A decade ago, the first smartphones connected to an infinite app ecosphere remade the world in their own image. Consumers and business buyers adopted them practically instantly, saturating the market at one of the fastest rate of any technology in history.
Now another seismic shift is coming. Over the next few years, the form and function of smartphones are changing, and the results are likely to set off another round of global transformation. Future smartphones will power up the next generation of business innovation by offering bigger batteries, larger screens, and voice-powered applications that allow users to engage with less effort and more power.
The Evolution of the Smartphone into the Ultimate Remote Control for Business
Personal mobile devices are taking over the role of on-premise PBX and VoIP networks for businesses, as well as replacing operational software for administration, finance, management and data flow.
Today we’re investigating at how larger screens, longer battery life and the development of smart voice interfaces are coming together to convert smartphones into universal remotes for running your business from anywhere.
Bigger Screens – A New Meaning to Greater Flexibility of Future Smartphones
For many years, phone makers have tried to come up with folding devices that combine user demands for larger screens and easier portability. It appears that some manufacturers have finally cracked the code and will be introducing this feature commercially in 2019 or 2020.
Huawei, which just knocked Apple out of second place among the world’s largest phone makers, plans to introduce a folding phonein a matter of months. Consumer division CEO Richard Yu, asked, “Why are you still using a computer? Probably because the smartphone display is too small for you. We will change that. It is conceivable that a display can be folded out.”
Meanwhile, the world’s No. 1 phone maker responded that they also have plans to sell a foldable phone in 2019, according DJ Koh, Samsung’s Mobile Division CEO.
As for Apple, they are counting on big screens with faster processors — moving into the phablet range — to drive revenues in the immediate future. The iPhone Xs comes with a 5.8 in. edge-to-edge display, while the Xs Max with a Super Retina display pushes the limits to 6.5 in. The Xs Max also claims to be practically aware with a A12 Bionic brain and a built-in Neural Engine.
These faster processors also have big implications for the adoption of voice technologies powered by AI that allow users to do more with less effort by simply talking.
Longer Life – Less Time Without Your Phone
A great phone with a short battery life is little more than an annoying brick. Phone buyers choose “long battery life”as the single most important feature of the phone they want in many polls. At the same time, all the cool new features and connectivity applications use more energy, while slimmer phones leave less room for the battery. There are two new solutions on the way: wireless charging and alternative energy sources.
Sony just entered the race for the next generation batteries, claiming that they will be able to ship lithium-sulfur batteries, much cheaper and more powerful than the standard lithium-ion batteries on phones now, by 2020.
Elsewhere, ZapGo is introducing carbon fiber batteries, with plans to incorporate into smartphones by 2022. Their own tests indicate that a charge can last about 100 times longer than that of a lithium ion battery.
In the near term, battery charging for iPhones, Galaxy phones, Sony cells and Google Pixel phones are all going wireless in 2019. Although iPhones have included wireless charging coils since 2017, their AirPower wireless charging pads haven’t become practical yet.
Their major rival, Samsung, brought out the Wireless Charger Duo this year for the Galaxy S9, S9+, and Note 9. The big unknown is the market is Google’s Pixel 3 XL, which is rumored to arrive before the end of 2018 with a wireless charging option.
Better Call Quality – The Race for 5G
Beyond Apple and Samsung, 19 phone makers (including LG, Sony, ZTE and HTC) have all announced 5G-ready phones for 2019, even if the actual service isn’t available yet for large portions of the mobile public.
In Australia, plans are in place for at least one and maybe four 5G networks in 2019. Optus committed to 5G in early 2019with a hard deadline, while Telstra and Vodaphone have both released statements about their progress toward 5G. TPG is preparing to build out a fourth network and 5G capability is expected to be an integral piece of that.
Spark New Zealand is laying the groundwork now for the commercial technology that will bring 5G to the islands by 2020. Vodaphone also rolled out their roadmap to 5G in New Zealand with CEO Russell Stanners’ comment, “All Kiwis will be 10-20GB users come 2020. We have a lot happening here and around the world to bring this technology to the forefront, and it’s an evolution that we expect to start rolling out here over the next two to three years into the networks.”
Voice Interface Brings Ease of Use
Mobile users are juggling multiple tasks, moving dynamically through changing environments and working on the go--from cars, trains, planes and busy streets. Voice-activated applications and interfaces can provide the ease of use and seamless experience that will allow the smartphone to finally evolve into the ultimate business tool. From dictating notes, sending voice memos, and just talking to quickly solve problems, build relationships and establish alignment, voice technology will change the way we engage with our phones, and each other.
At Spoke Phone. we're building features that will allow users to work with greater ease and impact by using their voice to do more.
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