A couple of weeks back, we discussed how 2015 has been an influential year for Smartphone market. Now as we draw close to 2016, let’s try and enumerate burgeoning trends which, we think, will firmly establish themselves in the coming year. Here are a few substantiated predictions.
3D-Touch On Android
3D Touch, a pressure sensitive touch technology used in current generation iPhones, which adds another layer of interaction with software, is expected to cover more ground in 2016. In fact, Huawei raced Apple and narrowly beat it to the finish line with a pressure sensitive display on Mate S, but that was a hasty attempt at most.
We will be seeing a lot more 3D touch on Android phones early next year. Synaptic’s ClearForce pressure-sensitive touch solution for Android smartphones are expected to ship in early 2016. Besides, WSJ recently reported that Samsung will also include a pressure sensitive touch on Galaxy S7. Even Xiaomi has filed a patent for 3D Touch like technology.
If software developers manage to work their miracle and deliver meaningful multi-layer interaction, we might see this going mainstream and maybe even on Google’s Nexus devices in coming years.
USB Type C, One cable for all
If you are even remotely connected to tech world, you already know the USB Type C boom has started and is about to explode. We have seen it on devices like OnePlus 2 ( First smartphone), Nokia N1 Tablet ( First tablet), Nexus 5X and 6P, Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 and Mi Pad 2 and even on Apple’s new Mac-book and Google’s Pixel Chromebook.
Owning a USB Type C smartphone today comes with the need to buy those easy-to-lose adapters for just-in-case situations, Many of which even limit functionality. For example, you can’t avail USB OTG from Nexus devices using all connector cables. As USB Type C reaches all sorts of devices, including smartphones, printers, peripherals, speakers, accessories, lap-tops, etc., all of your devices will be able to communicate using a single cable. A lot of that will happen next year.
Fingerprint Sensors Will Actually Work
Fingerprint sensors have been around for a while, but only now have they started making sense. The last generation fingerprint sensors were huge pain and markedly incompetent. Coolpad demonstrated with Note 3 that it was possible to offer an efficient Fingerprint sensor for an affordable under 10k price.
In 2016, we expect this feature to trickle down to numerous affordable devices. Google’s new Fingerprint Sensor API will make it easier for all OEMs to implement.
Good riddance Flash sales
2015 was the year of Flash sales. The rigmarole of registering and waiting in a queue with no assurance of purchase was already vexing.
There were so many of them that each day was reserved and it was arduous task just keeping track of them. Gradually, consumers and media lost interest. Since Flash sales weren’t making any headlines many manufacturers have resorted back to open sales model.
Xiaomi, the biggest proponent of flash sales has almost all its portfolio selling via open sales, even the latest Redmi Note Prime. Flash sales are here to stay, but in 2016, there will be fewer of those and only for relevant smartphones.
2015 was a bad year for Qualcomm, and even that sounds like an understatement. The company however aims to put things back on track with upcoming Snapdragon 820, which is expected to make the cut for all 2016 flagships.
For budget chipsets, we expect to see a lot of MediaTek’s Helio X10 next year. The chipset was used in Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 Prime this year, which failed to make it across borders to India, even while being massively popular. We are expecting Micromax and other domestic players bringing it to phones in vicinity of 10,000 INR in 2016.
Virtual reality and associated paraphernalia like VR headsets, will finally be pitched to consumers in 2016 in a big way. The way we interact with our gadgets is fast changing and and 2016 will be the foundation year.
Only time will tell for sure how things unfold in the year ahead, but these are the trends we will be watching out for. Do you think we missed something obvious? Share with us in the comment section below.