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).

428 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.androidpolice.com/2019/12/18/pornhub-does-what-google-wont-releases-android-version-stats-for-2019/

    PornHub’s numbers include all Android devices that visited the site, not just ones with Google Play Services installed. Still, it’s the best we have to go on.

    The total breakdown of OS versions had Android 9 Pie at the highest share, with 48%. Oreo followed with 23%, Nougat at 12%, Marshmallow at 8%, Lollipop at 5%, and older versions sharing the last 4%.

    PornHub’s data does seem to confirm Google’s statement from a few months ago that Pie rolled out much faster than previous releases (thanks to Project Treble). Nearly 50% of PornHub’s Android visitors were on Pie in 2019, while Oreo was only at around 22% market share this time last year.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    These are the actual locations
    for millions of Americans. At the New
    York Stock Exchange …
    ONE NATION, TRACKED
    AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE SMARTPHONE TRACKING INDUSTRY FROM TIMES OPINION

    Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/19/opinion/location-tracking-cell-phone.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&fbclid=IwAR2tEX0904LQD-heRTwPpOM_8gTybZedyOYWmEvA4QgjYdi2lctp89qKbaU

    EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files.

    The Times Privacy Project obtained one such file, by far the largest and most sensitive ever to be reviewed by journalists. It holds more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans as they moved through several major cities

    After spending months sifting through the data, tracking the movements of people across the country and speaking with dozens of data companies, technologists, lawyers and academics who study this field, we feel the same sense of alarm. In the cities that the data file covers, it tracks people from nearly every neighborhood and block

    THE DATA REVIEWED BY TIMES OPINION didn’t come from a telecom or giant tech company, nor did it come from a governmental surveillance operation. It originated from a location data company, one of dozens quietly collecting precise movements using software slipped onto mobile phone apps.

    It doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the powers such always-on surveillance can provide an authoritarian regime like China’s. Within America’s own representative democracy, citizens would surely rise up in outrage if the government attempted to mandate that every person above the age of 12 carry a tracking device that revealed their location 24 hours a day. Yet, in the decade since Apple’s App Store was created, Americans have, app by app, consented to just such a system run by private companies.

    “The seduction of these consumer products is so powerful that it blinds us to the possibility that there is another way to get the benefits of the technology without the invasion of privacy. But there is,”

    Companies say the data is shared only with vetted partners. As a society, we’re choosing simply to take their word for that

    THE COMPANIES THAT COLLECT all this information on your movements justify their business on the basis of three claims: People consent to be tracked, the data is anonymous and the data is secure.

    None of those claims hold up, based on the file we’ve obtained and our review of company practices.

    Yes, the location data contains billions of data points with no identifiable information like names or email addresses. But it’s child’s play to connect real names to the dots that appear on the maps.

    The data set is large enough that it surely points to scandal and crime but our purpose wasn’t to dig up dirt. We wanted to document the risk of underregulated surveillance.

    The full collection of companies can feel dizzying, as it’s constantly changing and seems impossible to pin down. Many use technical and nuanced language that may be confusing to average smartphone users.

    While many of them have been involved in the business of tracking us for years, the companies themselves are unfamiliar to most Americans. (Companies can work with data derived from GPS sensors, Bluetooth beacons and other sources. Not all companies in the location data business collect, buy, sell or work with granular location data.)

    EVERYTHING CAN BE HACKED
    DOES IT REALLY MATTER that your information isn’t actually anonymous? Location data companies argue that your data is safe — that it poses no real risk because it’s stored on guarded servers. This assurance has been undermined by the parade of publicly reported data breaches — to say nothing of breaches that don’t make headlines. In truth, sensitive information can be easily transferred or leaked, as evidenced by this very story.

    THE ‘HOLYGRAIL’ FORMARKETERS
    IF THIS INFORMATION IS SO SENSITIVE, why is it collected in the first place?

    For brands, following someone’s precise movements is key to understanding the “customer journey” — every step of the process from seeing an ad to buying a product. It’s the Holy Grail of advertising, one marketer said, the complete picture that connects all of our interests and online activity with our real-world actions.

    “THE DATA REVIEWED BY TIMES OPINION didn’t come from a telecom or giant tech company, nor did it come from a governmental surveillance operation. It originated from a location data company, one of dozens quietly collecting precise movements using software slipped onto mobile phone apps. You’ve probably never heard of most of the companies — and yet to anyone who has access to this data, your life is an open book. They can see the places you go every moment of the day, whom you meet with or spend the night with, where you pray, whether you visit a methadone clinic, a psychiatrist’s office or a massage parlor.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/19/opinion/location-tracking-cell-phone.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&fbclid=IwAR2tEX0904LQD-heRTwPpOM_8gTybZedyOYWmEvA4QgjYdi2lctp89qKbaU

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Josh Constine / TechCrunch:
    Report: Facebook has tasked a co-author of Windows NT with building an OS from scratch, in order to stop relying on Android for products like Oculus and Portal — Facebook doesn’t want its hardware like Oculus and Portal to be at the mercy of Google because they rely on its Android operating system.

    Facebook is building an operating system so it can ditch Android
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/19/facebook-operating-system/

    Facebook doesn’t want its hardware like Oculus or its augmented reality glasses to be at the mercy of Google because they rely on its Android operating system. That’s why Facebook has tasked Mark Lucovsky, a co-author of Microsoft’s Windows NT, with building the social network an operating system from scratch, according to The Information’s Alex Heath. To be clear, Facebook’s smartphone apps will remain available on Android.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Phantom buzzing’ is creeping out smartphone, smartwatch users
    https://nypost.com/2019/12/20/phantom-buzzing-is-creeping-out-smartphone-smartwatch-users/?utm_campaign=iosapp&utm_source=facebook_app

    But it’s more than a daily annoyance. Mental health experts, according to the Wall Street Journal, refer to the condition as “phantom phone syndrome,” a phenomenon in which people who use smartphones and smartwatches (i.e., everyone) always feel their devices buzzing with alerts. And it’s not just because phones are set to vibrate; it happens when they are not only silent but often are nowhere near one’s body.

    “This could really be categorized as a hallucination,” Michelle Drouin, a psychologist at Purdue University Fort Wayne, told the Journal. “You’re feeling something … that doesn’t really exist.”

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CyberPunks.com writer, David Rutland, saw the “Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy” article in the The New York Times and thinks the article below was never more relevant.

    Developing Apps Independently Can Be Hard, But What Happens When You Actually Start Making Money?
    https://www.cyberpunks.com/small-app-developer/

    Right now, there’s a good chance that the phone in your pocket is making money for someone else. It’s not through advertising, or even the paltry purchase price of whatever apps you value enough to actually pay the developer for. It is not (and this is crucial) through malware.

    Making money as a small app developer is hard. The big names crowd out the front page listings on Google’s Play store, and unless your app has users in the millions, making any kind of living wage through advertising is next to impossible. Add in the fact that mobile users are supremely reluctant to pay money for software they use on a daily basis, and you have a recipe for financial disaster.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Ethical Labyrinth of Being a Small App Developer
    https://www.cyberpunks.com/small-app-developer/

    Developing Apps Independently Can Be Hard, But What Happens When You Actually Start Making Money?
    Right now, there’s a good chance that the phone in your pocket is making money for someone else. It’s not through advertising, or even the paltry purchase price of whatever apps you value enough to actually pay the developer for. It is not (and this is crucial) through malware.

    Making money as a small app developer is hard. The big names crowd out the front page listings on Google’s Play store, and unless your app has users in the millions, making any kind of living wage through advertising is next to impossible.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tätä on luvassa vuoden 2020 älypuhelimissa – 5G:n lisäksi tulossa muitakin mielenkiintoisia parannuksia
    https://mobiili.fi/2020/01/03/tata-on-luvassa-vuoden-2020-alypuhelimissa-5gn-lisaksi-luvassa-muitakin-mielenkiintoisia-parannuksia/

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple Is Bullying a Security Company with a Dangerous DMCA Lawsuit
    https://www.ifixit.com/News/apple-is-bullying-a-security-company-with-a-dangerous-dmca-lawsuit

    Corellium’s software creates virtual iPhones in a web browser, so that app developers and security researchers can tinker without needing a physical device. It’s nerdy stuff that most people will never need, but it’s genuinely useful. So useful, in fact, that Apple tried to buy the company. When the founders refused, Apple decided to sue them into oblivion.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smartphone LASER Projector Teardown – How does it work?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET7jP2OsxzA

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Biometric sensor in the Xiaomi Redmi K30 5G smartphone
    First to develop fingerprint touch sensors on Android, Fingerprint Cards AB announces slim side-mounted fingerprint sensors for borderless and foldable smartphones
    https://www.eeweb.com/profile/afpele/articles/xiaomi-redmi-k30-first-to-use-fingerprintss-side-mounted-sensor?utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=link&utm_medium=EEWebEngInsp-20200109

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    App Annie: consumers downloaded 204B apps in 2019, up 6% YoY, and spent $120B on apps, subscriptions, and in-app features globally

    App stores saw record 204 billion app downloads in 2019, consumer spend of $120 billion
    https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/15/app-stores-saw-record-204-billion-app-downloads-in-2019-consumer-spend-of-120-billion/

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nathaniel Popper / New York Times:
    An analysis of 40 studies finds that the link between social media use and both depression and anxiety among adolescents is small and inconsistent
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/technology/kids-smartphones-depression.html

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple, Huawei Use TSMC, But Their 7nm SoCs Are Different
    https://www.eetimes.com/apple-huawei-use-tsmc-but-their-7nm-socs-are-different/

    Most SoCs in 2019 use 7nm process technologies. But at a closer look, everyone’s 7nm – used in smartphone SoCs or even PC CPUs – seems somewhat different.

    When talking about the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes, it seems that most of the SoCs in 2019 can be collectively classified as 7nm. But not all 7nm is equal. We summarize some of the more popular SoCs today.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
    US mobile app subscription revenue jumped 21% in 2019 to $4.6B across the top 100 subscription apps in the Google Play and App Store — Outside of in-app purchases in mobile games, subscription revenue from non-game apps helped to boost 2019′s mobile consumer spend — a figure …

    US mobile app subscription revenue jumped 21% in 2019 to $4.6B across the top 100 apps
    https://techcrunch.com/2020/01/23/u-s-mobile-app-subscription-revenue-jumped-21-in-2019-to-4-6b-across-the-top-100-apps/

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Motorola on the Razr’s Folding Screen: ‘Bumps and Lumps Are Normal’
    https://mobile.slashdot.org/story/20/01/27/1935206/motorola-on-the-razrs-folding-screen-bumps-and-lumps-are-normal?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot%2Fto+%28%28Title%29Slashdot+%28rdf%29%29

    Motorola on the Razr’s Folding Screen: ‘Bumps and Lumps Are Normal’

    In it, Motorola runs through the basics of what you need to know if you have a phone with a plastic folding screen. We thought we knew most of them already based on our experience with the Galaxy Fold, but Motorola’s video has one more thing to think about: “Screen is made to bend; bumps and lumps are normal.” With the Galaxy Fold, “bumps and lumps” ended up being the first harbingers of a catastrophic screen failure on our review unit. Apparently that’s not going to be the case with the Razr. There are lots of ways to build a hinge for a folding plastic screen, and Motorola apparently opted for a design that allows for a little more flex than the original Fold design did.

    Motorola on the Razr’s folding screen: ‘bumps and lumps are normal’
    Pre-sale begins today
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/26/21082520/motorola-razr-presale-screen-bump-lumps-water-protector-caution

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    https://www.talouselama.fi/uutiset/yksi-merkki-rokitti-muut-kuluttaja-lehti-tutki-milta-puhelimilta-voi-odottaa-eniten-kayttovuosia/9d31235e-7d77-4094-b52b-7f4c9dd0f3cd

    Viime vuonna julkaistun selvityksen mukaan jo yli puolet kännykän omistajista kaavailee käyttävänsä samaa puhelinta 3–5 vuotta.

    Puhelinten käyttöikää saattaa leikata pari ulkopuolista seikkaa. Ensinnäkin sen ohjelmistoon on saatava tietoturvapäivityksiä – jos niiden tulo lakkaa, käyttö alkaa olla turvatonta. Ja koska parhaaseenkin puhelimeen voi tulla vika, toinen kriittinen asia on varaosien saatavuus.

    Reply
  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4 weird ways I use Google Maps every day (that have nothing to do with driving)
    https://www.cnet.com/how-to/4-weird-ways-i-use-google-maps-every-day-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-driving/

    Google Maps knows more than just the fastest way to get you there. Check wait times and prices, browse menus and photos and do more, all from within the app.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Top 10 meditation apps pulled in $195M in 2019, up 52% from 2018
    https://tcrn.ch/319gKKh

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    China’s smartphone shipments are reportedly up for April, following COVID-19-fueled decline
    https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/12/chinas-smartphone-shipments-are-reportedly-up-for-april-following-covid-19-fueled-decline/

    Smartphone shipments are reportedly beginning to see signs of line China, after a sizable dip from the COVID-19 pandemic. New numbers from China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (a government connected agency) point to a 17% rise in shipments for April, pointing to some recovery for the market.

    Reply

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