It’s the end of the decade, and you’ve been looking at smartphones of the past decade and plenty of rethinking around technology in general – but what about the future, and technological advancement? How will smartphones change over the next 10 years? We’ve seen some of the trends of the 2010s, and especially of 2019, and we’ll see where these trends are headed by 2030. We’ve seen everything from foldable phones to USB ports and 6G. It is worth pointing out that these ulation hazards are completely and completely off, so by the time 2030 arrives, the smartphone industry will be completely different to the way we refer here.
Foldable phones in the future
Launched phones with multiple devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Motorola Razor 2019 really hit the public eye in 2019 (though not available for purchase in the second year), and they are going to be more and more popular. So, by 2029, can we all have foldable phones? Well, it depends on how the phone companies navigate over the next few years. For now, foldable phones are often considered interesting gimmicks, but most people (other than tech fans) don’t consider buying them as their next phone. This is because they are so expensive, and because the software has not been developed, it really does make the form factor more. So if the next few years bring affordable phone durable phones, more importantly, some functions are crucial, people will jump on board. Ten years is long, and folding phones can quickly become affordable and useful, but it depends on how willing people are to eliminate the tried and tested form factor of ‘normal’ phones.
Will 5G and 6G be popular?
5G is already out and is in many countries, though it remains to be seen how much time people will have to travel with tech by the end of 2019. Its extra speed does not mean much to people in high-speed areas, where 4G is already faster than most people need, and applications that use a high-speed connection have not been launched. In the years to come, companies will follow the pattern of every 5-generation connectivity, launching 5G phones and lower 4G phones to the point where it is ‘normal’ to buy a 5G phone, just like you bought a 4G phone. This is low because people need a high-speed phone, and most devices on the shelves are 5G, with fewer (or not) 4G options By the end of the decade, we may even see a mention of 6G (which Donald Trump is already demanding), but we need to see how much people take to 5G, and if we still need fast connections, before we know for sure.
The future of front-facing cameras
What’s the biggest difference between different smartphones these days – does your phone have a big notch like the iPhone, a punch-hole cutout, pop-all companies like the TearDrop Notch and a lot of Samsung phones, or something else entirely? Well, future phones don’t have any of the above – front-facing cameras may actually be on display. Oppo has already shown this tech and other companies are working on it too. This method removes the front snapper from view, so it does not take up the screen space, but also the interior space (such as pop-ups). So what about the camera? By the end of 2019, we have seen some smartphones using two front-phasers, one for snapping pictures and a secondary snapper for depth sensing, for more precise background opacity. We hope that this trend will be further established in the coming years, and especially in 2030 – selfies are one of the main types of images you can take on your phone. Phones can introduce an ultra-wide front facing camera for group selfies, with depth sensor or software to create background blur for the whole group.
Many phones are already leaving the 3.5mm headphone jack, and by 2030, those things will become old history – which is surprising if many phones are to be ported in 2020 as well. As more and more consumers move towards wireless headphones, the number of phone users who physically plug their headphones into their smartphones will decrease, and in ten years, after years of advances in Bluetooth technology, we will be surprised if many use wired headphones. Even more uncertain is the USB port to plug your phone into a computer or charger. We have already seen some prototype phones without this port, because handsets rely on Wi-Fi, mobile data, or NFC options to enable wireless charging and send information and files to the computer. Wireless chargers are becoming more popular and more importantly the faster you power your device, the less reliance people have on physical wires, making the port more unnecessary. Thus, it echoes the use of wireless headphones, and portable smartphones may become the new norm by 2030.
More rear cameras?
You may think that the future will bring you phones with plenty of smartphone cameras, many more than now, and it may not end: there are only so many different types of lens, so we will soon take a step closer to adding more lenses. No, in fact, the real change may be the megapixel count – the highest resolution on the smartphone at the end of 2019 is 108 MP on the Shiomi Mi Note 10, but by 2020 it looks like many phones will fit it. In ten years, though, that number could be through the roof. Well, at least five times closer to the ceiling. Scientists estimate that the human eye will see approximately 576MP, but it will accurately image an image right in front of your face, so if you are looking at a hand-held phone and have no blurry vision, that number will be higher than you ever need. So people don’t need cameras that have very high megapixel counts, and it would be a surprise if phone companies decide to even reach 576MP. Progress in megapixel computing will see more than the number of rear cameras in 2030.