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Gartner: The Top Ten Features Coming to Smartphones by 2017

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Gartner has published a new report today covering the top ten features for 2016 and 2017 that smartphones are likely to have. The smartphone market is getting more complex and dynamic, as well as maturing and being highly commoditized. In such a mature market bringing meaningful technology improvements to market is the only way to drive consumers to upgrade faster. Apple had enjoyed each and every upgrade to bring in the masses until the iPhone 6s where they hit a wall. So what does Gartner see coming to smartphones over the next two years that could motivate consumers to upgrade with enthusiasm? Check out Gartner's top 10 features below coming to a smartphone near you.


Fast charging

Wireless charging

Augmented and virtual reality

Multiple-lens camera solutions

Sensors: Biometric authentication and technologies

Virtual personal assistants (VPAs)

Flexible/curved displays

Wi-Fi 802.11 standards

USB Type-C

Embedded SIM (e-SIM)


Apple introduced the embedded SIM with the new iPad Pro 9.7 model which would indicate it's likely coming to the next iPhone. Wireless charging is one that is highly expected to arrive on the iPhone by 2017 (or sooner). In fact the only features in question would be USB-C and the timing of VR, with the latter being an "in-the-works" project at Apple.


Gartner notes that "General purpose VPAs' experiences have been so far disappointing. Users want more proactive interaction and notifications from their VPAs that can deliver more personalized experiences. However, VPAs and their services are becoming richer - we saw new smart features in Cortana at Build 2016 and recently the new Google Assistant."


We're likely to hear more on this front from Apple next Monday during their WWDC Keynote.


On the topic of biometrics, Gartner sees device vendors extending the use of biometrics measurements to explore new areas beyond just authentication to areas such as being able to detect emotion and moods while reaching deeper into enterprise applications. 


Gartner lastly notes that "Opportunities are also emerging for a VR system to be used in business settings: businesses can use mobile VR as a marketing device to deliver personalized product experiences, or as a tool to communicate with employees. Training and education are also a great user cases — with the virtual world being a mockup of equipment or situations to simulate a real-life situation. Gartner expects that by 2018, 26 percent of HMDs will be designed for business use."


For more on this, see the full Gartner report here.


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