A Nielsen survey released last week discovered a true fact: smartphone adoption is growing at a rate faster than ever.
“While overall smartphone penetration stood at 48 percent in January, those in the 24-34 age group showed the greatest proportion of smartphone ownership, with 66 percent saying they had a smartphone. In the same age group, 8 of 10 of those that had gotten a new device in the last three months chose a smartphone. Among those who chose a device in the last three months, more than half of those under 65 had chosen a smartphone.”
So now what? As these numbers continue to rise, especially as children, tweens, and teenagers adopt smartphones, how will these products stand out from one another? As of now, there is the holy grail, the iPhone, which will likely continue to have its day ruling the market. The question now is this: what does it take to dethrone the iPhone?
Based at this infographic, there are a ton of notable players in the market today:
Back to the facts- 95% of people under 30 will own a smartphone within the next 5 years. Smartphones will no longer be for an elite class, they will eventually be a commodity that is purchased every two years (or less). The question is- what will it take to become the new market leader. As most mobile applications are built to be cross-platform, the actual make of the phone and OS will become less relevant. What will it take to stand out? Does it take a Justin Bieber endoresement?
We sure hope not. We believe that in order to stand out, superior design must be involved. Design must not be addition of superfluous features, but rather incorporating new technologies and the fusion of existing applications into handsets. We see future differentiators to offer bundled product solutions for specific demographics. We anticipate smartphone design to incorporate peripheral products that tailor to the specialized demands of the demographic they are targeting. No longer are smartphones a one size fits all solution.
In order to differentiate smartphones in the future, the needs of these unique demographics must be met, and thereby, designed around. This includes unique design considerations, like the drop tested GShock Phone. This also includes bundling specific accessories with the product. HTC purchased Beats By Dre headphones so they could do just that- bundle Beats headphones with handsets they sell. We see this as a growing trend. As these accessories become even smarter, applications will be built into these handsets to interact with the peripherals, and we will see bundled hardware/software applications to make these mobile products stand out. Perhaps we will see a Bluetooth speaker bundled with an application on a handset in the near future…