Publication Name: CIOL
Date: June 2015
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BANGALORE, INDIA: What remains constant is change. Smartphones have been a dominant market with new features adding on it to, connecting it to devices, mobility becoming an enterprise strategy etc. It still though is being vastly used, the innovations around it has almost come to a halt. After more than a decade, we stand at the periphery of the smartphone paradigm sighting what will be next.
With recent reports stating that shipments of smartphones are declining in emerging markets, we can vividly witness the saturation level of this technology in these markets.
CyberMedia Research released that India’s mobile handsets market has declined 15pc in terms of overall shipments over Q4 2014, to 53 million mobile handsets of which, 37pc (19.5 million) were smartphones. Feature phone shipments declined 18pc sequentially.
International Data Corporation also revealed that China’s smartphone market declined by 4pc year-on-year with 98.8mn smartphone shipped during the first quarter of 2015 compared to 103.2 million smartphonesshipped during 2014 quarter. The reason for decline in both the markets remain same, the maturity of the market and its saturation.
Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS have almost overtaken the market. Short product life cycles has been a trend which has been witnessed over the years especially after the demise of Nokia and surely Microsoft is not bringing those days back!
So now, what more do we want our smartphones to do?
Have a bigger screen
A more user friendly OS?
A larger memory to hold numerous apps. And what if all this is taken over by a disruptive device?
Kartik Iyengar, VP – IoT & Project Skylab, Virtusa, “IoT has by far risen above other technologies like Big Data in Gartner’s hype cycle. However, what needs to be understood is that IoT is just a force multiplier, an enabler for the industry or customer specific data pools to grow exponentially. While Digital paved the way for erroneous human and transactional data, IoT is the brash new kid on the block that will disrupt the market with precise and periodic machine data. We will have to consider this age as the ‘age of the machines’. The future is changing with industry boundaries disappearing and with the rise of AI, customers belong to no onebut the reality they will be exposed to. On a side note, yes, IoT is supposed to be to create a better quality of life for humanity. If we play this right, we have entered a new era”.
Wearables, smart watches have been making a buzz all this while. Although the current market picture does not show a quantum shoot, it can anytime foray and grab the potential market. Connecting smartphone to TVs, projectors has already been an added advantage.
Shyam Sunder B.K. – Chief Designer, Product Design at Tata Elxsi, said, “Currently I feel these are two different category of products which deliver different benefits and experiences. However in the long run there would be a convergence driven by the strength of technology. There is still a lot of development needed before we see a change. The convergence of technology may also lead into a new set of products with smart and intelligent features that would challenge conventional methods of capturing and analysing information – like wearables to embedded implants.”
According to reports, smart watches’ 3.6 milliom units were shipped but is expected to grow to 101million by 2020 which is a humungous number. Apple undoubtedly continues to make strong endeavours in this arena. And well why not? A promising investment, ofcourse. More interesting for the market spectators, will be Samsung’s seventh smart watch which is likely to release in September. It has been reported that, the wearable will have accelerometer, heart rate monitor, Wi-fi, cellular and Bluetooth connectivity.
Krishnananda Shenoy – AVP, Principal Architect, Engineering Services, Infosys, “Wearables as a technology is yet to mature and the use cases are in the process of evolving. Price points need to match and justify its ROI to the emerging markets’ requirements.”
“Wearables today are tethered to smartphones or mobile phones. In a way, wearables are piggy backing on smartphones and hence smartphones are pivotal to the wearable use cases. Currently, smartphones are playing the role of an integrator through applications controlling and monitoring wearables. The compute, storage, memory and display on the wearables can be a challenge, not to mention power. We may expect the growth in wearables adoption to surpass that of smartphones if these technology challenges are addressed. We believe that smartphones would continue exist due to their holistic usage including enterprise mobility applications. These use cases would make them nonpareil in the near future.”
Lets not miss out on the intelligent assistants which are still lagging on the way. Virtual assistants, has been an intriguing concept but yet far to experience in real time. Tremendous research and efforts are underlying and has immense potential to disrupt major paradigms in the near future.
These major revolutionary technologies, although at its nascent stage, brings ample potential and expected growth in the global markets. Though smartphone industry continues to grow at a slow pace in the emerging markets, more intriguing inevitably will be the emerging technologies and the course and the time period it takes to overtake the current dominant trends. and the million dollar market that it makes!