Mobile Industry Trends 2020

2020 has brought with it a number of challenges, not least the Covid-19 Pandemic. It can be hard to stay positive about possible future developments right now, but there are many exciting things coming up in the mobile industry. Here, we review last year’s trends and see what else could be appearing in 2020. 

Last updated: 1st Sep 2020 at 1:17pm

5G

After the rise and use of 3G and 4G data, a new generation of data technology has been released - the ‘fifth generation’, also simply called “5G”. 

This speed of data launched in 2019, but has not become widely available yet. We’re only now in 2020 starting to see it appear across more and more networks. 

When it does become more widespread, it will enable faster download speeds for mobile phones, with it being between 10 to 100 times faster than 4G. 

According to IDC, there were approximately 10 million 5G connections in the world in 2019, and this statistic is only set to increase as we go through 2020 and enter 2021. 

Gaming

2019 saw a massive increase in AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) gaming, and this industry continues to grow by the year. 

Augmented Reality propelled into mainstream gaming in 2016, with the domination of Pokemon Go. This type of gaming technology blurs the line between reality and imagination, placing things from a virtual world into the real world. For Pokemon Go, that meant spotting and catching collectable monsters around your home, on your street, or anywhere you go! 

The idea of these two worlds interacting is thrilling for many gamers. Microsoft recently announced a new AR version of Minecraft, called Microsoft Earth. This Augmented Reality enabled game will allow players to visualise the Minecraft map in the real world, building against the backdrop of their own living room. 

According to Statista, Augmented Reality currently earns about $18.8 billion in the marketplace right now (that’s almost £15 billion), with a total market share of 37.4%. This is predicted to keep rising each year, as AR/VR games grow in popularity.

It’s not just for games though - Google recently started using AR in their search engine, allowing users to place 3D objects into the space around them.  

Our technology is overflowing into the real world, and AR/VR is only speeding that up. 

Digital Health

The rise of wearable phone-like devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches are slowly transforming the healthcare industry into one that is accessed almost entirely digitally. 

According to IQVIA, there are over 318,000 health apps available for download from multiple app stores worldwide. These health apps range from counting your steps, managing your calories, inputting your medical health data, tracking your exercise, monitoring your sleep patterns, and much more. They are a popular choice for people wishing to monitor a certain aspect of their lifestyle. 

The leading manufacturer in digital health devices is Fitbit. This digital watch that tracks daily exercise and gives health insights was used by approximately 29.57 million people last year. Wearable health technology only continues to grow, with more brands trying to get on the trend and take some of Fitbit’s market share.  

As electronic devices become more incorporated into our daily lives, digital health will rise too, with people relying on their smartwatches and smartphones to keep track of their health. 

Quad Cameras

It started with one. Now you can buy phones with dual cameras, triple cameras, and even quad cameras - which is four cameras all on one side of the phone! 

Though Samsung released the Galaxy A9 in 2018, which was the first smartphone to sport an impressive vertical row of four rear cameras, the era of quad cameras has only just started taking off. With a normal camera, a depth camera, a wide-angle camera, and a zoom camera, the quad set-up looks to revolutionise phone photography. 

As the world has become increasingly obsessed with digital imagery and its quality, the mobile phone industry has to work harder to keep up with our demands. And that’s where the quad camera comes in, showcasing a new way to take mobile photos with the professionalism of a star camera. 

Maybe in a few years we’ll see five cameras on the back of our phones - it does feel almost inevitable at this point!

Location Technology

It’s no secret that our devices can track our location (when we give them permission to do so, that is). Every time you download or buy a certain app, it will request access to your location, which you can either allow or deny. Sometimes the app will give you a reason; other times, it’s simply just another way of collecting data. 

You usually need to turn on location services for transportation apps like Uber and Google Maps, or you won’t be able to use them properly. However, more and more apps are requesting personal data when it is not necessary. In fact, 7 out of 10 apps will request your location to share with third parties. 

Location technology is used to boost marketing campaigns, as companies can send you targeted ads based on your location, such as notifications or web recommendations. 

While this can feel like an invasion of privacy, and sometimes definitely is, location technology is also used for safety reasons too. For example, the popular Apple app Find My iPhone uses geographical information to track where your phone is, so others can find you if you are lost. 

Location technology is used quite frequently in law and the police force in order to protect the public. A more current example of this technology is the Track & Trace app the UK government have released to inhibit the spread of Coronavirus. 

There you have it - a list of the current trends circulating in 2020, and some possible guesses about what 2021 might have in store for our mobiles.
 

What are your guesses? You can let us know on Twitter

 

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