Mobile operating system: Smartphones will just get smarter

Mobile innovations forecast: Mobile operating system: Smartphones will just get smarter: PwC

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.

Patterns of innovation in the OS


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.

Mobile technologies index articles

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1/8/2014 Sensing and making sense: Device and environment underpin contextually aware services View PDF
08/29/2013 The magic of advanced technology: Predicting real-time behaviour & needs via contextual intelligence View PDF
06/17/2013 Phase 1 Wrap up: New data bolsters the general direction of innovation over the next five years View PDF
05/09/2013 Mobile operating system: Smartphones will just get smarter View PDF
03/05/2013 Enabling devices to offer users more natural interaction View PDF
1/17/2013 Image sensor: Steady growth for new capabilities View PDF
12/13/2012 Storage: Quenching the thirst for more View PDF
11/09/2012 Memory: The ever-predictable DRAM path View PDF
10/02/2012 Application processors: Driving the next wave of innovation View PDF
09/12/2012 Infrastructure speed: Watch capital investment in 4G for the next inflection View PDF
07/25/2012 Device connectivity speed: One half of an equation View PDF
07/25/2012 Making sense of the rapid change in mobile innovation View PDF