Phones in 2020

Cod3rror

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 18, 2010
1,745
36
Now, please don't jump me for this, I am merely musing.

I am just wonder what the phones will be like in 2020.

They cannot make them bigger anymore, 5.5" is pretty much the limit, with 5" being the sweet spot now. Maybe some company will make a 6" phone, but that'll be more of a freak size. And they can't increase the resolution anymore either; Note 4 has a huge screen and still has 515 PPI!

They can't get much thinner... they're already very thin, how much thinner can they get? 5mm? After a point they come uncomfortable to hold.

While watches are great, they won't be replacing the touchscreen smartphone form factor any time soon.

So the only thing left is to increase the CPU/GPU/RAM and other internals.

I wonder if by 2020, smartphones will be so powerful as to replace a computer for people? Wi-Fi AD and USB 3.1 will definitely make it a possibility to easily connect peripherals and monitors.
 
Last edited:

bkends35

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2013
935
377
USA
I've been saying this for a while now, we have reached the peak of smartphone innovation for a while. I don't understand why people except apple and other companies to come out with a revolutionary phone every year or two. It's impossible. Making a phone bigger doesn't make it better most of the time. The only thing that manufactures should work on is battery technology.
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,433
8,605
In 2020 research will show that people raised on mobile phones develop thousands of mirco tumors in their brain and various parts of the body. Nobody will care and many will becone mentally and physically disabled collecting fat checks every month. Traffic accidents will be at an all time high due to 3D hologram displays. Broadband and Specs will be so high, people will start using phones as full blown servers. Apple will finally allow home screen widgets, but it will be floating widgets(3D hologram) that can follow you up to 12 feet. Samsung will create micro S-chips that you can implant into yourself and the S-health app can read all your vital signs and more.
 

Cod3rror

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 18, 2010
1,745
36
I've been saying this for a while now, we have reached the peak of smartphone innovation for a while. I don't understand why people except apple and other companies to come out with a revolutionary phone every year or two. It's impossible. Making a phone bigger doesn't make it better most of the time. The only thing that manufactures should work on is battery technology.
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.

Innovations are still happening. It's just huge completely new revolutionary technologies have reached a point. But there are gradual and pretty big and fast innovations and improvements happening to technology.

Some of the things to expect in the future are:

USB 3.1 - Speed, universal charging port, OTG, ability to connect monitors, etc...

Wi-Fi AD - Super fast wireless standard that will allow for peripherals and monitors to work seamlessly.

H.265 Encoders/Decoders - Drastically decreasing video size, or improving
quality while keeping the size the same. This is pretty big.

More and faster RAM. In 2015, there are going to be smartphones with 4GB RAM. By 2020, I would not be surprised if they go up to 8GB, at least.

More efficient and faster CPUs and GPUs, easily rivalling and beating consoles... hey, PS4 and Xbox One could be the last of their kind.

Screen technology, especially touch latency could improve the user experience by a lot!

Look at this video by Microsoft,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4

If they bring down mobile phone displays to 1ms, it's going to be fantastic!

The only thing I don't want to happen is increase in pixel density just for the sake of marketing.

There probably going to be 512GB microSD cards.

But of course the internal storage for smartphones will remain at 16GB.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
10,853
7,461
Austin, TX
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.

Innovations are still happening. It's just huge completely new revolutionary technologies have reached a point. But there are gradual and pretty big and fast innovations and improvements happening to technology.

Some of the things to expect in the future are:

USB 3.1 - Speed, universal charging port, OTG, ability to connect monitors, etc...

Wi-Fi AD - Super fast wireless standard that will allow for peripherals and monitors to work seamlessly.

H.265 Encoders/Decoders - Drastically decreasing video size, or improving
quality while keeping the size the same. This is pretty big.

More and faster RAM. In 2015, there are going to be smartphones with 4GB RAM. By 2020, I would not be surprised if they go up to 8GB, at least.

More efficient and faster CPUs and GPUs, easily rivalling and beating consoles... hey, PS4 and Xbox One could be the last of their kind.

Screen technology, especially touch latency could improve the user experience by a lot!

Look at this video by Microsoft,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4

If they bring down mobile phone displays to 1ms, it's going to be fantastic!

The only thing I don't want to happen is increase in pixel density just for the sake of marketing.

There probably going to be 512GB microSD cards.

But of course the internal storage for smartphones will remain at 16GB.
To me, the term "Innovation" does not refer to what your phone does better than its competitors. Innovation refers to things your competitors can't do.

Half these things aren't "innovative"

I'm not sure who will get there first, but fuel cells will likely replace lithium ion batteries and charging every night will be a thing of the past.
 

burgman

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2013
1,971
1,378
I'm going to have to disagree with you on that.

Innovations are still happening. It's just huge completely new revolutionary technologies have reached a point. But there are gradual and pretty big and fast innovations and improvements happening to technology.

Some of the things to expect in the future are:

USB 3.1 - Speed, universal charging port, OTG, ability to connect monitors, etc...

Wi-Fi AD - Super fast wireless standard that will allow for peripherals and monitors to work seamlessly.

H.265 Encoders/Decoders - Drastically decreasing video size, or improving
quality while keeping the size the same. This is pretty big.

More and faster RAM. In 2015, there are going to be smartphones with 4GB RAM. By 2020, I would not be surprised if they go up to 8GB, at least.

More efficient and faster CPUs and GPUs, easily rivalling and beating consoles... hey, PS4 and Xbox One could be the last of their kind.

Screen technology, especially touch latency could improve the user experience by a lot!

Look at this video by Microsoft,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOvQCPLkPt4

If they bring down mobile phone displays to 1ms, it's going to be fantastic!

The only thing I don't want to happen is increase in pixel density just for the sake of marketing.

There probably going to be 512GB microSD cards.

But of course the internal storage for smartphones will remain at 16GB.
Evolution vs innovation has you confused. Implants or wearables integrated into clothing are the next round of innovations
 

ozaz

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2011
1,266
285
UK
Screen quality, size, weight, speed, storage are all fine for me. They can continue to improve in small increments.

However, I want to see a big step in battery technology within the next 5 years. Getting through a day of regular use is not sufficient. I want to the phone to be able to last 4 or 5 days of regular use. This is not to avoid charging it every night (which I don't find a hassle), its just so that when I have a day and night of very heavy use it will always last.

I also still want to see a big improvement in low light camera performance.

I'd also like my phone to replace my need for a wallet, and possibly keys.

I don't particularly want my phone to replace my laptop.
 

parajba

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2008
420
125
It would be cool if phones could use the screen to charge the battery (some sort of solar power).
 

benoitgphoto

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2007
264
2
Phone thinness is now limited by the headphone jack. It's expected that Apple will get rid of the headphone jack in the upcoming iPhone 6S or 7 and that will permit them to shave off some of the thickness
 

tbayrgs

macrumors 604
Jul 5, 2009
6,508
3,430
That would likely mean a proprietary plug, yuck
I don't want any thinner, unless it's for something like kdarling showed us.

Let's improve battery technology exponentially, then worry about creating our paper thin phones.
 

wilky76

macrumors regular
Oct 9, 2013
215
1
Wigan
Advancement in 2020, smartphones will be faster naturally, have the latest Wifi for the time, much much better camera & video as sensor technology improves aswell as compression for 4K & 8K video, and finally optical zoom or somekind of digital zoom that doesn't degrade quality.

Screens will hitting over the 1000ppi mark, and maybe flexible & fold away displays will start to appear, the bezel will start to be a thing of the past.

Battery's will be much improved give off less heat and be more power efficient with no degradation over time & need for swappable batteries will be no more.

As for charging will be completely wire free, as charging over the air will be fitted to network masts & by wifi, with the option to leave your phone constantly charging or to turn it off completely & set it such a way it starts charging when your battery hits a certain percentage.

Storage will be pushing completely towards cloud based, so we could see some smartphones with no built in storage at all apart from what the software needs, all your music video, pictures,& apps ect will be stored on the cloud, and with the advancement of 5G & 6G around that time uploading will take no time at all even for 4K or 8K video's, with storage options in the Multi TB mark.

Options like USB & Bluetooth & NFC will be replaced with much much better solutions in 2020 or at least start to be.
 

Cod3rror

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Apr 18, 2010
1,745
36
Phone thinness is now limited by the headphone jack. It's expected that Apple will get rid of the headphone jack in the upcoming iPhone 6S or 7 and that will permit them to shave off some of the thickness
It's limited by the camera lens far more than the headphone jack. Apple could not do anything about the camera, so they made it protrude. Until some completely new technology gets invented, the camera housing and lenses are going to limit the thinness.
 

Markyboy81

macrumors 6502a
Oct 30, 2011
514
0
It's limited by the camera lens far more than the headphone jack. Apple could not do anything about the camera, so they made it protrude. Until some completely new technology gets invented, the camera housing and lenses are going to limit the thinness.
Agreed, and surely the laws of physics will prevent development of some super small sensor capable of capturing lots of light for great low light photography? Maybe I'm wrong - I hope I am!
 

Exploding Hat

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2008
15
0
In 2020, the iPhone 6C will have only been off sale for two/ three years (if they continue with the 'C' line of course).
 

Milese3

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2014
301
34
Southampton - United Kingdom
I recon we will se some pretty neat stuff in smartphones:

  • Extremely thin: ~5-6mm; Small bezels.
  • Screen sizes between 5" and 6" with 3-5K resolutions.
  • 2.5-3.5Ghz processors, remaining Quad/Octacore with 4GB of RAM.
  • 128GB storage standard, with some companies offering up to 512GB.
  • Advanced new battery technology that allows for multi-day battery life. Alongside innovitive new charging methods, like one of Apple's patents: Solar charging.
  • ~20-30MP Cameras. I honestly don't think companies will go even futher than this.
  • Smarter software. Look at iOS and Android 6 years ago, in 2008. I think it's hard to imagine how software will be in 6 years time!
 

mrex

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,284
1,350
europe
i hope there is something else than "old apples" or "un-updated samtoys". something new and differend.