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When mobile phones first appeared in the 1990s we used them mainly for the purpose suggested by their name: to make phone calls. In 2019, the situation is much different: mobile phones are now more commonly called smartphones and using them to call people is a fringe activity.

Instead, we use these pocket computers to send each other text messages and multimedia, shop, take photographs and do our banking. Studies show that the average user looks at her smartphone 150 times a day.

Smartphones are a rare phenomenon:

A hugely transformative technology which is also a wildly successful consumer product. It is estimated that nearly 4 billion of the world’s 5.5 billion adults own a smartphone.

Annual sales of the devices regularly reach the 1 billion mark as first-time users discover them and established users upgrade to newer models. In many parts of the world, smartphones are the only available means of accessing the internet.

Top smartphone manufacturers today are

In business, the impact of mobile technology is difficult to overstate

There is a long list of industries which have been disrupted by companies that have the smartphone at the heart of their operations. Transport, accommodation and television are among the most prominent examples.

In each of those industries established products and business models have lost relevance. They have been replaced by mobile applications which offer consumers personalized, on-demand services.

In fact, in recent years we’ve seen an explosion in the availability of smartphone-centric products and services. This phenomenon is well illustrated by the 2 million mobile applications available for download in each of the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Yet in spite of such a volume of activity, mobile still possess huge potential. 

Further advances are predicted to come through deeper integration with emerging technologies such as

Wearable devices like smart watches

Voice recognition in the form of voice search

3D scanning and facial recognition

At the same time as these various trends gather momentum, there is one overarching development driving the entire mobile ecosystem forward: greater use of artificial intelligence. Advances in this domain mean our smartphones will increasingly predict what we want and give it to us without needing to be explicitly instructed. 

Thus even today, when smartphones are showing a decrease in year-on-year sales for the first time in their history, mobile technology as a whole remains an area rich in opportunities for innovation moving forward. 

What plans does your organization have to take advantage of the next wave of mobile technologies?

Is the smartphone at the heart of your digital strategy?


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