Mobile trends for 2019

Here is my collection of relevant trend for smart phones in 2019 (links to source on quetes::

Market: It seems that crazy growth times in smart phone markets are over at least for some time. Without Chinese brands, growth in the smart phone markets in 2018 would have been dramatically negative. Smartphone Shipments Expected to Rebound in 2019 article says that shipments of smartphones, the mainstay of the electronics industry, are expected to rebound, returning to low-single-digit growth in 2019, according to market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC). Shipments are expected to grow 2.6% in 2019 after falling by 3% to 1.42 billion units in 2018. It is expected that emerging markets, 5G, and new product form factors will help revive the smartphone market. Effect of the US-China trade-war is hard to define.

Faster mobile: Mobile networks are getting faster in many countries. Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world. Average data speeds on mobile networks now outpace customer’s Wi-Fi connection, on average, in 33 countries. That’s the The State of Wifi vs Mobile Network Experience as 5G Arrives.

5G: It’s a bit tricky — after all, plenty of publications are going to claim 2019 as “The Year of 5G,” but they’re all jumping the gun. It is true that 5G is coming this year to some locations with some devices,but the number of devices and where you can use them is pretty limited. OnePlus and LG have committed to a handset and Samsung has since committed to two. You have to wait to 2020 for larger scale deployment and good device selection. It seems that Apple Will Wait Until at Least 2020 to Release a 5G iPhone. If you jump to 5G train, you’re going to be paying a hefty premium for a feature you barely use. So far, 5G is a mixed bag of blessings and curses. More on that at my 5G trends posting.

New chipsets: The Snapdragon 855 Brings 5G to Mobile Devices. Mediatek Helio P90 aims just below flagship handsets to China.

Duopoly market: Smart phone market is 2019 is practically duopoly with Android and iOS operating systems. Android is far and away the dominant operating system, with a global market share of about 77 percent (or more). US market is becoming a smartphone duopoly where Apple and Samsung dominate, while others are left behind. US Android market is consolidating, with companies such as Motorola and LG losing ground to Samsung. Other Android makers have marginal single-digit share. On other markets especially Chinese manufacturers are growing and there are many competing manufacturers.

Smart phones first to web: According to Ofcom, the PC has lost its place as the first device and platform for web browsing in UK. Almost half of the web browses the web with a smart phone, which places a requirement on all online services from shops to news sites.

Interchangeable devices: As the cloud becomes more secure and reliable, we’ll increasingly store less and less on the phone itself,at least on those markets with fast, cheap and reliable connections. In theory this could make our devices much more interchangeable.

More accurate positioning: IEEE 802.11mc (better known as Wi-Fi round-trip time, or RTT), which can increase accuracy to 1m while providing vertical (Z-axis) location information that has been long awaiting a solution. Wi-Fi RTT operates according to the Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) protocol within the IEEE 802.11-2016 standard that uses a variety of techniques to pinpoint the location of someone’s smartphone or tablet. Wi-Fi Alliance® calls the capability a “Wi-Fi Certified Location.”

Waterproofing: Waterproof products are a trend in the industry because users want to be able to take their devices with them wherever they go. The iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Huawei’s high-end phones, and other mobile phones tout their water resistance as one of the attributes that consumers want. Such smart phones will need waterproof connectors and preferably only a one connector or less to waterproof. Waterproof USB Type-C connectors are emerging as the go-to solution for today’s consumer products. USB Type-C connectors with IPX8 waterproofing performance are becoming the new standard for a wide range of products because they deliver go-anywhere reliability, fast charging, and fast data transfers.

Phones without connectors: Phones are already doing away with ports (most notably, the headphone jack). In fact, all ports may soon be a thing of the past on some phones.

Bendable and foldable phones: Samsung’s Galaxy F (for foldable) is the first flexible phone that offers the benefits of a tablet and a smartphone in one device. Small enough to fit in your pocket, it unfolds to work more like a tablet when you need it. There are also other manufacturers that have showed foldable smart phones. The Royole is fascinating, but its execution leaves something to be desired. Of course these designs are going to come at a major premium.

Wireless charging: No Need to Wait for the “Best” Wireless-Charging Solution—Qi Is It article says that there are now more than 360 companies  (including Apple) supporting Qi and no other competitors, it’s game over. Qi is the go-to solution for most of the industry.

Security: Android 9 Brings Significant Security Advancements, Google Says. The latest Android iteration brings along a great deal of security improvements, including better encryption and authentication. The Android Keystore provides application developers with a set of cryptographic tools that are designed to secure their users’ data.

Smaller card standards: NM Card (Nano Memory Card) has been launched and used by Huawei. The NM card is 45 percent smaller than MicroSD. The capacity of the NM card, the reading speed and, in fact, the price, are already at the level of MicroSD cards. If you think NanoSIM is the last physical SIM card size, then the NM card has a good seam to get to the standard position. Huawei works with JEDEC to standardize the NM card.

eSIM: The term “eSIM” simply means an embedded SIM card. eSIM is backed by the GSMA. It seems certain that future smartphones will adopt electronic SIM cards – essentially removing the need to have a physical SIM card (and SIM slot). California based Apple has turned to eSIM. Google Pixel 2 and 3 series phones also support eSIM. eSIM needs to be supported by the network or carrier and enabled by them and not all networks supoort eSIM as yet. More carriers to support Pixel 3 eSIM as Google helping build more eSIM Android phones.

Notched displays: There will be more phones with notch in the front to accommodate the front camera and sensors in order to maintain a full-screen profile. Practically everyone has embraced the cutout in an attempt to go edge to edge

Camera under display: Two smartphone-makers have unveiled handsets featuring a “hole-punch” selfie camera, which is is intended to be less obtrusive than a “notch” – as popularised by Apple and later by many Android smartphone manufacturers.

Sensors under display: Biometric identification in electronics is gaining momentum, and in smartphones, the latest trend is to plant a fingerprint sensor underneath the screen. Qualcomm announces 3D Sonic Sensor, a new under-display fingerprint sensor for smartphones that uses sound waves to map fingerprints.

Touch-free technology: All major phone manufacturers are researching “in-air gesturing technology” that would let you control your phone without actually touching it.

Better cameras: Huawei debuts Honor View 20 with a 48MP rear camera. Smartphone cameras are pretty good across the board these days, so one of the simple solutions has been simply adding more to the equation. For example Nokia 9 Pureview has five camera sensors and LG has patented a camera with up to 16 lenses. In addition to adding more cameras, Companies will also be investing a fair deal in software to help bring better shots to existing components (a little AI and ML can go a long way on image processing).


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The average mobile developer makes $102,500 but those who specialize in Android earn even more.

    Where Are All the Mobile Developers?

    from May 2018 to May 2019. Indeed researchers found that while the number of job listings for mobile developers increased by 4.93 percent year over year, the number of mobile developers looking for jobs dropped by 32.89 percent for that same period.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung readies Galaxy Fold for September release

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple just bought the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business

    In a press release today, Apple announced it has purchased the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business. The sale is valued at approximately $1 billion.

    As part of the sale, some 2,200 Intel employees will now become Apple employees

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Scotty Allen made his S9+ using parts garnered from various shops in Shenzhen, and it was anything but easy.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Purism Unveils Official Specs for the Librem 5 Linux-Based Smartphone, Sets Release Date

    According to Purism, the smartphone packs hardware kill switches for the camera, microphone, Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, and baseband. Trackers are disabled by default, there is layered protection, and decentralized communication is on by default, among a host of other security offerings that make your digital data secure.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple’s revenue growth slows as iPhone sales dip 12% year-over-year

    Across categories, iPhone revenue had the biggest year-over-year dip, going from $29.5 billion in last year’s Q3 to just $26 billion this most recent quarter.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Samsung Galaxy Dongle

    This, friends, is the Samsung Galaxy Dongle. The NSFW photo arrives courtesy of SamMobile. The story isn’t the image itself, so much as what it represents. It’s the end of an era. A last key flagship smartphone maker acknowledging the death of the 3.5-mm jack.

    When Samsung’s Note 10 arrives next week, it’s expected to leave the headphone jack behind.

    For now, it’s the dongle’s world. We’re all just living in it.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Comcast’s “unlimited” mobile plan now costs $20 extra for HD video
    Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited plan caps video at 480p unless you pay extra.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Forget wireless charging: Future Xiaomi phones could be recharged by the sun

    Keeping your phone battery topped up while on the go has been a perennial pain in the backside for users since the dawn of the smartphone. Those in sunny climes may someday have a solution thanks to a newly-unearthed patent for a solar-powered smartphone from Xiaomi.

    Judging by the patent images, Xiaomi’s hypothetical, environmentally-friendly phone wouldn’t be much thicker than your average smartphone.

    While Xiaomi’s design would be the most high profile case to date, isn’t the first time we’ve seen solar energy integrated into phones. Samsung’s Guru E1107 Crest Solar used a similar design (albeit for a much less power-hungry phone) and LG toyed with the technology with a solar case for the GD510 back in 2010.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The 2019 iPhone 11 will be annoying, boring, and expensive

    One of the things about Apple that never ceases to amaze me is how the company can make the boring and mundane seem new and exciting.

    The excitement is building ahead of the official unveiling of the iPhone 11, expected to happen September.

    Not convinced? Pull up a chair while I explain.


    When was the last time you heard someone complain about the speed of their new iPhone? Or the camera quality? Or about the display? No. People don’t care, and yet these are the areas that Apple seems to focus on

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Is Locking iPhone Batteries to Discourage Repair

    By activating a dormant software lock on their newest iPhones, Apple is effectively announcing a drastic new policy: only Apple batteries can go in iPhones, and only they can install them.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    U.S. to Ban Social Media Apps that Employ ‘Psychological Tricks’

    The bill to ban psychological tricks around the US social media channel is already tabled in front of Congress.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Canalys: Samsung shipments in Europe grew 20% YoY in Q2 to give it a market share of 40.6%, while Xiaomi’s grew 48%, Huawei’s fell 16%, and Apple’s fell 17%

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Neil Cybart / Above Avalon:
    Apple’s wearables, now at a $16B annual run rate and growing at 55%-60%, will cross iPad and Mac by the end of 2020 to become its third largest product category

    Apple Deserves More Credit for Wearables

    The wearables era at Apple began years ago. However, Wall Street and Silicon Valley are only now slowly starting to pay attention to what Apple has been building. Apple is the undisputed leader in wearables, and they are pulling away from the competition. Given how Apple’s wearables strength continues to be underestimated, the company deserves more credit for what it has achieved and where it is headed.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Xiaomi tops Indian smartphone market for eighth straight quarter

    Xiaomi has now been India’s top smartphone seller for eight straight quarters. The company has become a constant headache for Samsung in the world’s second largest smartphone market as sales have slowed pretty much everywhere else in the world.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple, Samsung continue growth as North American wearables market hits $2B

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Buttplug Hacker Talks Security, Consent, and Why He Hacked a Buttplug

    Voting machines weren’t the only thing getting penetrated at DEF CON this year.

    the implications for the sex toy industry are obviously quite serious, especially if exploiting a device enables an attacker to compromise the computer they’re linked to or spread malware

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kaspersky promises security and data protection. However, a data leak allowed third parties to spy on users while they were surfing the web. For years.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to fix the Android bug that’s draining your battery

    Your Android battery life just suddenly got worse? A Google Play Services bug could be to blame. Here are some workarounds you can try while Google conjures up a fix

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Huawei pushes back launch of 5G foldable, the Mate X

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It’s hard to not come to the conclusion that Apple is being blown away in terms of performance, power, and usability by Android devices that cost far less than the iPhone.

    Testing Android smartphones has made my iPhone feel old and slow


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