It’s difficult to fully appreciate how much mobile phones have advanced in the recent past.
20 years ago, we either didn’t have a mobile phone or it was a brick phone like the classic Nokia 3310 brick, which by the way Nokia has reintroduced as a retro model.
10 years ago, we had flip phones. Those phones were pretty much able to make calls, send text messages, and take photos that were so pixelated that you couldn’t tell the difference between a referee and a zebra.
Today, we have phones like the iPhone X with its revolutionary full-screen design, 4K video (seriously think about how far we’ve come, 4K video with a phone), facial recognition, wireless charging, and on and on.
Today’s smartphones have processors that are more powerful than the computer that was used in the 1969 moon landing. 1,300 times more powerful, to be exact. Unfortunately mobile applications have also been getting larger and larger, which is why your 2 or 3 year old cell phone slows down as you update it with new software designed for faster hardware.
We can look back and see what brick phones looked like, you might even still have an old flip phone sitting around in a drawer somewhere, and nearly everyone has a smartphone in their pocket. But what we’d like to know is what the mobile phones of tomorrow will look like. Will we have flexible displays? High quality DSLR-like photos from the camera?
We wanted to know, so we asked industry experts the question:
How are mobile phones going to change the next 20 years?
This is what they shared with us…
Lindsay Boyajian, CMO of Augment
“In the not-so-distant future, we won’t have mobile phones. They will be replaced by mixed reality headsets. These headsets will allow us to transition seamlessly from reality to augmented reality to virtual reality depending on our needs and the situation.
For instance, we can redecorate our homes using augmented reality. We can try different couches virtually in our apartment before buying without ever leaving our home. Then, we will be able to shift into VR to watch the newest Netflix release. Mobile devices are just the first step towards a future where the hardware is directly integrated into our every action.”
Mariona Prat Vila, Project Manager at Samsung Pay
“Computers will be entirely replaced by smartphones, as the average consumer will be able to conduct the same tasks with them, adding the advantages of portability and increased convenience to it. Device manufacturers will focus on two things:
Firstly, improving smartphones’ user experience with better working tools’ compatibility like the microsoft package.
And secondly, achieving device versatility so that a smartphone can emulate a static pc-like experience when needed, with connected accessories such as a monitor, mouse and keyboard.”
Karolyn Hart, COO of InspireHUB Inc.
“The great news for mobile phones in the future will be the significant freeing up of space as apps move to work through mobile browsers. In 2016, for the first time, we saw brands retiring their native apps in favor of progressive web apps.
PWAs take up a fraction of the space on your phone and still work offline. They also use far less data. This is a significant shift with good news for mobile users who won’t have to waste time uninstalling apps to make room for new ones.”
Adam Fingerman, CXO & Co-founder at ArcTouch
“The term mobile will go away – The term mobile, as we currently know it, will finally fade away. We use our mobile phones around the house as much as we do when we’re truly on the go. And, mobile doesn’t really apply to software apps that power experiences for connected homes and the IoT (which aren’t mobile). In 2017 and beyond, our industry will find new ways to describe applications for connected experiences.”
Sanja Kasper, International Marketing, Yeeply
“The mobile phone is dead“– some experts are shouting this out since years. To my mind this is not 100% true. But it is getting harder to survive in this business.
Development and technology is the key! Bent displays, eye tracker, Augmented Reality, every kind of sensor and many other gadgets will be part of the standard equipment soon.
Another important point will be the connection to other devices. Internet of things is coming!
Will the data goggles take the part of the mobile phone? Google and Microsoft are working on it but it is still not a replacement of the mobile phone.
We know that a good Marketing strategy of a big company could change this and attract the consumer. Finally it is always not just about technology and development but also about an efficient Marketing strategy to keep the mobile phone alive.”
Supratim Dam, Marketing Specialist at Ready4SApps
“We have come a long way since the launch of Ericsson R380 – the first mobile device marketed as a ‘smartphone’. Contrary to reports, the mobile industry is far from nearing saturation. Today, from shopping to health, everything is on the mobile phone.
In the next 20 years, the industry will have seen tremendous penetration in developing countries and onboard users who would experience ‘smartphones’ for the first time. The race to acquire newer customers and keeping them hooked is going to get whole lot competitive.
The mobile phone will continuously keep reinventing itself to stay relevant to the market. Technologies like AR/VR will be the crucial differentiator. The term ‘connectivity’ will have a completely new definition.”
Jonathan Rodriguez, Founder, President & CEO at BitMar Networks
“Mobile phones eventually become wearables — something like a portable display that we will carry around, as a sort of wide bracelet. They will become the command central to all of other wearable devices — such as AR headsets; which will most likely have built-in earphones.
At this point, the device is renamed to something more appropriate for their true potential — something like Command Central Unit (CCU), Portable Smart Display (PSD), Portable Display (PD), etc.
These PD devices will be the new window to reality. Eventually, it may become virtually impossible to exist without one.”
Tonia Baldwin, Corporate Director at A1 Connect
“Forget about sci-fi-like implants and chips – surely not many people will be welcoming of that. I’d expect that radical changes will happen but not to that extent. We’re bound to see more expected changes such as improved data speeds, bigger storage space and super graphics. There’s also a whole world to explore with virtual and augmented reality for mobile.
The best thing about mobile phones is the sheer amount of competition. Assuming the current players are still around, expect voice controls, hardware specs and even battery life to continue to improve greatly. On top of that network providers will likely be looking to get one up on the competition. Data coverage should be very close to 100% of the country eliminating lack of signal.
As data moves to 5G, 6G etc. superfast phones with incredibly battery life and functionality should be expected. Innovation steadily increase over the next two decades.”