A Quarter of People Won’t Make a Single Call on Their Cell Phones This Week

Smartphone texting
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A quarter of those in developed countries won't make a single phone call in any given week this year. But unlike this Silicon Valley CEO, it's not that they don't have a phone.

No, these so-called "data exclusives" have just found ways to do nearly all their communication without having to suffer talking to a fellow human, according to Deloitte, which forecast the level of radio silence as part of its annual tech predictions.

"Phone conversations with friends and family, for example, have been supplanted to an extent by social networks," Craig Wigginton, head of Deloitte's U.S. telecom practice, told Re/code. "An app can replace the calls we would have formerly made to order takeout, request a taxi, book an appointment or make a bank transfer."

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And we are more dependent than ever on our smartphones, Deloitte says, noting that 40 percent of us check our phones within 5 minutes of getting up and a third of people do so just before bed.

Deloitte also predicts that:

  • Consumers will trade in or sell 120 million used smartphones, generating more than $17 billion. The number of smartphones being traded in is up 50 percent from 2015's estimated 80 million. And there is still room for growth, Deloitte says, noting its survey finds 60 percent of consumers have not been seeking any kind of trade-in value for their phones.
  • The number of women in technology is expected to remain flat or even lower slightly in developed countries despite all the noise around the issue. By the end of 2016, fewer than 25 percent of information technology jobs will be held by women.
  • Virtual reality will have its first billion-dollar year, with $700 million in hardware sales and the rest from content. That forecast includes 2.5 million headsets and 10 million games, Deloitte says.

By Ina Fried, Re/code.net.

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