Have smartphones joined list of human basic needs?

A recent report by Deloitte says that mobile phones have become indispensable across all demographics and geographies

07 Mar 2017 . 1,936 Views

The theory of Maslow’s hierarchy says that life’s basic essentials are food, shelter and clothing.

Audit firm Deloitte has just published its latest Global Mobile Consumer Survey where they confirm that “mobile has become indispensable across all demographics and geographies.”

The survey explores consumer attitudes around mobile phones and has been conducted annually for the last six years.

“Mobile devices have become ubiquitous,” says the report. “In fact, without access to one, it is difficult to participate fully in the activities that comprise the global economy and 21st century life.”

Kenyans know this only too well. First, they used the mobile phone for voice and text communication. And then, 10 years ago, the mobile phone became a platform for transferring money.

Today, Kenyans can leave home without a wallet – and not worry about it – but will always rush back home for their phones, thanks, primarily to M-PESA.

Not just M-PESA, the mobile phone has become a platform for smart loans and savings (M-Shwari and KCB-M-PESA), smart transport (taxi-hailing apps like Little Ride), smart health (since smart phones are fitted with heart rate monitoring capacity) and entertainment (you can have so much music).

The Deloitte report notes that the youngest aren’t necessarily the trendsetters. With more money and more reasons to use smart phones, say for holistic wellness, mobile payments and the urge to stay seamlessly connected, ages between 25-34 have become more dependent on the gadgets.

This trend has trickled down to service providers looking to penetrate deeper into the lives of normal people and especially this age bracket. So ubiquitous has the smartphone become that we even have set preferences on the type of information we want to share. The info includes location, our social lives and even our fitness levels. Security has recently been pulled into the fray.

And recently, Safaricom and the Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA), signed an MoU to secure neighbourhoods.

Henry Ochieng’, CEO, KARA said that this would involve working to increase the uptake and use of technology by Resident Associations as a tool for addressing security challenges.

“This will ultimately lead to more secure neighbourhoods and contribute to Kenya’s security,” said Mr Ochieng’.

KARA is an organisation representing Resident Associations across Kenya and focuses on service delivery, rights, roles and responsibilities of residents in their neighbourhoods.

The new partnership will look to promote security and facilitate telecommunication infrastructure rollout that in turn will support the efforts of securing and uplifting neighborhoods.

“Think about it this way; when the rollout of infrastructure to the neighbourhoods takes place, communities will be able to access the internet. This will provide services such as monitoring health and diets through the rapid smartphone gadgets and wrist monitors like Fitbits, alarms and CCTV’s will be able to be on the look-out, automatic gate access and generally services will improve,” said Bob Collymore, CEO, Safaricom.

“This is what Safaricom looks to do. Transforming lives for the better. And as we look to achieve the sustainability goal number 11, reaching out to communities and educating them on how smartphones and the network changes lives, this will be integral moving forward,” he said.


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See also

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  • SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 9: Industry
  • fatherhood


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