The smartphone seems to acquire more cognitive capabilities with each major product release—regardless of the OEM. PwC expects this trend to continue.
Propelled by sensor technology, more powerful processors, better connectivity, cloud data sources and increasingly sophisticated data analysis on and off the device, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices are on track to acquire ever more of this capability. In fact, the role of the OS will only grow in importance as the orchestrator of all the components and services on the device and those that reside in the cloud. The OS is the enabler of the enablers, if you will.
Although there is no comprehensive metric for the OS, we see incremental improvement over time similar to DRAM, storage and the other mobile building blocks. Unlike the other components of the Mobile Technologies Index, it is difficult to define metrics for OS performance. Instead of more bits transferred per second, or more bytes stored per dollar, OS improvements come in qualitative enhancements: better security, multitasking capability, support for more media protocols, etc.
There are four architectural layers in the OS: User interface (UI), media, core services and core OS. The two layers likely to see the most enhancements over the next five years are the core services and the UI layers. Enhancements in the core services layer will target the developer community directly by exposing advanced hardware features such as sensor data, and by making it easier to move between applications and social networks or other cloud services. We also expect many more enhancements over the next five years in the UI layer. The very definition of user and UI is likely to expand to include the inanimate pieces of the device that sense, know and figure things out or scan on behalf of the human but without her intervention.
To learn more about how improvements in the mobile OS will impact mobile innovation in the next few years, read or download the full article.
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