2018 Predictions: uSwitch Mobile senior commercial manager Ernest Doku


uSwitch senior analyst Ernest Doku says that we’ll see the rise of augmented reality and more consumers moving to Chinese brands in 2018

In 2017 Artificial Intelligence made the leap from buzzword bullet point to core functionality embedded in a raft of devices, with Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro leading the charge in making devices truly smart.

From user efficiencies to sharing information across apps and phone features, the truly connected device aims to second-guess your action the moment you turn on the screen, serving up truly intuitive user experiences and better technology.

Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home have crossed the threshold from geeky kit to smarthome mainstay, with the second wave of gadgets like the Sonos One making voice-controlled technology the norm. Expect to see much more of the same this year, with devices either supporting or embedding these next-level interaction methods, paving the way for entirely hands-free home management.

Better than total immersion, the augmented and mixed reality experiences ushered in by the likes of Microsoft’s Hololens and the iPhone X enhance rather than replace the world around us.

Everything from remote medical diagnoses to fitting a new coffee table in the living room, the practical implications and low barrier to entry for AR makes for a compelling start to the reality revolution. This is already introducing more people to purposeful new ways to interact with their environment.

In the smartphone world, firmly establishing themselves as relevant stablemates, the likes of Huawei and OnePlus have made real bids for smartphone supremacy with their latest devices, as eye-watering prices for the iPhone X encourage some to make choices beyond the obvious.

This year, we’ll continue to see exciting developments from all corners of the globe, with Chinese phone makers aiming to topple the duopoly of Apple and Samsung, and strong entry-level devices from British brands like STK and Wileyfox continuing to serve the increasingly cost-conscious needs of shoppers.

Finally, despite ongoing legal tussles in the spectrum auction, the government’s recent reiteration of its pledge to 5G will likely see notable steps forward in this area next year. With the Autumn Budget pledging a wedge of money to improving internet access on travel routes across the UK, it’s clear that 5G – and the improved speed and service that comes with it – is being thought of as a fix for areas that are all too often ill-served by mobile networks.