According to Peter Thiel, there’s nothing next. He was quoted in Fortune Magazine as saying:
“We know what a smartphone looks like and does. It’s not the fault of Tim Cook, but it’s not an area where there will be any more innovation.”
Obviously Apple, Samsung & the rest have to continue selling phones, and competitive innovation is what makes them sell, so I expect we’ll see more & more incremental advances in existing features and the gimmicky addition of new features nobody needs or wants.
Certainly Apple’s 2017 Keynote Event showcased a good collection of both of those – as did the October Google Pixel 2 launch event. Based on those events & Thiel’s astute observation, what’s a conservative guess on what we’ll expect to see in future smartphones?
This lets the manufacture maximize the viewing space on the front of the phone, giving it as large a screen as possible in the smallest possible form-factor. In other words, “it’s all screen”, so the limitation on size becomes “how much screen can you fit in your hand”.
Expect to see improvements over time in cameras from today’s 12 megapixel rear & 8 megapixel front (selfie) cameras to higher resolutions with better processing.
More Bloated Operating Systems:
IOS and Android are both in need of a massive overhaul in my opinion – and as market demand for features & a greater collection of gimmicky features arrives, we’ll continue to see operating systems get slower & more bloated. I was saying this before IOS 11 arrived, now I’m doubling-down on it.
More gimmicks, features, apps & of course OS bloat means more to process, and smartphones have much faster procs today than they did even a few years ago. Of course this dragon swallows its own tail, and as procs get faster apps get sloppier because they’re able to, but that’s another story.
Longer Life & Faster Charging:
All the additional processing going on in today’s smartphones, matched with consumer demand for longer battery life, means that the needs of batteries & charging are constantly increasing. Expect to see battery life increase as well, or at least attempt to hold steady against the demand of increased usage.
This includes health tracking connectivity, smart-home connectivity, augmented reality connectivity, etc. Some of these may evolve into practical tools over time, for the time being they’re being added more as selling points than anything else.
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