Just a few years ago, people thought they’d be using their smartphones as leisure devices, checking email and news while they waited in line at the post office. Who would have guessed that our phones would become an indispensable tool for staying in touch with friends, ordering food, or even taking care of business?
At this point, we can’t imagine living without our phones—and you don’t want to imagine what will happen when these devices can no longer be updated. As much as you love your smartphone, technology is constantly changing, and the next big thing is just around the corner. The real question isn’t “if”—it’s “when.
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The smartphone and mobile technology market is growing significantly globally. The ranks of smartphone users are constantly expanding, while smartphone sales rose in 2022, reaching a new high of 1.43 billion units sold, with Apple leading the way. And that’s expected to supersede last year’s number as early as this year.
Companies investing more money in research and development must remain on top of new technologies, or risk being left behind by competitors who do. Mobile technology is progressing at such a rapid pace that even companies who have been at the forefront of this revolution are being forced to re-evaluate their technology—and the kinds of tools they’re providing their employees.
It is getting harder and harder for companies to keep pace with mobile technologies. In fact, one study named the mobile workforce as the number one challenge for corporate IT departments when it comes to managing information. And that was back in 2014 before smartphones were reaching into essentially every area of our lives.
Industries, including healthcare, manufacturing and retail, all rely on their workforces having access to certain kinds of information quickly and easily. In many cases, this means having devices that can keep pace with industry trends and demands.
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For example, healthcare professionals need access to data involving patient histories and often have to have information available in a split second. If the technology on their phone isn’t up to date or doesn’t have the capacity for fast downloads, those professionals may be putting their patients in harm’s way. In other industries, like manufacturing and retail, their success could depend on providing employees with access to quality data they can use while they are out of the office.
However, the need to upgrade is not only the responsibility of companies; it is also incumbent upon us, as consumers of those technologies. We must demand faster devices with more consumer-focused features.
For example, active wearables with 4G connectivity collect data on our health and activities and share that data with other apps and platforms (like smart scales or blood pressure monitors) to give a better, more complete picture of our overall health and well-being. But, in today’s world, this is the norm. Technology has to stretch further, and in doing so, it won’t be long till we see better health technology that lets us dive deeper into our health, collecting glucose levels and more detailed information that only sophisticated technology would be able to give us today. What if we were able to do x-rays from our smartphones?
But these new devices won’t have a chance to be successful if we don’t buy them. One of the most important things companies need to know is that consumers want technology to be as good for us as it is for them.
Smartphone Tech giants need to make sure they aren’t ignoring the burgeoning mobile technology market. But also let them know that new devices are only useful if they are going to provide something other than just a faster processor and more storage space.
They have to continue to invest in research and development—and look ahead at emerging technologies—to ensure that their business remains competitive no matter what kind of mobile tools or trends become popular next.
It’s quite an intimidating thought. The future of technology is hard to predict. Smartphones are changing so rapidly, what will they look like in ten years? Will they even exist?
One thing that is certain, the smartphone as we know it today will cease to exist in 10 years’ time. The good news is that technology is improving every day, making new phones better and more exciting.