Mobile World Congress 2016: Where are we heading with Smartphones — or where do we need to head?

Ida Jensen

By Andre C on Medium:

It’s Mobile World Congress time again. Not only the world of telcos and phone-related manufacturers meet there, but meanwhile it has become a colorful mix of everything technology related it seems. Still, the smartphones or mobile computing devices are in the center of attention.

The decade of the Smartphone as we know it is ending

Almost 10 years ago the iPhone has entered center stage and in fact did change everything in this industry. The revolutionary first iPhone was of course not the first smartphone in the market; in fact it came years after the term ‘smartphone’ had been coined for the first time. What is remarkable about it was therefore not the invention of a new category of device, but the combination of the right mix of technologies at the right time at the right quality or maturity level. It was really the right combination of features to enable a mature set of use cases merged on a single platform comprised of mobile phone, multimedia device, touchscreen and internet access.

All of these together formed a greater whole. However, we have gotten used to rather predictable updates regarding the latest smartphones over the course of the last years. Screens got bigger and better, processors faster, cameras crisper, apps richer and so on and so on. Fair to say though that the quality has drastically increased and the quality of the overall devices and experience is pretty decent when you think what is possible in the existing parameters.

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Atomization of apps, AI-based assistants

When it comes to apps or services as such — the real key success ingredient that has made smartphones take off — I think that they are reaching a tipping point, where they are shifting from being user-controlled to proactively powering a user’s life. Accenture’s Fjord trends research team points out two trends supporting this: “Watch — it listens” and what they call the disappearing of apps. They believe we are in the midst of this already. With a less rigid approach to their products and services, brands that follow this approach, allow their apps and services to be super distributed across various platforms and third-party services, while still retaining their brand identity. Aided by artificial intelligence trends like natural language processing and machine learning, deep learning, etc., services appear to offer themselves intuitively to consumers according to their time, place or situation.

Read the full article on Medium

Ida Jensen

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