Smartphones used to be this thing of wonder which amazed us every day. Things we thought we couldn’t do on the go, well, smartphones pretty much proved it wrong. Now, you don’t need to carry a separate camera, music player, voice recorder, entertainment system or anything, everything you ever needed is neatly sitting in your pocket as a single device right now. But to reach to this state, there was a successive development, every year we saw a new feature that usually required a separate device: like the first year, it was a camera, then music player, voice recording, video recording and app support that pretty much opened up a whole new world.
Gartner’s study has shown that people use the same smartphone for the span of 2 to 2.5 years and will remain same till 2020. People are even skipping few generations to finally upgrade when they see something innovative. The growth of smartphone will not be in double digits, worldwide smartphones sales have grown only 7% to reach 1.5 billion units in 2016 which is a serious decline from 14.4% in 2015. Smartphone sales growth was highest in 2010 reaching 73% but ever since there has been major ups and downs in the market.
Smartphones have really gotten boring, every smartphone is the same piece of a rectangular metal slab with a giant screen up front. For the past few years, the only change in the smartphones has been a more shinier display, more powerful processor, more RAM and more megapixels! You can’t even distinguish between a midrange and a premium phone these days. People are happy with what they’ve got, be it a midrange or flagship. They can easily comply with our day to day usage pretty good. In a mature market, people don’t change their smartphones yearly like they used to, and every year the iPhone or any other phone isn’t getting any more innovative or smarter which at this point we all have realized.
The market penetration in European nations, North America, and developed Asian countries have reached 90% where users are sticking with their flagships longer. So manufacturers are targeting India and China where the consumers are high where they could boost their sales. But even doing so, most of the smartphone sales will be budget oriented in these regions and that won’t have much effect on the declining profit.
The future of smartphones is in VR, AI-powered devices and something that can provide real usefulness like the Windows phone which can also be used as a full-fledged Windows PC. For now, the path that smartphone development is taking seems pretty awesome but there are also other things we can expect which may possibly remove the need of smartphones like smart glasses and wearable tech.