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).

366 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft had one last surprise at its Surface event: a foldable Surface Duo phone that runs Android. It took almost 30 years since the Linux kernel was released, but Microsoft is officially releasing something with a Linux based operating system. https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/2/20895128/microsoft-surface-duo-phone-foldable-screen-features-specs-price-release-date

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung pulls the plug on Chinese smartphone production
    https://tcrn.ch/2nOeLvZ

    Samsung this morning confirmed with Reuters that it has shuttered handset production in China. The move comes as the company continues to struggle in the world’s No. 1 smartphone market.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Soon after Apple offered genuine parts to repair shops, the iPhone maker is discouraging at-home repair with yet another warning about non-genuine parts—this time, it’s screens.

    Starting with iOS 13.1 and iPhone 11 models (the 11, Pro, and Pro Max), your phone will report if it has a third-party screen: “Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple display.” It starts as a persistent message on your lock screen, lasting for four days. After that, the warning lodges itself in the Settings for 15 days, and then in Settings > General > About after that. It’s also added to your “device information,” so that Apple staff can see it.

    https://www.ifixit.com/News/apple-is-discouraging-screen-repair-with-an-iphone-11-genuine-warning

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  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Manchester opens UK’s first slow lane for people looking at phones while walking
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/manchester-opens-uks-first-slow-20127725?fbclid=IwAR21mgPenxBv2CFLFfcCS8rEJumytDQS6wNNvTyoSKODH1iH8Ws-kljaog0

    Many of us are so glued to our mobile devices that a whopping 75 per cent of Brits say they are guilty of walking and using their phone at the same time, according to the new research.

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to achieve 1-meter accuracy in Android
    https://www.gpsworld.com/how-to-achieve-1-meter-accuracy-in-android/

    Recent changes in hardware and standards make one-meter accuracy possible, in some cases as soon as this year. The transcript of a talk given to Android developers earlier this year, this article gives a short overview of location in smartphones, introduces Wi-Fi round-trip time technology and standards, and then explains the Wi-Fi application programming interfaces.

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  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This Hacker Is Trying To Add A USB-C Port To iPhone 11 Pro
    https://fossbytes.com/hacker-add-usb-c-port-phone-11-pro/

    there is a guy who can turn an iPhone 11 Pro into a Pro Max. So, getting USB-C on iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t seem impossible.

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  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile have finally agreed to replace SMS with a new RCS standard
    130
    There will be a new app
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/24/20931202/us-carriers-rcs-cross-carrier-messaging-initiative-ccmi-att-tmobile-sprint-verizon

    All four major US carriers — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint — have each issued the same joint press release announcing the formation of “a joint venture” called the “Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative” (CCMI). It’s designed to ensure that the carriers move forward together to replace SMS with a next-generation messaging standard — including a promise to launch a new texting app for Android phones that supports the standard by next year.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Can you get privacy by allowing a nasty phone charger to hack your phone through USB?

    FANGo is a phone charger concept that claims to provide a practical means of masking your online activities by using USB backdoor to access your phone.

    If it can do what it claims, what else nasties it can do without you noticing? Somehow I don’t like this idea that is like badUSB dressed like a phone charger.

    https://www.hackster.io/news/fango-is-a-phone-charger-that-protects-your-privacy-from-facebook-and-other-corporations-e79d9f26149d

    http://martinnadal.eu/fango/

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Satellite Phone You Already Own: From Orbit, UbiquitiLink Will Look Like A Cell Tower
    https://hackaday.com/2019/08/26/the-satellite-phone-you-already-own-from-orbit-ubiquitilink-will-look-like-a-cell-tower/

    But what if a regular phone could somehow leverage those satellites to make a call or send a text from a dead zone? As it turns out, it just might be possible to do exactly that, and a Virginia-based startup called UbiquitiLink is in the process of filling in all the gaps in cell phone coverage by orbiting a constellation of satellites that will act as cell towers of last resort. And the best part is that it’ll work with a regular cell phone — no brick needed.

    The idea behind UbiquitiLink’s plan to fill in the dead zones is simple, and it’s based on the fact that space really isn’t as far away as it seems;

    The satellites that will form the backbone of the UbiquitiLink network will be in a somewhat higher orbit — around 310 miles (500 km). Still, that’s not really all that far away (at least in terms of radio frequency propagation) over a path that is, for the most part, free from the attenuation caused by terrestrial obstructions.

    UbiquitiLink has done the math and calculated that off-the-shelf phones have just barely enough RF oomph to connect to a satellite over a line-of-sight path, making a network of orbiting cell towers at least plausible.

    Cellular networks are all based on multiple access methods

    Although these networks may be approaching end-of-life in a 4G and soon a 5G world, UbiquitiLink’s efforts to spoof the system started with TDMA.

    The problem with a time-division system is that the further a cell phone is from a cell site, the longer it takes for the RF waves to travel between the two. Even at approximately the speed of light, the delay can be enough for one timeslot to overlap into another. This requires a synchronization step that determines how far the phone is from the base, and if the phone is far enough away — about 35 km, or 22 miles — the signal will actually arrive too late for its assigned time slot. Even though the transmitter in the phone may have the power to cover more than 35 km, signals from that far away will be unceremoniously dropped.

    Fooling Your Phone

    This would seem to preclude the use of orbital cell sites, which will always be an order of magnitude further away than the furthest allowed connection. However, UbiquitiLink has patented a technique that amounts to false advertising on the part of the satellites.

    UbiquitiLink’s orbital cell sites simply send a constant value corresponding to a tower that’s only 20 km away. The phone thinks it has locked onto a weak tower, but that’s OK.

    UbiquitiLink’s modified cell tower software also has to adapt to the Doppler shift caused by the platform’s high speed. But aside from that, the orbital cell sites are pretty much the same hardware and software that would be installed on a terrestrial tower.

    Mobile Connectivity for the World
    https://lynk.world/

    Lynk has built the first cell tower in space. Soon, everyone in the world will be connected, everywhere, with just the phone in their pocket. No new hardware required. No new software needed. The Lynk network will enable everyone with a standard mobile phone to stay connected … everywhere.

    Today, only about 25 percent of the world’s landmass is served by cell towers.

    Lynk is creating a global constellation of satellites to connect the phones in our pockets anywhere on the planet, all of the time.

    Lynk’s technology will allow wireless carriers to connect existing cellphone customers to each other, anywhere on the planet. In the near future, you will have one device, and one plan, for connectivity everywhere.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Spending too many hours looking at smartphones and tablets ‘slows down toddlers’ language and reading development because it changes the structure of their BRAINS’
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7647469/Toddlers-spend-hours-day-using-screens-structurally-different-brains-peers.html

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  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Glass breaks. Apple has once again made the back glass on their new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro permanent. Lucky for us, there is now an easier way to replace the back glass on your iPhone. And that is with the new Laser Separator machine.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2455421964548822&id=514958908595147

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Is Trying to Kill Web Technology
    https://onezero.medium.com/apple-is-trying-to-kill-web-technology-a274237c174d

    The company has made it extremely difficult to use web-based technology on its platforms, and it hopes developers won’t bother

    Reply

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