In episode 5 of Tech Lightning Rounds, Beth Kindig goes directly to the source of expertise in hardware devices and hosts discussions with technologists who specialize in the field. Interviews are held in “lightning round” format, which are rapid interviews with tech experts for immediate depth on each topic.
The GSMA, or the Global System of Mobile Communications, is the hub of the mobile industry. With over 800 mobile operators and a further 300 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem as associate members, the GSMA is tasked with organizing the largest world’s largest mobile conference — MWC in Barcelona.
In the Future of Devices episode of Tech Lightning Rounds, we spoke with Andrew Parker of the GSMA about the potential for smartphone saturation as the market has contracted in 2017 to 1.462 billion units and in 2018 to 1.42 billion units, and is expected to return to minimal yet positive growth percentages at a CAGR of 2.5%.
IDC estimates Apple will sell 242 million smartphones by 2022 up from 221 million in 2018. The most up to date number available from IDC is an anticipated decline of 0.8% in worldwide smartphone sales in 2019, published on March 6th.
We also saw China decline 10% last year in global shipments of smartphones. Taiwanese company, TSMC, is the sole supplier of iPhone core processor chips and told Nikkei Asian Review that the company is cautious about demand for high-end smart phones.
Parker goes on to say that smartphones are only saturated if you think of mobile as a handset. By 2025, we will have eight billion internet connections for people, yet we will have twenty-five billion connections of machines. Innovation within mobile has only begun to tap this potential. Parker cites smart agriculture as an example, such as connected beehives that have a mobile module to measure temperature, humidity, and the location of the beehive.
Listen to more discussion on how mobile is broadening out and what it means for the future of devices.