Steve Ballmer’s reaction to the release of the iPhone in 2007 is regarded as one of modern business history’s most egregious faux paus. As the story goes, the then-president of Microsoft scoffed at the idea of a $499 phone that lacked a keyboard and, by extension, any appeal to the business crowd.

His strategic blunder was the failure to see the power of putting a personal computer — and a year later, an app store filled with apps — in the hands of every person on earth. This cost Microsoft and its Windows OS the opportunity to be a player in the rapidly growing and eventually massive smartphone market that defines our times.

Fifteen years later, the iOS and Android operating systems — and the smartphones they power — are at the heart of the digital transformation we see happening all over the world.

At the end of Q2 2022, PYMNTS’ study of 15,000 consumers in 11 countries, which comprise 50% of global GDP, finds that digital engagement is on the rise everywhere as more consumers use digital methods to engage in one of the 37 routine activities measured by the study. Nearly 84% of the consumers in the study recently engaged in at least one of those 37 digital activities, even as they resumed their physical world activities.

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