Has the Mobile Space Stalled?
Take a look at your phone. Whether it’s an iPhone 6s, Samsung Galaxy S6, or some other various modern model, it really doesn’t look all that different from what came the year before, right? Sure, it might be faster, sleeker, and likely more powerful, but smartphones just aren’t taking the leaps like they did in previous years.
That little rectangular device sitting in your pocket can already do so much, so it’s not as if there’s some terrible drought of innovation in the mobile space. But according to AppDiff.com’s CEO, Jason Arbon, the white hot excitement stemming from mobile phones has cooled—at least for him.
“I actually feel like my iPhone 6 looks kind of like my iPhone 5, right? Android looks a lot like iOS today,” he explained to StickyMinds. “Mobile development, and mobile apps, and mobile computing is almost becoming normalized. It's almost boring today.”
Some usage data also points to a stalling, of sorts, for mobile shopping. A new report from IMRG and Capgemini shows that the percentage of online sales completed through mobile devices plateaued in Q2 of 2015—holding at 42 percent. That’s the first time since the mobile boom that an increase wasn’t recorded.
The astronomical increase in everything mobile couldn’t last forever, though, and it would be misleading to say that these numbers are pointing toward an eventual bust. Even if the devices themselves aren’t providing as much excitement, the apps still have plenty of room to grow, according to InfoWorld. Software is often more difficult to adopt in business and the home than hardware, so don’t expect fewer apps and downloads moving forward.
But it’s never too early to think about what’s coming next. It might be hard to imagine another technological revolution that could match the impact of mobile, but to think that something just as big won’t come along down the line would be ignoring history.
What that innovation will look like is still unknown. Arbon, however, has an idea of what could be next to grab our imaginations.
“Personalized computing is what's coming next. You don't have to actually think about launching an app. Click into it, click a bunch of buttons, tap a bunch of buttons, enter a bunch of data before it does something for you,” he said. “The mobile apps, these ambient apps that will transition from your mobile device to your desktop to your phone, to your home telephone, your cable TV. When these things are just cross-platform and kind of ambient is going to be the next thing.”