Phones have gotten a lot more interesting lately. We’ve seen phones take on massive notches, like the Pixel 3 XL, while other brands are taking more minimalist methods of incorporating a camera, such as the Honor Magic 2. We have also seen more brands ditching the headphone jack, leaving consumers to use dongles to listen to their music. The only major brand that has still hung on to the headphone jack is Samsung. However, many anticipate headphone jacks to disappear. As we look into the new year, what should consumers expect?
Perhaps the biggest thing that consumers should anticipate is the integration of artificial intelligence in their phones. AI has the power to transform the user’s experience, giving them more tools and advice to conduct their day to day activities efficiently. Take for instance Google’s Duplex, a tool that is due to roll out to more consumers this year. For those who don’t know, Google Duplex allows Google Assistant to make appointments for the consumer. All the consumer needs to do is set an appointment and Duplex will do the rest. AI will also play a major role in photography. Recently advances in machine learning have enabled photos to be enhanced greatly. For instance, obstructing objects have been easier than ever, filling the void with the background. AI can also modify photos to make them more vibrant or adjust them to the right atmosphere. For instance, Google’s Pixel 3 uses software to enhance their images rather than adding more cameras.
When it comes to your lifestyle, AI can do more to help you around. Google’s latest operating system for android, android pi, is heavily based on AI. It recommends apps based on your past activities. Android continues to inform consumers about dining options around them, who to contact when writing messages, and even suggest music.
Another thing that consumers should expect is more cameras. One of the major defining characteristics when considering to buy a phone is the camera. Lately, we’ve seen companies tack on an increasing amount of cameras on their phones, both on the front and the back. However, many are beginning to question how many cameras phones now require. One potential solution is to simply use AI and software to enhance the photo
However, with all of these developments, one can argue that phones might not change much. Almost all flagship phones have the same features. The only major defining characteristics is the software capabilities and price. That may change however.
In 2018, Samsung announced that it would start seriously considering fold-able phones. This technology would give consumers more flexibility when storing their phones. They would be less prone to bending in pockets while maximizing screen to body ratio. However, it is reported that such technology would come at a hefty price.
In reality, not just to the phone industry, hardware hasn’t changed much. Intel itself believed that it would fulfill Moore’s law, but has faced recent production challenges. Maybe it’s time for consumers to turn their attention to software capabilities rather than the hardware itself. But who knows, with CES right around the corner, consumers are eager to see what the future of phones may look like.