The future of the smartphone

What is the future of the smartphone?

The smartphone is a once-in-a-generation innovation whose full potential has yet to be realised. The smartphone is set to become ever more central in the everyday life of the consumer. As technology develops and consumer behaviour shifts, the smartphone will become the preferred device for countless consumer activities.

Digital Predictions 2018

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What are the key trends that Deloitte predicts for the smartphone?

  • By the end of 2023, penetration of smartphones among adults in developed countries will surpass 90 per cent.
  • Smartphone sales will reach 1.85 billion per year in 2023, a 19 per cent increase over 2018 and equivalent to over five million units sold per day.
  • Ownership among 55-to-75-year-olds to reach 85 per cent in developed countries in 2023, a ten percentage point increase over 2018.

What does it mean for consumer businesses?

Consumer demand for a mobile friendly experience will continue to grow as the smartphone becomes more pervasive in our lives. In the next five years we will see more innovative technology being built into our smartphones such as facial recognition, artificial intelligence and enhanced connectivity, software and memory. This will only add to the smartphone’s strategic importance to the consumer business industry as it becomes the primary way to communicate, interact and transact with consumers.

This does not just mean mobile-friendly websites for consumer businesses, it means integrating the mobile experience into every element of the customer journey. For example, allowing consumers to book, pay for and access tickets on their mobile has become commonplace across the travel and hospitality sector. In the future, we will see more and more elements of a consumer’s life optimised for smartphones.

Mobile commerce is growing quickly, taking a significant share of overall retail sales and we will soon see mobile overtake the laptop as the preferred device for browsing and shopping online. However, in order for this to happen, consumer businesses will have to optimise their e-commerce platforms for mobile browsers and apps, making it possible for consumers to shop on mobile devices without suffering an inferior shopping experience.

In the next ten years, we will see a growing industry around end-to-end services that consolidate and manage different, but connected elements of a consumer experience. In the travel industry for example, a type of concierge service that consolidates all of your applications could, in the case of a cancelled or delayed flight, reschedule your flight, rebook a taxi from the airport, change your dinner reservations, cancel your theatre tickets and apply for compensation from the airline all from a single app.


What should consumer businesses be doing?

  1. Integrate the mobile experience into every element of your customer journey, to ensure a user friendly experience.
  2. Optimise e-commerce platforms for mobile browsers and applications, to provide a superior shopping experience.
  3. Take advantage of new innovations and improved functionality that smartphones will provide.
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