making money from mobile technology: Apple, Google, China Mobile, Alibaba, Facebook and Verizon.
But, while a lot of the direct revenue has gone to a handful of key technology companies, the benefits of mobile technology have arguably transformed parts of the developing world even more than they have changed life in richer countries.
Smartphones have given people in developed countries the kinds of services they were used to getting on their PC, as well as Uber, Snapchat and Angry Birds. In emerging markets, though, the phone has brought fundamental services like banking and health care to people who previously did not have access to such things.