Back in 2018, experts at Deloitte predicted that smartphone sales would exceed 1.85 billion by 2023. Just past the halfway point to this prediction, mobile phone technology has quickly become one of the most lucrative industries in the world.
Apple and Samsung are leading the way; the Google Play store offers 3.3 million apps, while the Apple App Store offers 2.2 million. In the late 90s, Nokia made a splash by offering archaic games like Snake, which helped launch a new era of video games.
At the moment, mobile gaming is the most profitable sector of mobile technology, with both VR and eSports taking a larch chunk of investment from groups like Microsoft and Dreamhack. But there are other aspects related to smartphone technology that’s in for major changes.
Though many developers are looking toward AR to switch up mobile gaming, the industry will ultimately have its eyes set on VR capabilities. One sector in for an overhaul is casino gaming. With some groups already offering VR card games, video slots are likely to be the next focus in virtual worldbuilding.
Each slot has a unique set of featured options, as well as visually immersive graphics. In other words, they’re likely to translate well for VR tech. The same goes for other popular mobile games, from PUBG Mobile to Candy Crush Saga. Already, Minecraft and End Space have launched popular VR-capable mobile games.
Smartphones are some of the most advanced pieces of technology that everyday consumers use. However, they’re also one of the most breakable. Apple smartphones, in particular, have been criticized for sensitive glass designs which don’t last long without cases.
Though Android developers have done more to address consumer concerns with cracked screens, the future is likely to involve flexible products. Foldable cellphones are on the horizon—though groups like the Flexpai (from Chinese startup Royole) have already tackled this design.
Stretchable screen displays will not only offer stronger and more durable products but will also provide developers with larger ‘canvases’ on which to create entertaining games.
Already, many smartphone users rely on their devices to make contactless payments. Many more have opted for contactless charger hubs. These options are likely to expand in the future. For now, smartphone users have to set their device on an object to charge, rather than plug in a cable.
Moving forward, charging hubs will be fully contactless—users only need to place their smartphones close to a charger to fill up. This is known as an NFC, or near field communication. Other contactless possibilities include security features, from fingertips to facial recognition technology. At the moment, Apple and Samsung products already offer advanced, touchless security features. However, it’s likely apps will also start to incorporate this technology.
Since the app boom for smartphones in the mid-2000s, more and more users have opted to shop online. Many now use digital wallets in order to make purchases and even pay bills remotely via smartphones. Social media added to the craze, creating tailored ads for users based on the data collected from their Instagram and Facebook habits.
Looking ahead, the consumer experience will continue to be built around a mobile hub. Looking ahead, smartphones will offer highly personalized experiences based on user habits (assuming users opt-in to data collection). In other words, mobile phones are likely to become the central hub for IoT (internet of things) technology.
In the last five years, eSports has become one of the fastest-expanding global industries related to entertainment. Not only are investors flocking to back teams and successful gamers, but more and more viewers are logging on to watch live streams of popular tournaments. Even more are trying out popular games themselves.
PUBG Mobile, mentioned above, is the most downloaded smartphone game in history. It’s also one of the most popular eSports games, with massive annual prize pools for tournaments and leading teams stationed around the world. Looking ahead, mobile game developers will look to capitalize on similar popular eSports games by adapting them for smartphones.