10 gg technical forecasts for 2020

Annually tireless edition gg makes forecasts for next year, offering his most curious in

world readers to think about what awaits us inthe next 12 months in the field of new technologies and the world of gadgets. We don’t guess on the coffee grounds and do not play the lottery, but try to analyze the processes occurring in the market and understand how and where technologies will develop, and how they will affect our lives.

And we will start, traditionally, with a return a year ago, when we prepared a forecast for you for the current 2019, which is already coming to an end.

  • More, more cameras in smartphones. Here all the expectations came true - by the end of 2019the standard was the appearance of 3 cameras in smartphones (not counting the front). As a rule, the scheme is as follows: the main module, with a large number of megapixels (for example, a module of 108 MP was installed in Mi Note 10), the second module with a telephoto lens used to zoom in on the subject (imitation zoom) and the third camera for wide-angle shooting. Separately, it is worth noting such a new and interesting form factor as a smartphone with a folding screen (for example, Samsung Galaxy Fold), the design features of which made it possible to place a 6 camera (triple on the rear panel, dual front inside the folding part and separately front for use with the case in folded state).
  • Smartphones output with a camera hole on the screen. The development of the concept of frameless screen went onin two directions: some manufacturers (for example, Samsung) offered the market to replace the cutout for the camera in the form of a monobrow or a drop under the hole (for example, the flagships of the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 series became). Chinese manufacturers - Huawei / Honor, VIVO, OPPO (by the way, the OPPO Reno 2 retractable module looks non-standard - in the form of a triangle) went along a more complex (and more aesthetic) path - they began to use the pop-up front camera that appears when switching to the menu. Samsung also proposed a separate solution - in its Galaxy A80 smartphone, a rotary module is used, which extends as a slider above the screen and rotates the camera 180 degrees, turning it into the front one.
  • Huawei is the new smartphone market leader. But this forecast did not come true, much to the situationinfluenced by the appearance of the "black swan" in the form of US sanctions, greatly affecting the expansion of the Chinese manufacturer. The situation with sanctions is still not resolved and the last point in it has not yet been set. At the same time, Huawei already has its own Plan B, which allows expanding its experience in China without Google services to the global market. Despite the events painful for the company, this year it continued to grow and sales did not fall, but, on the contrary, increased. And Huawei P30 Pro has become the best camera phone of the year.
  • Smartphones Apple and Samsung will go to the price segment "above $ 1000". Two years ago, this was an unobvious step, inLast year, the situation became transparent, which allowed us to make a forecast that was not yet obvious to everyone. Now this is history - both companies made the only right decision in a situation when Chinese companies began to push them very strongly and went into the price stratosphere - where nothing is threatening their leadership (so far). Galaxy S10 launched in March with a price tag of 29,999 hryvnias, after 9 months it costs 22,999 hryvnias, which is purely symbolic below the amount of $ 1,000 (the price, by the way, is promotional, New Year's, but not the fact that it will not remain the same after the holidays). But there are even more expensive Note 10. The younger version of the iPhone 11 now costs 28,499 hryvnia, which is clearly higher than a thousand.
  • The emergence of AR products outside the electronics market. We honestly gave one more chance to AR-technologies,but apparently not fate. No new heights have been reached, users are still indifferent in their mass as VR and AR-products. Either their time (still) has not come, or they will forever remain niche toys.
  • The first 5G-enabled smartphones will appear, but they will be useless. In this case, for the editors gg everything was obvious - a common interest in the topic5G smartphones have (so far) nothing to do with the real situation. Smartphones with 5G support will certainly develop (as smartphones with 4G evolved, and before them phones and smartphones with 3G), but in the next 2-3 years, the purchase of a 5G smartphone will be irrelevant. This year we wrote about the advantages of 5G networks and why their launch in our country can be expected no earlier than 2022. In fact, the first 5G smartphones in the world have already appeared, but no one has noticed their appearance.
  • Google Assistant speaks Ukrainian. The most offensive of unfulfilled forecasts for 2019year. Nobody promised the release of a Google assistant in Ukrainian this year, of course (and the Ukrainian office of Google says that it is doing everything in its power to make this happen as soon as possible), and the market is ready, but, apparently, you will have to postpone the expectations of this service, giving the official green light to launch smart appliances for the home and Android Auto, until next year (would not jinx it)
  • A smartphone with a flexible screen will come out, but it will cost too much. I want to sarcify and laugh at not havingthere is no ground under the optimism of all technology enthusiasts (all new technological processes are not a cheap thing, it is impossible to increase production volumes quickly, and the cost price is closely related to the scale of production - this, apparently, is not obvious to everyone), but we won’t. There is a Galaxy Fold smartphone (albeit in a limited one - you need to order it, then wait a month, as if you bought a car) on sale, and this is already great. The price tag of 56,999 hryvnias completely falls under the forecast of “too expensive”, so just write this forecast in full.
  • Tariffs for mobile communications and the Internet will continue to grow. But we won't feel anything. The cost of tariffs grew, the number of dissatisfiedYou yourself have observed this process on the Internet, but in a country where the use of such a high-tech service as mobile communication costs 4 bottles of beer per month, there’s nothing to even talk about. All who wanted to be outraged were indignant, but they didn’t stop using it (for some reason). And against the background of other expenses, they still didn’t feel it - the damage was more likely psychological.
  • The share of Chinese-made TVs will grow even more noticeable. TVs earlier in our forecasts we do nottouched, but everything was in full view: the official entry into the Xiaomi TV market (with the support of the longest shelf in the country), the growth of a player like KIVI, a large number of local brands belonging to large retail chains - all this paid off on the market, where the price factor has always been predominant. Go to any store and in addition to the eternal Samsung and LG, you will see a large offer of televisions of various (mainly - born in Ukraine) brands. There is also a purely Chinese HiSense and somewhere in the distance, the shadow of Blaupunkt looms - the rights to this brand have long been (also) owned by the Chinese.

Forecast for 2020

Throughout 2019, we talked with the mostdifferent companies - manufacturers of equipment, mobile operators and developers of services and applications. And dozens of reviews of new devices have been done. And all this experience allows us to see a little better where the technology market is moving and what awaits us in the next, 2020.

1. We will buy flagship smartphones for our own image, not technology

Throughout 2019, we observed a picture in whichthe technological capabilities of mid-range smartphones ($ 400-500) were not much inferior to flagship ones, with a price tag of $ 1,000. The difference was only in the capabilities of the cameras (and even on the boundary shooting conditions - at night or with super zoom, which not all users need). In 2020, the situation for flagship smartphones will worsen even more, the technological gap with cheaper models will become even smaller (and smartphones for 200-300 dollars will satisfy the needs of most buyers). And the positions of more technological models with a folding screen will not be so strong as to consider them a mass market. The only way out for manufacturers in this situation will be to shift the emphasis from technological capabilities to emotional factors: buying a new smartphone will be presented to customers as a desire to look fashionable, modern and conform to some imposed behavior patterns. Of course, those who bought a new iPhone every year will buy it in 2020, but is it worth taking a 2-year loan or installment plan for the sake of such a purchase - a question that will be difficult to answer to the average user amid a huge number of interesting and more affordable offers Chinese manufacturers.

2. Legal streaming video services will develop more intensively

Irreversible analog shutdown processtelevision in Ukraine will finally enter the final stage, after which millions of users will have to think about how to watch television in the digital age. Despite the fact that 8 million Ukrainians live without high-speed Internet access, the most convenient way to access TV channels is OTT services that provide viewing through an Internet connection. With all the love of Ukrainians for a freebie, the cost of legal services may not be such a high fee for the service. And although we do not expect explosive growth in the use of OTT, it is worth saying that Ukrainian services operating in completely non-hothouse conditions today are serious platforms with simple and easy connections (there is no need to go somewhere and sign a contract), present on all screens from smartphones to TVs (and any TV can be turned into a SmartTV using a set-top box for $ 40). Do not neglect the ability to work with the subscriber base of traditional telecom players, which also offer television services: Ukrtelecom with the Big Three mobile operators.

3.4G networks will continue rapid development, but users will still be dissatisfied with the quality

Bridging the digital divide, Ukrainian operatorsOver the past 5 years, mobile communications have made a tremendous technological breakthrough, launching 3G first, then 4G and investing tens of billions of hryvnias in the development of modern networks. At the same time, the potential for the development of mobile data transmission is still huge, and this is the main driver for the growth of operators' revenues, which will continue in 2020. Each operator has its own network development strategy, but all of them are forced to invest more and more in the development of a data transmission network in order to keep up with competitors and save their income in the future. Next year, we are waiting for the processes of refarming and redistribution of the frequency resource, including those related to the release of radio frequencies from analog television. These are all difficult processes during which networks will be subjected to complex loads that will predictably cause user dissatisfaction (users are generally rarely satisfied, in any case, when everything is fine, they just keep quiet, and when something goes wrong - pour out their emotions). It is worth remembering that the radio network is a living, constantly changing organism, they are never static. There they built a new building that shields the signal of mobile stations. Here a new residential complex grew, which sharply increased the number of network users. Complicate network development and complex procedures (including those unhappy with the installation of equipment by residents). Therefore, everyone should remain calm and have patience.

4. We are waiting for the boom of TWS-headphones

Despite all the obvious inconveniences (easylose, a short battery life - you can’t use these headphones for 8 hours in a row, you need to return them to the charging case for recharging) TWS-headphones will become a popular purchase in 2020. This is a wonderful universal gift, offers right now for every taste, color and wallet (from $ 20 for a noname model on Aliexpress to $ 200 for Airpods and above for AirPods Pro). Apple's marketing genius is once again in the "top ten" by creating a new category of products, with its coveted hero and armies of fans and haters. Indirectly, it will be possible to evaluate popularity by the number of offers (right now, 211 models are presented in the outlet's marketplace, let's see how much will be 500 or 2000 in a year).

5. Return of the watch: fitness bracelets and smart watches

A little over 4 years ago we published the text“Why smart bracelets suck and you don’t have to buy them.” Since then, the situation has changed dramatically, to the extent that smart bracelets without a display (and, accordingly, the functions of a clock and an alarm clock) have practically disappeared. The watch payment function has become available for owners of Apple watches (payment using watches via Google Pay is still on the way and will say a good word). The bracelets themselves (and with them the watches) went through a difficult path of development, as a result of which their price for 5-7 years fell from the uncomfortable $ 200 (everyone here remember about Jawbone?) Technologies interesting only to enthusiasts to quite comfortable $ 35 for the new Mi Band 4 with a color display. Which is accessible and interesting to everyone (well, almost) and everyone. By the way, we have regularly updated texts with a selection of current smart watches and fitness bracelets (if you forget the link, you can always find it in our “What to Buy” section). I am sure that during 2020 both of them will come in handy to you more than once. This is another universal gift option with a well-controlled budget and the ability to present a useful and desired accessory that complements a smartphone (almost all smartphone manufacturers have bracelets and / or watches).

6. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian families will buy their first robot vacuum cleaner

Times when robotic vacuum cleaners were uselesstoys, irrevocably passed. And now they can rightfully take their place among other household appliances that settled in our homes forever, next to washing and dishwashers, refrigerators and relatively new multicookers. If you have not thought about buying a robot vacuum cleaner, there is a high probability that you will do this during 2020. And our detailed buyer guide will certainly help you answer, if not all, then most of the questions related to these devices.

7. Payment by smartphone will forever change the habits of Ukrainians

Ukraine for all its low solvencypopulation (compared with developed countries) is able to give odds to the civilized world in a variety of high-tech areas. We have not only a very high percentage of graduates of technical universities per capita, not only one of the best indicators of mobile banking penetration in the world (thanks to the locomotives of the direction - Privatbank, and now the Monobank team making an advanced and modern banking product) and not just 3 place in the world in the number of contactless payment transactions. The development of retail chains is also moving towards high technology: contactless terminals that allow you to pay with the touch of a smartphone are in every ATB store and serve as constant advertising of these opportunities for the entire population that do not monitor the development of technologies. Mobile applications of stores (as well as gas station chains, coffee houses, restaurants) are integrated with payment cards and this is already an irreversible process - all market players will have to do this in order to keep up with competitors. And the bar is set high - for example, the Silpo mobile application allows you to pay for purchases from your card by logging in using the QR code on the scanner (that is, you can even not put a smartphone on the terminal, not to mention a bank card). Self-service terminals (the dream of introverts) appear at McDonald's and major supermarkets. And the most convenient way to use them is by no means with cash. In 2020, one can expect acceleration of all these processes, tied to payment systems, mobile applications and loyalty programs. Where it will be possible to walk around and fintech, and fashionable Big Data and artificial intelligence with the construction of predictions and an appropriate system of recommendations for the user.

8. Smart home devices will have a single standard

You know why everyone talks a lot about devicessmart home, but they really are all there and no? Because each company makes its own decision, develops its own architecture - from communication standards to specific devices, which are most often simple sensors (open doors, movements, water leaks - you yourself know). All of them are not compatible with each other, which greatly inhibits the development of this market. It seems that next year we will have a chance to get a single standard - in any case, the leading companies involved in the development of the smart home ecosystem (in the center of which is, of course, a smart voice assistant) - Amazon, Google and Apple announced the creation of a working group to create single standard. The fourth party immediately entered the alliance - the Zigbee Alliance. This is an organization that has been developing standards for the Internet of things since 2002 and has achieved considerable (but still not large enough and significant successes in this field). The project is called Connected Home over IP, and although we will not see the first devices that are the result of development in 2020, this is an important and expected signal for the entire market.

9. Aliexpress will become a popular place to buy new unusual gadgets.

Aliexpress is now one of the three mostpopular online trading floors in Ukraine (after OLX and Rozetka). Free shipping and a huge selection of products more than compensate for the need to wait for a purchase for about a month (sometimes less, sometimes more). From the point of view of consumer electronics, we are interested in a separate story. The fact is that Aliexpress is today the basic trading platform for hundreds and thousands of Chinese electronics manufacturers producing good quality products. The highest level of competition leads to countless experiments and the emergence of a huge number of the most unusual gadgets and devices that combine the functions of several devices. Here you can buy not only the usual devices: smartphones, bracelets, chargers and USB cables of all kinds and stripes. But also door locks that open with a fingerprint, external batteries combined with wireless charging, a gaming mouse pad with RGB-backlight, or game controllers for playing PUBG-like games on a smartphone. This is a huge emerging market, constantly creating new classes and types of gadgets that can change our world, making it more comfortable. Never before has it developed so rapidly, providing access to customers around the world. Previously, new types of devices appeared once a year, but today they appear every day. And you will not be able to stay away from this process (since you are reading this text on this site). As the quote from the movie "If you listen to this message, then you are the Resistance."

10. We will see the first signs of a “state in a smartphone”

One of the slogans of the presidential race of 2019will bear fruit in 2020. Already in beta testing is the version of the Diya application that allows you to store a driver’s license and vehicle registration certificate in a smartphone (only for their owners, it will not be possible to delegate an electronic version of the registration certificate). Next year we will surely see the next steps in this direction, which will also forever change our lives and relations with the state, which is time to start living in the 21st and not the 20th century, leaving paper references and documents in the past. The state has tons of data about each of us, you only need to sort out these Augean stables and bring all the data into a single system, taking care, of course, of the security of personal data. Mobile operators or banks can do this by storing data from tens of millions of their users. By forces, it will be the state machine with all its power.