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Published on January 10th, 2019 | by Admin

2019 Smartphone Predictions by Motorola’s Danny Adamopoulos

This year, Danny Adamopoulos, at Motorola, will celebrate his 20th year with the company. Currently, Danny is responsible for all aspects of new portfolio and product readiness activities for launching in APAC/India.

He is a board member of AMTA in Australia, Managing Director of Motorola Mobility Australia, President of Motorola Mobility Japan, as well as holding Board of Director and GM positions for various other Motorola Mobility entities across Asia. He joined Motorola from Telstra; he holds a diploma in IT and extensive industry credentials in Mobile Radio network interface & deployments.

An industry stalwart and Android aficionado, there is nobody as well placed as Danny to shares predictions and consumer insights for the Australian mobile and smartphone market for the year ahead.

The rise of the mid-range phone will answer the need for affordability

High-end smart phones are becoming increasingly expensive and not everybody can afford to replace a phone every year or two. And nor should they.

Consumers are looking for increasingly good value that meets their requirements.  Not everyone needs the latest feature, but everyone is looking for good battery life, a good camera and great memory.

Thankfully, there are now a lot of mid-tier products offering good value for money and meeting those consumer pain points, and this part of the market will only grow in importance.

The savvy consumer will emerge

Until now, many consumers haven’t understood what they really need in a device. It’s easy to be swayed by branding and marketing, rather than seeing through the spin to find a device that actually fits their needs and allows them to do what they want to do.

Tech savvy consumers will always go out and get the latest and greatest, but everyday users are starting to question why they need to. It’s becoming less about the brand as consumers are looking for a great value phone.

Consumers are getting more and more educated about the mid-tier and the value segment. There are some really great products at a very affordable price. People know now you don’t need to spend $1,000 dollars or more to get a high-class phone.

The growth of Android will continue as a result of product improvement, market share resulting from handset sales and increased education.

In the early days of Android, there was a lot of fragmentation. Google did a lot of work with handset vendors to ensure certain screen sizes, memory configuration and other things required to make Android work properly.

Now, Android is by far the most flexible operating system available on the market and allows handset vendors to showcase their technology but also allows consumers to optimize the phone the way they want to, like with widgets or folders. App developers also have a lot more flexibility. There are other operating systems that say: ‘you can do anything you want, as long as it fits into this square’. It’s like saying you can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black! Android breaks that mold and allows you so much versatility in what you can do.

Android One is becoming increasingly popular, which shows the long-term plan for supporting these products. Google has answered the call for improved security by releasing Android updates every 30 days and ensuring handset vendors pass these on at least every 90 days. It’s making sure you’re getting the latest software versions and security onto your device.

A report by Telstyle released in February, disclosed that Apple has just less than a 45% market share, with Android clearly leading the pack, with 55% market share. While different operating systems are tied to particular vendors, most handset vendors are using Open Source Android. As these other vendors continue to drive market share and grow, Android will also continue to grow in this market.

Unimagined opportunities will be presented by the introduction of 5G

5G is a new and evolving technology. We’re right at the bleeding edge and there are a lot of carriers pushing the 5G story. Now it’s a matter of the handset vendors catching up.

Thinking back to 4G and 3G handsets, every time a new device came out, the phones were bigger and bulkier because they needed bigger batteries or antennas, and then the technology matured and the devices got smaller and smaller and smaller.

5G will allow for zero latency; the ultimate data experience for devices. At the moment, we have high-speed data when you’re connected at home, but when you’re travelling you can’t always take that same experience with you. With 5G, you’re bringing your broadband internet with you, anywhere you go, and can do the same thing whether you’re at home, in a car, on the train, or in a park.

Foldable phones solving problems

Foldable devices are the solution to a consumer problem. Everyone needs big displays for media consumption but as the phones keep getting bigger, you run into structural integrity problems. How do you make a bigger phone strong enough to live in your pocket without breaking?

Foldable displays allow flexibility by packaging a large display into a smaller handset footprint that fits better into your pocket. As technologies continue to evolve, there definitely will be a place for foldable devices in the coming years.

The industry cycle will continue to bring new challengers to the market

As I look back over my own 25+ years in the mobile industry, I see the leading handset vendor having a good 5-8 years in the sun before it cycles to another one.

Motorola was very prominent when challenged by Ericson, which was surpassed by Nokia, and then Apple took the focus. It’ll be interesting to see what’s going to happen in the next few years as the cracks start to form and other manufacturers start to punch through.

OEM’s in #2 and #3 spot are both keen to get to the number one position.

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