When it comes to tech, the smartphone industry sees the most volatility and changes as compared to other gadgets. India has been an attractive target for the smartphone manufacturers with the country being the second largest smartphone market and among the fastest growing smartphone markets globally.
As the year 2018 is winding down, and we’ve witnessed a number of significant events this year as far as mobile market is concerned. For the first time smartphone market reached at par with the feature phone market, each contributing 50 percent to the overall mobile phone market. Also, India will be the sole major smartphone market to grow in 2019 whereas China and the US market are expected to remain flat or further decline. (source: Counterpoint Research)
Also we saw 5G devices making discussion rounds on its prospects. You may still be struggling to get 4G or LTE speeds in your part of the world, but 5G is coming whether you're ready for it or not. While 5G network infrastructure is still in the very early stages of development, hence the growth is expected to be slow in single digit & smartphone market will not be impacted till 2022.
2018 has been a busy year for smartphone releases, even more so for smartphones that photography enthusiast should be interested in, with more megapixels, better low light performance as well as AI-powered camera made its way in the mid-range smartphones. Also this was the year of notch screen design which saw affiliation from almost each and every brand.
Going ahead, here are the 5 key smartphone trends which may get mainstream in 2019 in the segment 7-15K.
What’s next for the notch
To think about what’s next for notch design requires thinking about what a notch is actually for. Notch display beautifully captured the top of the screen to house the front camera, speakers and various sensors reciting a mantra of “more screen is always better”. It all boils down to personal preference but whether you love it or hate it, it’s here to stay.
2019 will see a makeover of ‘notch’ taking the entire experience a notch above. You can expect notches to become slightly less deep, screens to push even further into the edges of a phone’s front, and perhaps a small chunk of the screen to fit the selfie camera – but the notch isn't going away anytime soon. Though will become less obtrusive, thanks to a minimalistic design that allows phone makers to go almost bezel-less while still giving you your much-needed selfie camera.
Indeed, next year might be the last hurrah for the notch, as manufacturers are working towards complete full screen displays and how to embed fingerprint sensors under the front display, and it's only a matter of time before cameras can be hidden with the same trick – which means no more need for the notch.
More camera lenses
Not so long ago, the camera on a smartphone was a secondary feature that took OK photos but was nothing to shout about. Fast-forward to the end of 2018 saw dual camera becoming a basic necessity of consumers where each camera executes a different function – all in quest of the perfect photograph.
In 2019, multiple lenses with powerful camera sensors will gain more popularity allowing users to capture a lot more detail. But how many cameras are important and what do all these extra lenses give us? Well, they make up for an authentic depth-of-field effect to obtain better quality photos or just be able to capture scenes and people with different lenses, from telephoto to wide angle. Or even by adding features like optical zoom, digital zoom, wide-angle, background smoothing, anti-shake measures, 3D mapping and better HDR reproduction by combining the data from several lenses rather than just one. It will be an excellent camera trend for the consumers making the digital camera almost redundant by improving image quality on a mobile device.
AI-enabled camera with better algorithms
AI was the staple feature on mobile devices in 2018 making it more intuitive, the trend witnessed features such as Auto-Scene detection, beauty mode, and face unlock that made the photography experience more personalized and true.
Come 2019, AI-enabled cameras will take the driver's seat in India’s vibrant market - a market that is amplifying its focus towards improving smartphone camera technology. Cameras will leverage AI more accurately, by gathering all of the available image data, store it and interpret it, according to the user’s requirements, after the shutter is pressed. According to our study, Indian consumers prefer pictures that are brighter, smoother and incredibly reflective of the true Indian skin tone. AI-enabled cameras will soon become a “must-have” feature in the mid-range and under 10K segments.
Also Augmented Reality will no longer be a buzzword, and we envision these phones to deliver real-life shots through your phone's camera. AR Emoji’s will become increasingly popular because of its highly interactive and stimulating nature it allows smartphone users to create their animated avatars, thus completing the circle of holistic entertainment that one can procure from their smartphones.
Deeper Artificial Intelligence
The AI applications will become richer & better extending from camera to hardware, to every aspect of the phone with increased number of applications such as AI-based digital assistants, security system, battery management, & an in-built neural processor to name few. These applications are linked with user behavior pattern that maps his/her journey on the device, deep learns and results in giving a personalized experience to the consumer by minimizing the search time & increasing the efficiency of device.
Is your smartphone in style?
This year witnessed further advancements in smartphone design - the screen became taller with 18:9 or 19:9 aspect ratio - and the ‘notch’ successfully became an immensely attractive proposition in the mid-range segment. Adding to this gamut of interesting advancements, smartphones also began offering consumers with a vibrant range of color choices like gradient colour took off in last few months.
2019 again will make the consumers excited as far as smartphone design is concerned. There is a huge scope for improvements and new developments in this area.
Smartphones have always provided us with a reason to stay entertained and connected. With the aforementioned trends expected to see the light of 2019, it is safe to say that this New Year is affirmatively going to be an exciting time for the smartphone industry and users alike.
A guest article by Gaurav Tikoo, CMO, TRANSSION India....