The growth in a number of smartphone units shipped around the globe slowed dramatically in 2016. Only 10 percent growth from 2016 to 2015 versus 28 percent growth the previous year. This slowdown likely has to do with the market finally approaching maturation.
As the companies launch into 2017 with wishes and expectations for the year ahead, one thing is clear: people are in the midst of a global transformation as more and more people are moving from the offline and disconnected world to being constantly connected. To counter this competition many companies are spending the big amount in their R&D.
Here are 10 smartphone trends to watch out for in 2017:
1. New designs: It's no secret that Samsung has been playing with the ambitious idea of foldable smartphones. Now, a new Bloomberg reported that Samsung is considering introducing its two new smartphone models that will feature bendable screens in early 2017.
2. Faster LTE: LTE speeds will get a serious boost with new modem technologies. Download speeds could reach close to 1Gbps with Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X16 modem, which should reach devices in the second half of 2016. Achieving that speed also depends on the network capabilities of a carrier.
3. TANGO-ENABLED AUGMENTED REALITY: Tango enables apps to track a device's position and orientation within a detailed 3D environment, and to recognize known environments. This makes possible applications such as in-store navigation, visual measurement and mapping utilities, presentation and design tools, and a variety of immersive games.
4.Advanced Camera :The LG Innotek system is said to be destined for one or more of next year's iPhone models, but the report is unclear what 3D applications Apple might have in mind. However, it is likely nothing more than the next generation of Portrait Mode, which uses parallax effect to create a 3D model of a scene.
5. USB-C: This is the year USB-C will replace the aging micro-USB 2.0 ports in Android handsets. USB-C is the emerging industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power. It can also be used to connect mobile devices to high-definition monitors, headphones, flash drives, and external storage devices.
6. NFC AND IPS: NFC is the technology that is not used frequently but the near-field communication is becoming popular day by day and some NFC-enabled accessories like speakers and headphones are also available in the market.
7. Hydrogen Cell: Hydrogen cell allows us to use the phone for weeks without the need of charging. Apple and some other parties like ROHM semiconductors and Aquafairy and Kyoto University are trying to pursue this technology.
8. Bluetooth 5: Bluetooth 5 will quadruple the range of Low Energy devices. Using the more conservative figures, that will mean 200m outdoors (up from 50m) and around 40m indoors. If it manages to work at 40m indoors (that is some 131 feet) then there is lots of potential for home automation using just Bluetooth 5.
9. Storage: Extra storage on a smartphone never hurts, be it to store videos, photos, or games. Currently, internal storage tops out at 256GB and SD storage at 512GB, but SanDisk this year showed a prototype 1TB SD card.The SDXC card is only a prototype at this point, with no details available on price or release date, but it's still an impressive milestone.
10. Faster chips: Graphics will be smoother, and applications will run much faster on next year's smartphones. Qualcomm has already announced the Snapdragon 835, which could be installed in some premium Android smartphones from top mobile companies.
Hence, smartphone buyers have a lot to look forward in 2017 for a competitive market.