EXCLUSIVE: 2018 mobile tech predictions from an online entrepreneur

2017 has been an eventful year in the technology industry, with key trends emerging in both the industrial and commercial sectors. Augmented and virtual reality have been at the forefront of consumer technologies, particularly in mobile devices, while blockchain and artificial intelligence have dominated internal business solutions.

These trends have done a lot to transform the definition of the industry, and as we move into 2018, there is plenty for businesses to bear in mind when going forward. Online entrepreneur Jake Fox, CEO of Casinopedia, reveals the key mobile trends we will see in the new year and will continue to grow throughout 2018.

User trends

The mobile industry is one of the fastest-paced in technology, in terms of growth and consumer expectation, and as the vast number of services and functions that the average person uses their mobile for has expanded, customer behaviours have been sculpted. These behaviours are monitored closely by advanced softwares that provide detailed and accurate data around which businesses can plan their strategy as a whole, and on an individual customer basis.

>See also: Mobility predictions for 2017

The trend for online purchases via mobile devices will certainly carry on into the new year, and the mobile gaming boom will continue around the world, with Asia in particular getting on board in 2018.

Industry learning

Gaming is one of the fastest-growing technology markets, and customers selecting a handset based on its gaming capabilities is becoming prominent, with features like display size and quality becoming priorities. The ubiquity of social media and AI has seen the tables be turned on designers and put the power in the customers’ hands.

Businesses are increasingly looking to customers to dictate what they need, and social media, online gaming and content streaming are being cemented as key trends. Going into 2018, manufacturers will continue to refine technology to support these key functions to a high standard.

AI leads the way

Machine learning is paving the way for SMEs, with AI providing key market data that enables smaller businesses to better prepare for what’s on the horizon. With detailed analytics, SMEs are able to manoeuvre themselves in response to oncoming events and trends, and do it far quicker than larger companies are able. This way, fintech startups are thriving, with the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum setting an example for the market.

>See also: Mobility-as-a-service: driverless cars leading the next travel revolution

Many still consider AI a vastly complex technology, but it is prevalent in businesses of all sizes. Google’s AI Rankbrain works to determine the most appropriate results to any individual’s search, and in this way, can be pertinent to the success or failure of a SME.

Mobile first

As more business is conducted on the mobile platform, time is running out for companies to get up to date with technology trends. Perhaps the core benefit of mobile technology is convenience, and customers value this highly, which is why a mobile-optimised website makes all the difference to the user experience.

Studies have found that websites without a mobile-optimised version experience high bounce rates, and customers are quickly losing patience. Businesses who don’t think ‘mobile first’ are shooting themselves in the foot, and are likely to be left behind in the new year.

Social media

Business use of social media is now vast, with online platforms bridging the gap between company and customer, unlocking a wealth of ways to up average spends and customer engagement. Retailers advertise products on social media and public figures have endorsement deals with businesses to advocate their products and services to their followings.

>See also: Mobility in a connected world

This has seen companies make social media a new focus, in an effort to engage with customers their way. Social media is not slowing down, so it should be positioned as a centrepiece.

Mobile design

Mobile designers are more focused on customer preference than ever before. With gaming, streaming and shopping being such priorities, designers are working to deliver the best user experience that supports these expectations, with quality display, sound and speed.

>See also: Driving digital business and mobility: guide for CIOs

Battery life is also receiving a lot of attention to allow customers to game for longer. Manufacturers will continue to mold their inventions around customer demand, with a focus on these key uses customers have for their mobile devices.

It is becoming clear that customers are defining the technology industry more than ever, and the industry is wise to lend an ear to these demands. The needs and expectations customers have of their mobile devices are being made clear, and AI innovations are making this information easily accessible to companies. As we move into 2018, businesses should be looking to these expectations and using them as the nucleus of their strategies.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...