Here are a few things that will shape the next few years:
1)Smartphone Hardware Runs its Course
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to innovate in the smartphone space. After a decade of new and shiny gadgets arriving every few months, we are undoubtedly nearing the end of major advances in smartphone hardware—something with which PCs and (more recently) tablets have struggled.This a key reason why we are seeing revenue in the software/apps industry and consumer services pick up steam.
2)AI Is in its Infancy
Nothing we have in the market today is really “artificial intelligence.” We see some clever algorithms attempting to predict or understand us, but they pale in comparison to AI’s potential. The real work being done today is more machine learning than AI. Text is, by nature, already labeled but it’s tough to teach computers to see this. As the industry gets to a point where machines can be trained without human intervention, we will be one step closer to better training and better AI.
3)5G: Important But Years Away
One other key development that will drive new innovation is 5G, which will provide desperately needed network capacity to support much of what I outlined above.We are about six years into the shift to LTE. Qualcomm likes to remind us that network technologies generally live for about 18-20 years and, at about the midway point, we tend to see the next evolution trickle out to the market. If this pattern holds, we should start to see 5G in 2020.
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