This was a nasty yr for the smartphone. For the primary time, its seemingly unstoppable progress started to gradual.

Things began off on a nasty observe in February, when Gartner recorded its first year-over-year decline because it started monitoring the class. Not even the mighty Apple was immune from the development. Last week, shares took a success as influential analyst Ming-Chi Kuo downgraded gross sales expectations for 2019.

People merely aren’t upgrading as quick as they used to. This is due partially to the truth that flagship telephones are fairly good throughout the board. Manufacturers have painted themselves right into a nook as they’ve battled it out over specs. There simply aren’t as many compelling causes to repeatedly improve.

Of course, that’s not going to cease them from attempting. Along with the usual upgrades to issues like cameras, you may count on some radical rethinks of smartphone kind elements, together with the primary few pushes into 5G within the subsequent calendar yr.

If we’re fortunate, there will likely be just a few surprises alongside the best way as nicely, however the next tendencies all appear like no-brainers for 2019.

5G

GUANGZHOU, CHINA – DECEMBER 06: Attendees take a look at 5G cell phones on the Qualcomm stand throughout China Mobile Global Partner Conference 2018 at Poly World Trade Center Exhibition Hall on December 6, 2018 in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China. The three-day convention opened on Thursday, with the theme of 5G community. (Photo by VCG/VCG by way of Getty Images)

Let’s get this one out of the best way, lets? It’s a bit difficult — in spite of everything, loads of publications are going to assert 2019 as “The Year of 5G,” however they’re all leaping the gun. It’s true that we’re going to see the primary wave of 5G handsets showing subsequent yr.

OnePlus and LG have dedicated to a handset and Samsung, being Samsung, has since dedicated to 2. We’ve additionally seen guarantees of a Verizon 5G MiFi and regardless of the hell this factor is from HTC and Sprint.

Others, most notably Apple, are absent from the checklist. The firm just isn’t anticipated to launch a 5G handset till 2020. While that’s going to place it behind the curve, the reality of the matter is that 5G will arrive into this world as a advertising gimmick. When it does absolutely roll out, 5G has the potential to be an awesome, gaming-changing expertise for smartphones and past. And whereas carriers have promised to start rolling out the expertise within the States early subsequent yr (AT&T even received a soar begin), the actual fact of the matter is that your handset will possible spend much more…

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