Evolution of the smartphone industry in 2017: Intelligent & Affordable

by December 20, 2017 0 comments

Ashwin Bhandari, CEO, iVOOMi India

Ashwin Bhandari, CEO at iVOOMi Indiapresents his views on evolution of the smartphone industry in 2017. Trends below from 2017 are expected to gain further momentum in 2018. This will make smartphones more intelligent, experiential, robust, affordable, accessible, and safer.  

There is no other consumer product industry that is as dynamic as the evolutionary smartphone industry. It influences almost every individual, seeks inspiration from many industries, and inspires many others. Therefore, as all of us get set for The New Year, it would be worthwhile to look at how the year 2017 has been for the smartphone industry.

Growing Penetration- Given that more than half the population in the world now has access to the internet smartphone penetration is rapidly growing. The year 2017 saw India becoming the second largest smartphone market in the world with just over 300 million users, surpassing the United States, and trailing just behind China. This could be due to the boom of affordable 4G based services and arrival of many entry-level players in the industry. Going further, India and China will continue to lead smartphone market share, taking global penetration to 70% by 2022.

Innovation- Innovation has been one of the most significant catalysts for the industry in 2017. The year not only marked the introduction of several new features, but also made premium features like long battery life, greater storage capacity, big displays, and high resolution front camera, moonlight/front flashlight available at affordable price. This enabled deeper penetration of sophisticated smartphones into middle and lower middle segments. Price war amongst telcos for cheaper voice and data services inspired smartphone manufacturers to provide dual SIM slot in almost all variants. Moreover, most brands have been harping on one particular feature while highlighting several other features at the same time. For example, Apple’s flagship iPhone has been focussing on retina scanner while also talking about its cloud service, high quality camera, on demand video and music streamlining, and impenetrable security etc. Going by the geographical share, China proved to be no match in terms of innovation and affordable production of devices with high-end features at value prices.

Emphasis on User Experience- While smartphones continued to be affordable throughout the year;focus on enhanced user experience became the point of debate and differentiation. As a result, smartphone manufacturers and telecom service providers often came together to provide 4G VoLTE based high end communication services in order to improve the voice quality &speed of internet access, and reduce the call drop rates, especially in the emerging world. Larger display screens (6 inch plus) made it easy for users to enjoy video calls, live streaming, online shopping, banking, and much more. The bezel-less displays are ergonomically convenient and shatterproof, making sure that users continue to enjoy even larger screens (7 inch plus) in the coming year. Thus, smartphones may soon completely replace televisions at home.Aesthetics took another level in 2017 with gold toned variants gaining popularity.On the software front, big data analytics enabled the smartphone manufacturers and various online services providers to deliver personalized experience to the users. For example, by analysing the past buying and bill payment patterns, a digital wallet can notify the consumer about upcoming offers, best deals, and more affordable shopping alternatives. It can also notify about news updates on frequently searched topics, sports, and weather updates etc. In short, smartphones became intelligent phones in 2017.

Information Safety- We save our favourite photographs, videos, documents, songs, SMSs, emails, and other private and important communication on our smartphone. Therefore, information safety for smartphones is of utmost importance. In 2017, most smartphone manufacturers launched end-to-end encryption in their products. This means that information is secure between sending and receiving end. Even when the information is stored on the device, it cannot be decoded without punching in the authentication details. Going forward, we can expect even larger encryption key (128 bit and upwards) to make the smartphones even safer. Apart from this, affordable cloud services (private, public, and hybrid cloud) have made it possible for users to easily store and access their data.

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