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What is unfolding in this sector will send users in a tizzy, way beyond the normal specifications, speed and price comparisons. Value for money will have a different connotations in the smartphone scenario in the coming year. Incremental improvements like hardware, camera, chipsets will not be the only differentiators under the “technology – under – the – hood” as well. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence would bring monumental changes. Foldable phones are already becoming a reality.

FlexiPai is the first foldable smartphone, was launched by a rather unknown company Royole Corporation from California. When opened as a 7.8 inch display, which is bigger than large screen phones as Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Apple iPhone XS Max. It is available in China. The phone offers a maximum of three screens, the hinge also doubles as a screen. Second is Samsung, the foldable phone which was in development stage for years was launched. Infinity Flex Display is used in this device and offers a 7.3 inch display when folded up. Commerical launch is to happen shortly and is likely to scale it to 1 million.

Given the transformational capability of block chain technology and likelihood of every sector being impacted upon, some smart phone makers havr got into the act of making powerful enough phones to handle this technology. “Switzerland based Sirin lab launched ‘Finney’, the world’s first block chain phone.” It has built in “cold – storage” crypto wallet, distributed ledger consensus and encrypted peer to peer resource sharing. HTC is in line with Exodus 1. It has a “secure enclave” for crypto currencies and also “Social Key Recovery Mechanism,” a great tracking feature. Huawei is expected to join the block chain smartphone bandwagon.

The magic of communication will play in the 5G enabled smartphones as such networks are set to roll out early 2019. A range of companies have confirmed their plans to launch 5G compatible smartphones. Samsung takes the lead, OnePlus and XIaomi as also on track. Chipset is the driver. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 will deliver the 5G promise. Samsung & Qualcomm will launch first generation 5G smartphones in the US in the first half of 2019. The world is set to change beyond recognition.


Sanjay Sahay

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