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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : December 11, 2015

Is the end nigh for smartphones?

Just as consumers are getting used to having their smartphone on them at all times, a report by Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson suggests the mobile device could be obsolete in five years time.

by Helen Leggatt

A recent report from ZenithOptimedia found that, across major digital markets, smartphone penetration is nearing 66.5%.

However, the ConsumerLab 10 Hot Consumer Trends 2016 report from Ericsson shows that 1 in 2 consumers believe that, within the next five years, smartphones "will be a thing of the past" as artificial intelligence (AI) negates the need for a screen.

"Smartphone users believe AI will take over many common activities, such as searching the net, getting travel guidance and as personal assistants," says the report. "These are areas already being addressed by current generation AI interfaces in smartphones."

Further driving the shift from small screens to AI and other futuristic technology is consumer desire more advanced uses for AI. Forty-four percent of the 100,000 consumers surveyed by Ericsson said they believe an AI system would be good as a teacher, and one-third said they'd like an AI interface to keep them company. In addition, 43%said they'd like to turn to AI for medical advice, and another 41% would trust the technology for financial information.

"Some of these trends may seem futuristic. But consumer interest in new interaction paradigms such as AI and virtual reality (VR) means we could soon see new consumer product categories appearing - and whole industries transforming - to accommodate this development," said Michael Björn, Head of Research, Ericsson ConsumerLab.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: mobile, screen size, smartphone, trends

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