Over the last couple of years with Apple building on the success of their iPod in the mps3 market to take over the mobile phone market as well, everything has been all about the apps. Other mobile phone manufacturers, working with Google and their android operating system and other companies, have been desperately trying to bring out their own version of the iPhone and convince consumers that they have a smart phone handset with the apps to rival Apple.
And although the iPhone is still the market leader they have had some success, and there are now a wide range of smart phones with the functionality and the applications. And the thing is that all of the features that people look for on a mobile phone, from apps to cameras to music and video players and more are all starting to reach a level where they are, if not as good as they could possibly get, then so good that further improvement will be meaningless to most users when making comparisons between different products – they just won’t notice the improvement unless the study the specs. So what will the next big trend be?
Well they do say that things go in cycles, and there are some indications that we may be about to recycle the big trend in mobile phones from the 1990s – small handsets. When people were making comparisons between handsets in the 90’s it was all about size, and although that hasn’t figured much recently it may be increasingly important. Nokia’s Xperia X10 is a good example of this, with all of the functionality of an iPhone style smart phone handset in a really tiny package that is about the length and width of a credit card.
Of course that is just for the hardware. Apps are going to stay a big part of the picture and many of the biggest new innovations over the next few years are likely to be in the software of operating systems and apps. But software is very fluid, and what you can get on one handset this month, you will be able to get on 10 others next months. So from the perspective of individual handset comparisons I think that size is likely to be one of the big things,