Consumer survey: Smartphones are on the way out. What’s next?

Enterprise Mobility CSC Blogs

Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) currently own a smartphone, according to a Pew Research Center study released in April 2015. That’s nearly double the ownership rate of 35% just four years earlier. Globally, research firm eMarketer has predicted there will be more than 2.5 billion smartphone owners by 2018, up from 1.3 billion in 2013.

With that kind of adoption trend, you’d think smartphones would be around for many years, if not decades. Yet one in two smartphone users from 40 countries who were part of a new survey on consumer trends commissioned by Ericsson are convinced that smartphones will be obsolete within as little as five years.

It almost sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

But as indispensable as smartphones seem to the hardcore user, there are flaws in the form factor that we all tend to live with because we have no choice.

The survey report zeroes in on three of the biggest shortcomings of the smartphone experience:

  • “Constantly having a screen in the palm of your hand is not always a practical solution.”
  • “Battery capacity is a real issue for smartphone users.”
  • “The size of devices is literally getting out of hand.

All genuine problems, no doubt. So what did the survey participants predict would replace smartphones? Good old rotary-dial wired telephones, of course! Ha ha! Just kidding. Actually, it’s a technology that’s been talked about since before the smartphone: artificial intelligence.

“Smartphone users believe AI will take over many common activities, such as searching the net, getting travel guidance and as personal assistants,” the survey report said. In other words, AI “will enable interaction with objects without the need for a smartphone screen.”

These aren’t just predictions; these also are a clear indication of consumer preferences.

And since consumerization arguably is the driving force behind enterprise technology adoption in the digital age, IT professionals should pay attention.

Do you think smartphones will vanish in five years?

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