Mobile Phone Industry 2017 Review
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Mobile Phone Industry 2017 Review

  shahid nazir

Market Stats, Best-Selling Devices, Trends & Missed Opportunities

Market Smartphone Statistics, Samsung & Apple Leading the Industry

Gone are the days of heady hardware, future of mobile industry is being redefined by the smartphones’ leading rivals. If to give the credit of smart gear, iPhone was introduced by Apple in 2007, touch screen UI and virtual keyboard is what revolutionized by that time. First Android smartphone was brought forward in 2008. Ever since, smartphone industry is growing not just in market size but in models and suppliers too. It has been projected that 2.53 billion of the population will be using smartphones by 2018, not surprising right?

Mobile Phone Industry 2017 Review

China will have quarter of all the smartphone users from all around the world by 2018. Currently, Huawei, Oppo, Apple and Vivo are the main vendors in the region. Around 133.6 billion US dollars market size China owned in 2016. Not to miss Chinese market is what all vendors want to capitalize on.

Nokia was leading the smartphone vendors by 2011 with a market share of 24%. Today, Samsung is the strong contenders of all with 5th largest shipments globally, despite the fact that the year 2016 didn’t bring much to the revenue due to mishandled Galaxy S8. Apple stands on number second if we look year-on-year achievement graph, although the company has achieved number one position in the last year. Huawei, LG, Lenovo and Xiaomi are some other dominant players in the market. Stats tell us that more than 80% smartphones sold have android operating system. iOS of Apple is the only competitor in the Android’s way, capturing 15% of the market share.

Top 5 Smartphones of 2017

1-Samsung Galaxy S8, S8 Plus

There is a long list of features that Samsung done it right in the new S8 and S8 Plus. Pair of good camera, improved battery life, waterproof, latest hardware and much more features are enhanced. Clean, bright and fluid-looking display screen of 5.8 inches and the phone has mirror like back of glass. It has better selfie camera, can capture 8 megapixel pictures with f/1.7 lens which also has autofocus capability.

Facial recognition authentication is there on Android phones and laptops but now it’s first implementation is here in the latest model. Goof point is, it works fast. Bixby, a virtual assistant is being introduced, made you stuff done through mobile phone.

Importantly, 8-step battery-check is implemented into the phone processing as it’s recovering from its Note 7 fiery saga.

2-Google Pixel and Pixel XL

Pixel and Pixel XL offers the same performance, specs and user experience except for one major difference i.e. screen size. Regular one has 5 inch full HD screen display whereas Pixel XL has 5.5 inch Quad HD display. It has a solid build, fast and smooth interface with Android 7.1 Nougat, 3.5mm headphone jack, cameras and battery life is superb but lacks microSD and waterproofing.

Many named this phone to be the killer of iphone 7. Google Assistant of the mobile phone is promising and it has one of the best cameras around. But, it’s more expensive than the Nexus phone and don’t have stereo speakers.

3-iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus by Apple

Every 2 years we used to get overhaul in iPhone mobile designs, this year they were more focused on the features like zoomed camera and digital bokeh effects. Immersive stereo speakers, bright and colorful display, splash and water resistant, home button completely changed, new unibody design. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in matte finish and high glossy jet black looks are in 4.7 and 5.5 inches screen displays and made up of 7000 series aluminum. Gold, silver and gold finishes are the signature colors available.

4-LG G6

Finally LG came with one of its best smartphone models and what not to cherish about. Thin bezel, 3300mAh battery, Quad-DAC, wireless charging, Dual SIM, 18:9 quad HD display, 2×13 megapixel rear cameras, Android 7.0, HDR10 and Dolby Vision, 32GB storage, microSD and Snapdragon 821 with 4GB RAM. The handset is expensive than other LG devices but in quality it delivers same like Pixel devices and Galaxy S7.

5-Huawei P10 and P10 Plus

When it comes to aesthetics, Huawei P10 and P10 Plus has brought quite a lot to the table in comparison to P9 smartphone lineup. Both of the cellphones have unibody design in metal and has a side curvature which is a little bit flatter making the cellphones easier to carry or hold. Display, 5.1 and 5.5 inches, 1920×1080 resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 64 bit octacore processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, microSD card, Dual Camera 2.0 and 2.0 Pro Edition, front camera with 8MP sensor, battery 300mAh and these smartphones runs on Android 7.0 Nougat.

Mobile Latest Trends in 2017 to Look Forward to…

App Annie made a prediction that by 2020, the revenue from mobile app store would exceed $100 billion. The annual report shared from Ericsson disclosed that 6.1 billion people will be using smartphones by 2020 all over the world. Lastly, Gartner made a projection of more than $77 billion of revenue generation from mobile apps and also says that by the end of 2017, “mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times.”

1-Enterprise Mobile Apps

To have competitive edge, better agility and productivity, enterprises are incorporating mobile apps and the trend has become part of digital strategy as it has been learnt. Digitization of data ended paperwork and made accessing data much easier. The year 2017 will witness new tools, technologies, better libraries and improved development styles.

Enterprise app has a primary objective to restructure and streamline business processes. Micro apps another linked phenomenon which suffices targeted operations and both such apps are heating up the market. Evernote is a good example of enterprise mobile apps where different teams can collaborate on assignments or projects through mobile. Facebook messenger is an example fit for micro apps which concentrates on one task only.

2-Augumented and Virtual Reality App Development

Following the exceptional success of Pokemon Go, AR and VR app development trend is gaining popularity. This Pokemon Go proved to be an example for cross screen reality interaction and there is a great chance to expand further with promising revenue.

It isn’t just about the games, as in 2017 it’s being expected that AR and VR apps will empower retail industry, education, manufacturing, healthcare, real estate, travel etc. Gartner had made a prediction that by 2020, 100 million consumers will be shopping in an augmented reality.

In 2016, a revolution in VR and AR apps in entertainment and gaming made it a reality. Examples of AR games are Pokemon Go, iOnRoad, myNav, Sky Siege etc. and VR devices examples include Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift etc.

3-Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Apps, Chat Bots

Forrester online study in 2016 found that more than 300% rise in cognitive computing investments would be seen in 2017 if compared to previous year 2016.

To chat with the potential customers is the best thing that could happen to any business. Conversational commerce apps learning user preferences is great, Facebook is keep upgrading its chat bots. Google Translate, in order to provide fluent translations, is seeking help from machine learning.

Carat App suggests actions by using machine learning algorithms for saving battery life. Siri, Prisma, Google Now are some amazing AI apps and more such apps could be expected in the year 2017.

4-Cloud Based Mobile Apps

Technology of cloud is for apps that need integration with wearable, artificial intelligence, IoT and more. Developing cloud apps is inevitable if there is a need of huge storage for perfect, smooth functioning. Furthermore, through cloud linking, apps can perform securely on multiple devices.

Powerful smartphone apps now can fetch data directly from cloud without eating away your internal memory and space. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive entails the cloud technology.

Cisco research shared, by 2019, 90% of mobile data traffic would be driven through cloud apps and the traffic of cloud would be 11 fold with an annual growth rate of 60%.

5-Android Instant Apps, No Need to Download Apps First

This trend is quite new and currently working over Android 7.0 Nougat version but will be available for all Android versions soon. Android instant apps let the user to experience any app without first downloading it.

The streaming service is familiar with Facebook instant articles. Here raise the question, would that be good for publisher?

Developers would get the edge for not developing new app from scratch, use same API, source code and project by instant apps makes it easy as then developers have to add the functionality. This would help the publishers to go extra mile and their products would expose to more of the audience.

6-Mobile App Security & Privacy

Gartner predicted that 75% of the mobile apps fail to pass basic security test. Another HP study says 70.6% apps have the capability to access external storage. Insecure storage, privacy violation, system information leak and insecure deployment are some concerns shown in the study.

HPE 2016 Cyber Risk Report emphasizes on insecure Storage & privacy violation out of top 5 concerns

HPE 2016 Cyber Risk Report emphasizes on insecure Storage & privacy violation out of top 5 concerns


Trend of exploiting security gaps to reach to confidential data inside mobile app is what tend to continue from hackers end. Recently, we have gone through Whatsapp and Gmail hacks news. Some Java frameworks are supposed to secure mobile apps by developers.

7-Location Based Marketing (like in-store beacons)

More and more brands are trying to use location based marketing tool to capture the attention of their customers. Mobile travels with the buyer and creates huge context based data, more or less of which is untapped. This could be augmented to daily experiences, not only how a buyer reacts but how it engages with the brands.

For mobile brand strategy beacons could be the transformative as it opens up possibilities. Brands are struggling with ecommerce part, though having heavy physical presence. Location tech one click order for out of stock items would engage users digitally. Also, brands can personalize the promotion data based on location tech information.

8-Google AMP Will Keep On Boarding Companies

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages loads mobile pages quickly and the idea is from Facebook Instant Articles. Google always strive to give user the best ever experience so AMPs not only improves speed of the mobile web pages but rank your site higher in the Google search results.

AMP Project was launched by Google last year and now Google has announced that for mobile web, there would a separate search index. This step would change the mobile app development trends more for SEO and Web app scenarios.

Missed Opportunities in Smartphone History …

Nokia Had Seen the Future but Failed to Build One

Nokia underestimated the transition to smartphones and this in retrospect is a classic case for the company being knocked down. Back in 2007, Nokia was earning more than 50% of the profit from the market and these weren’t coming from smartphones. Diverting high end resources into what we can say low volume business looked shady at that time but this institutional reluctance caused bigger damage.

Another mistake, Nokia was over confident with the brand strength and believed that if they would be late into the smartphone game, even then they could be able to catch up. iPhone release didn’t cause Nokia to think and it continued to insist of being having superior hardware designs that win hearts over.

Most critics are of the view that if Nokia hadn’t embraced Windows Phone in 2011 it could have succeeded, Windows Phone has been a flop by far and Nokia introduced so many disappointed handsets by 2010 that it proved them buggy and unintuitive to win loyal consumers.

nokia and motorola


A Wave of ‘Unlimited’ Data Plans and 4G Paths

Sprint had taken the wrong turn in the race by going for Wi-Max whereas Verizon had taken LTE. The 3G arms race was quite high in 2010 when Verizon made an announcement that it would have 4G network which will use LTE to be made available in 38 major cities. Sprint, on the other hand, chosen Wi-Max to go for 4G technology. In 2011, AT & T announced its LTE plan, then Sprint hadn’t left with a choice so it adopted LTE 4G technology.

Verizon opted for LTE but Sprint wimax (a wrong turn)

Verizon opted for LTE but Sprint wimax (a wrong turn)

Qualcomm Processor Taken the Mobile Phones

Qualcomm was established in 1985 and tried to persuade mobile phone makers to have the technology as it has the ability to better transmit your data. Soon, it started research and development and invented new chips which basically laid the foundation for smartphones.

Qualcomm revenue is almost twice of Texas Instruments

Qualcomm revenue is almost twice of Texas Instruments

Ericsson Climbed the 4G Ladder

In 2007, Ericsson was the official supplier of LTE wireless gear and it turned out to be lucrative. Seeing the trend, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei and Siemens followed. At that point of time, wireless industry was weighing the merits and demerits of up gradation path i.e. LTE vs. Wi-Max. Seeking benefit of the need, Ericsson captured the right market segment.

Adoptation to 4G

A Final Word

International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker says total 347.4 million smartphones have been shipped by the smartphone companies over the globe in 1st quarter of 2017. Although the corporation predicted 3.6% growth which turned out to be 4.3% in 1Q17 which is slightly higher.

What does that depict? Mobile phone industry would never slow down; it would keep inventing and revolutionizing our ways of life in every way possible, from IoT trends, saving data on cloud, Play Store instant app feature, etc. to literally anything.

Henceforth, smartphone industry keeps going through ups and down as there was a time when Samsung Note 7 was a big disappointment due to exploding batteries, in order to cope, they launched Samsung S8 and S8 Plus way early. However, Apple busted Samsung by gaining the number one global smartphone manufacturer but that too was with a thin razor margins. Gartner in its latest report said that Apple has 17.9% whereas Samsung has 17.8% of the market share. That is, in the fourth quarter of the 2016, Apple was able to sold 77 million iPhones whereas Samsung, with minor margin, sold 76.8 million smartphones.

Apart from that, we’re eagerly waiting for the top promised mobile phones and gadgets by Apple, Samsung and Google. Moreover, also seeing how far this year mobile trends will go and what’s new in the waiting.

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