Connected 'everything' to drive smartphone innovation

Smartphones equipped with secondary cameras are ideal to record job application video clips. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Smartphones equipped with secondary cameras are ideal to record job application video clips. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town – Smartphones are set to become more “intelligent” as more devices connect to the internet, says a research organisation.

According to Gartner, Internet of Things (IoT) technology will drive a connected era of mobile technology even as the current market faces tough economic conditions.

“The smartphone experience will continue to be at the centre of consumer digital lives but evolve to become a much smarter ‘intelligent’ device as well as a key hub in IoT scenarios like connected home or digital workplace,” Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner told Fin24.

The company had previously reported that slowing global economic growth will see mobile devices grow just 1.9% in 2016. By the end of the year, 82% of mobile phones will be smart devices.

The BBC reported on Friday that Samsung’s profits fell to $165.5bn on the back of slower smartphone sales and competition from Chinese rivals Huawei and Xiaomi.

Price

READ: Cheap devices, Africa to drive mobile growth

But as smartphones becomes increasingly ubiquitous, mobile device manufacturers will have to work hard to lock consumers into an ecosystem.

“In a highly commoditised market brand, user base and ecosystem of apps and services that add value to the smartphone device experience will be key to differentiate,” said Cozza.

Developing markets are likely to be acutely affected by economic uncertainly and consumers holding back on spending on smartphones.

The International Data Corporation found that the fastest growing smartphone sector was in the $100 - $200 device category.

“The smartphone growth will come from the low-priced smartphones (ie under $150). The shift toward low price range smartphones is as the result of shrinking disposable income as the economy slows down,” Joseph Hlongwane, International Data Corporation SA research analyst told Fin24 recently.


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