Innovation in the world of mobile technology doesn’t stand still, with advances like artificial intelligence (AI) enabled virtual assistants, augmented reality, digital wallets and cloud-based apps transforming how we live and work over the past few years. Here are some the key trends that are poised to shape smartphones throughout 2024:
5G Is The New Standard for Connectivity
2024 is set to be a breakthrough year for 5G, with services becoming more widely available and the prices for 5G-ready smartphones becoming constantly more affordable.
The GSM Association forecasts that 5G mobile adoption in South Africa will grow from 4% of total mobile connections in mid-2023 to 18% (22.1 million mobile connections) by 2025.
This will bring benefits of true broadband speeds to more people in South Africa, helping to close the digital divide. People will be able to experience significantly faster response times when interacting with high-quality videos, large files and graphics-heavy apps.
5G also sets the foundation to enable smart cities, 8K video, virtual reality (VR) and other futuristic applications.
Arrival of Wi-Fi 7
Wi-Fi 7 (11be), the next generation of the Wi-Fi standard, has been finalised, clearing the way for smartphone manufacturers to start releasing Wi-Fi 7 certified products. Wi-Fi 7 promises much faster wireless networking speeds compared to previous versions.
It also allows networks to handle more connected devices simultaneously without slowing down. While it is still early days for the standard, like 5G, it is expected to be a critical enabler for the next generation of applications like VR and cloud gaming.
On-Device Generative AI
Semiconductor companies like MediaTek and Qualcomm are integrating generative AI and large language model (LLM) capabilities directly into their chipsets for smartphones. Today, most generative AI processing takes place online.
But the next generation of smartphones will allow generative AI applications to run directly on the device. An example would be Samsung Galaxy’s long awaited S24 and S24+ Series that is integrated with AI that was launched yesterday.
Both devices offer a wide range of generative AI features, including live translation for calls and in-person conversations, instant slow-mo, and the company’s new Pro Visual Engine.
It also includes a live translation feature for calls and in-person conversations is done on-device, with no storage in any cloud format. This means that users will not have any privacy concerns.
This will offer a range of advantages, including seamless performance, greater privacy, better security and reliability, lower latency, the ability to work in areas with little to no connectivity, and lower operation cost.
This builds on the AI features already embedded in many of today’s smartphones for applications such as enhancing camera performance or gaming visuals.
Satellite-to-device Connectivity on Smartphones
Satellite-to-device connectivity is one of the most exciting emerging trends in the mobile world. It enables you to receive a satellite connection directly on your smartphone without needing special equipment.
This could allow you to stay in touch from your smartphone even where there is no cell coverage.
The early solutions enable you to send an emergency SOS by text, but one day it might become possible to use satellite-to-device connectivity to browse the internet or make calls.
It will be a while before this technology becomes mainstream and affordable for the average smartphone user, but we are sure to see a lot of innovation in this space in the next couple of years.
Continued Innovations in Displays
Smartphone displays have become sharper, brighter and better over the years. Innovations like foldable devices are also becoming more popular.
New technology like NXTPAPER 3, an innovation from TCL, is tech that looks similar to e-ink. It is easy on the eyes, but fully colourised and suitable for watching videos and playing games.
One technology that could turn heads this year is NXTPAPER 3, an innovation from TCL that looks a lot like e-ink. It’s easy on the eyes, but is fully colourised and suitable for watching video and playing games.
The tech, filters out harmful blue light by up to 61% while retaining sharp images, vibrant colours, deep contrast and natural motion.
In 2024, TCL will launch a variety of tablets and smartphones equipped with NXTPAPER 3.0 technology in the global market later this year.
The latest advances in display technology range from OLED,QLED, MicroLED, and foldable displays. These technologies offer significant improvements in image quality, such as vibrant colors, deep blacks, and maximum brightness.
As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see more innovations in the field of displays. MicroLED displays and AR/VR displays, will take viewing experiences to new heights. These advancements promise exciting and exceptional image quality.