Mobile phones have been an important part of our lives for many years. Invented in the 1970’s, they became an affordable and relatively common consumer product in the late 1990’s. Since then, they have taken over the world, and most people have a mobile phone and use it to make calls, to go online, to take photos, play games, and more.
So what’s next for this item that has revolutionised our lives? Let’s take a look at the top mobile phone trends we’re seeing in 2020.
Mobile Phone Usage on the Rise
One of the most notable things about mobile phones in 2020 is that people are spending more time on their phone than ever before. When 2020 started, mobile phones were already an intrinsic part of peoples’ lives. When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe in early March 2020, this only increased the amount of time people were spending on their smartphones. You may think that one of the great advantages of mobile phones is that they are just that – mobile. However, 2020 has proved how indispensible people find their phones even when they are forced to stay at home.
From March 2020, we saw a huge increase in online activity as people spent a great deal on time checking the news and looking for updates on the pandemic. Additionally, global lockdowns meant that most people were forced to stay in their homes, leading to a huge increase in social media and other online activity. It seems that many users chose to use their phones to conduct that activity: one study found that people preferred to receive news updates via text to their phone, and iPhone screen time saw a dramatic increase.
5G Takes Hold
One of the biggest trends we are seeing in mobile phone technology in 2020 is 5G. This latest generation in mobile phone networks has been in the wings for a few years, but it is in 2020 that it is starting to be widely adopted. Almost every new model of mobile phone released now is 5G-enabled, and this technology is being rolled out in many parts of North America, Europe, and other parts of the world.
5G has great potential in a variety of ways, not only delivery more reliable service and lightning-fast mobile data, but also to support self-driving cars, AR, VR and other cutting-edge technologies. According to Huawei, 5G will be rolled out globally between 2020 and 2030, and support 100 billion devices and increased capacity by 1,000-fold. Users will also enjoy very low latency and response times.
More Online Purchases
In recent years, we have seen a substantial shift from shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores to shopping online. Over 2 billion people have already shopped online in 2020, compared to only 1.32 billion in 2014. This trend has only accelerated in 2020, with consumers being forced or encouraged to stay at home. As such, many have moved their shopping habits to being entirely online, and this includes not only when purchasing food, clothing, accessories, and so on, but also technology such as mobile phones.
It is not surprising therefore, that more consumers are buying phones online on sites like Affordable Mobiles. This trend is set to continue in the future as people discover the convenience of online shopping, supported by developments in cybersecurity which allow consumers to feel safer when shopping online.
Another mobile phone key trend in 2020 has been the increase in mobile apps that track your location. Our mobile devices including smartphones and tablets have long been tracking our location, and now the apps on our devices are tracking our location too (with your permission, of course).
You may notice that every time you download an app these days, it will ask your permission to use your location. Of course, you can always deny your permission, but you may find that the app does not work properly if you do this. Some apps need to use your location in order to perform they core function, whether it is picking you up with a ride share, or delivering food to your door. Other apps don’t really need your location at all, but will share your information with a third party. This is a good reason to always check what you are agreeing to before checking that “I agree” box when you download an app!
The final mobile phone trend that is taking the world by storm in 2020 is one that concerns our finances: mobile wallets. Mobile wallets are, in essence, payment tools that you can use on your mobile phones, and allow your smart phone to replace cash or credit cards.
These kinds of payments were already gaining traction before 2020, but have really come into their own this year. This kind of remote and contactless payment system is perfectly suited to how we are now living our lives. It makes it possible, for example, to order and pay for food online and have it delivered to your home without ever needing to be in physical contact with another person!