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Smartphone – The Future Remains Steady

Smartphone – The Future Remains Steady

Discover why smartphones continue to shape the future with steady innovation and advancement.

What is the device we spend the most time with?  At times, even more than with our loved ones…….

There is hardly anyone in the world who would not have the answer. 

It’s a smartphone. This device has become one of the key segments of the consumer electronics business, contributing in a major way to the entire value chain. It has become so central to our lives that it is almost like an extension of our body. 

Smartphones are amazing devices. This is why the world is so addicted to them and why, in so many places around the globe, most people have one.

Will this craze carry on forever? 

Almost everyone believes that the smartphone is something we will continue to carry with us, both literally and metaphorically. The smartphone market may never see the same meteoric rise that it did some years ago, but the all-powerful pocket computer is surely here to stay.

At this point, it’s hard to function in society without one, and that will not change any time soon. A small percentage of the world will get the newest high-end model, many will opt for mid-to-high-range products, and others will use the basic product until it falls apart. 

So, what does one see in the foreseeable future?

One thing is certain. The form factor and specifications will evolve. Right now, the world is comfortable with the candy bar design, and that will stick around for quite some time, but a significant portion of the market will become foldable. Foldable phones can change the way content is consumed. These devices can change to a different size to perform a specific task. They can go from being a small smartphone to a tablet when unfolding. Smartphones and tablets, therefore, could merge.

And as the smartphone market shifts, people will surely seek more utility from that one device. 

One feature that has the potential to become more common in smartphones shortly is improved artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. Smartphones are already able to perform a wide range of tasks. However, there is still room for improvement and further development in this area.

Battery technology is another feature that is also ripe for innovation. Smartphones keep getting major upgrades to cameras and sensors, but interestingly, batteries have not changed much in years. Alternatives to lithium-ion batteries will allow for faster charging and longer battery life. Some technologies even allow batteries not to lose capacity over time. 

Imagine a phone running out of battery and no charger is immediately available. That may not be a problem in a few years’ time, as the next smart devices are expected to be charged wirelessly over the air. There are also planned devices whose battery could be charged by solar power. This will be a much-needed boost as the global order is shifting to more and faster data consumption and longer hours of usage on the device. However, it will be interesting to see whether brands would improve battery technology soon or prefer the current strategy of selling newer models yearly.

The future holds exciting promise. And yet, since 2017, demand for new phones has been declining for six years in a row. China and North America have been the biggest drivers of negative growth, and more so this year. Global inflation and an uncertain environment make consumers reluctant to upgrade their devices faster. The re-furbished and used phones market is creating another big dent in the new ones market.

Smartphone – The Future Remains Steady

Premium and ultra-premium growth is still strong among the top two global brands. The important thing to consider is that there are opportunities in markets that are still under-served. Africa is one continent where many phones in use still feature phones, not full-fledged smartphones. There is also immense potential in India’s 5G expansion over the coming years. 

Many of us can’t imagine life before smartphones, and the tech industry has shown an eager interest in keeping customers coming back regularly to purchase the latest and greatest models. Every year brings many new products, and brands constantly raise the bar on what their flagship smartphones can do. The e-waste problem also keeps getting bigger and more complex in the process.

About 10 years ago, no one could imagine how much smartphones would evolve in a decade. However, smartphone technology has accelerated so much that the first smartphones now seem like primitive dinosaurs.

Modern smartphones are now the platform of choice when accessing information. Years ago, we used countless devices to check the weather, take photos, read emails, or listen to music. However, today, we find everything on our smartphones.

Mobile phones have become an extension of ourselves and have changed our lives forever. 80% of the world’s population has a cell phone. We look at our phones an average of over 100 times a day, and some people become extremely anxious if they forget to bring their phones.

Although the pace of development seems to have slowed recently, smartphones will continue to evolve. I think AR and VR will surely create buzz and pockets of interest but may never come close to the popularity of a smartphone.

The biggest challenge for the planet will be e-waste and sustainability issues. Just tinkering with the packing material and plastics will help, but very little. Interestingly, very few big, organized global players are working on a strategy to tap into the used phones segment, which will be almost 25 per cent of value sales by 2026.

Smartphones are not disappearing soon.

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