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Artificial Intelligence Key to Smartphone Growth into 2020, Says IHS Markit

24 February 2017

The next big thing in smartphones will be to port artificial intelligence to mobile devices to make them that much smarter, according to a new white paper from market research firm IHS Markit.

With the installed base of smartphones and smartphone app spending showing no signs of slowing, AI will be a focus of mobile operators in order to improve user experiences and continue revenue generation.

“Existing AI agents like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant will expand across the industry, complemented by embedded AI in all parts of mobile devices from cameras, to audio, to machines,” says Ian Fogg, director of mobile and telecom analysis at IHS Markit. “Smartphones will both be the interface for consumer AI and deliver the vast amount of data technology companies need to train AI systems.”

Vendors such as Google, Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Samsung are heavily investing in the development of proprietary AI and voice-assistant capabilities. For smaller players to compete, they will need to partner up, IHS Markit says.

“As Amazon’s Alexa makes its way onto other devices, Google must and will increase the reach of its own Assistant to all Android smartphones—reducing the differentiation for Google’s Pixel smartphone,” Fogg says. “Over five years since Apple’s Siri first launched, Apple must offer new AI-powered capabilities to remain competitive.”

IHS Markit forecasts the installed base for global smartphones to grow to 6 billion units by 2020, up from 4 billion in 2016. App spending will also continue to grow to $74 billion, up from $54 billion in 2016. Device-based payment services, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, will also continue to rise reaching more than 5 billion units by 2020, up from 2.7 billion in 2016.

For more information on IHS’s artificial intelligence smartphone white paper, visit:

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