A December 2014 report published by Gartner mobile analysts predict that 75% of buyers will pay less than US$100 for a full-featured smartphone by the year 2020.
The authors of this report claim that this downward trend in device prices is what they see and hear in the marketplace while analysing mobile computing.
Their observation is that most smartphone buyers today only use a subset of the features their phones provide and overpay for the phone functionality they actually use. However, as more advanced features and smartphone applications become better known and accepted in the marketplace, the future $100 device will be a feature-packed product. They specifically predict that the Android smartphone niche will feature an extensive range of beautiful phones.
The common theme in future phones will be devices with 5-inch screens packed in very thin enclosures.
As business and consumer market demands for mobile devices are merging, with staff members wishing to use the same type of device for work and personal needs, the authors also predict a change in office infrastructure. The wired office infrastructure built on a backbone of Ethernet cabling is likely to be replaced by Wi-Fi. The authors of the smartphone trends predict that 40% businesses will use a Wi-Fi office infrastructure by 2018.
With advancing technology, Wi-Fi can connect desktop PCs, printers and other online devices in networks offering better speed and reliability compared to what is available today. In an office-wide Wi-Fi network, devices can be relocated without complications and changes to wiring. A Wi-Fi network can also provide VoIP-based voice communication in which users may well prefer to use their smartphones rather than a desk phone.
By 2020, our feature-packed smartphones, at a cost of less than US$100, will be connected to a global network accessed via Wi-Fi. The smartphones will be fitted with mobile applications that enable users to access enterprise systems on an “anywhere, anytime” basis, as many systems will be stored on cloud servers.