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Future of devices

Smartphones, AI, immersion and beyond

Smartphones have reached saturation in all but the hardest to reach demographic groups in the US, Europe and advanced Asia. Apple’s recent revenue downgrade is, in part, a reflection of this reality. Ubiquity means it remains the focal point of the consumer internet economy – with no obvious end in sight. However, the range of connected devices is now greater than ever, which is reshaping how people interact with the digital world. The home has for several years been seen as the next frontier of device innovation, and survey numbers bear that out. We are now in the early stages of a 3rd wave, driven by AI and immersive entertainment in the form of VR, AR and eventually mixed reality. Smart speakers now, and the prospect of glasses in the next 5 years.

In this latest report from GSMA Intelligence, we present results from our global consumer survey covering 30+ countries and examine the competitive strategies of Amazon, Google and Apple, as well as a host of Chinese vendors. Indeed, a new form of platform war is emerging for new device categories. We explore how 5G presents a sea-change for device OEMs because of the speed upgrade and latency gains that bring AR and VR into play. Finally, we unearth a gap between consumer expectations of what 5G can do compared to what operators need it to do to drive a renewed growth story.

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