In 2007, Apple introduced the iPhone to the world. Since its introduction, mobile devices have never been the same.
The jump from brick and flip phones to the iPhone and other smartphones was dramatic and quickly embraced by the masses. When a fat, brick phone of the early 2000s is pulled out in public today, it receives the same reaction as someone revealing an ancient artifact out of their pocket.
The iPhone quickly began reiterating on itself.
The iPhone 3G was the first iPhone to release with the app store and actually have cellular internet. The iPhone 4s was the first iPhone to have voice assistant Siri and the iPhone 5s was the first iPhone to have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking.
But after a while, mobile technology features stopped becoming game changing and have become more iterative. The difference between the iPhone 6 and 6s is a faster processor, better camera and force touch, which not many people use.
Mobile technology in the last few years hasn’t broken any new ground. A three-year-old iPhone 5s may be missing a few minor features and may not be as speedy as an iPhone bought from a store today, but it can still run most apps, make calls and receive the latest updates.
Mobile phones have reached their maturity point. Unless a phone manufacturer can figure out an amazing new feature no one has thought of before, most users are happy with their phone’s functionality and may just want better battery life in their next phone.
Before 2014, the mobile space used to be a wild frontier where Google, Apple, Blackberry and Microsoft were constantly one upping each other on new features. This excitement has been lost in the last few years.
A lot of time was spent by tech journalists trying to figure out and recommend the best phone for each person’s needs, but now each phone is basically as good as the next in terms of features. The lines between Android and iOS have become blurred as each company incorporates each other’s ideas, while Blackberry and Windows phone has drifted to the way side of the mobile market.
This may make a phone maker’s press conference less exciting, but it’s good for the consumer overall. As phones reach maturity, decent smartphones, which were a luxury experience in the past, are now affordable to nearly everyone. In fact, about 80% of all people in the United States own a smartphone now.
This has made mobile applications more ubiquitous across platforms despite the fact the web is becoming more powerful. In the beginning iOS dominated exclusive apps, but now most new apps come out simultaneously on iOS and Android.
It doesn’t matter what type of smartphone you own (unless you accidentally buy a Windows phone) you probably will be able to download that app. This makes applications more important than new features for the phones.
The next application that breaks ground will use current phone technology in ways that we have never seen before. At the moment though, nearly everyone has a small computer in their pocket, it’s up to app developers to offer them a valuable product they can use in their everyday life.
At SurveyMe, we’ve created an app that we believe uses current mobile technology and instead of invading the user’s space, provides useful discounts, rewards and everyday value. Offering value is key in a world filled with smartphones, the end user is always questioning, “What’s in it for me?”