I saw this question and I thought I’d try to answer it:
- First off, I don’t think that mobile phones will become obsolete, even in 50 years. Whilst many functions of a smartphone might one day be available through a chip in your brain, I think that it would be difficult to replace the convenience of a screen when interacting with your smartphone.
- Phone size will remain handheld as that’s the most convenient size for portability and for interacting with it.
The materials of the phone might be able to deliver things directly into your skin such as hormones or nutrients that you’re deficient in.
- Processing power will continue to develop according to Moore’s Law and eventually will utilise quantum computing for even faster computing power.
- In the near-future, I think all the niggles with smartphones today will be solved i.e. much longer battery life, unshatterable glass, much better sound delivery, lightning quick recharging, 100% waterproof to 50m, and incredible lifelike graphics as standard.
- Smartphones will replace Google Home and Amazon Alexa, because why have two devices when one can do the same job? Voice recognition will be far in excess of what we’re currently seeing with Siri, Cortana and Google Now.
- Costs: I think that they will become cheaper and cheaper, as the marginal utility of newer smartphones becomes smaller and smaller, and whilst the iPhone X has broken the £1,000 mark, the fact that S9 has just come out at £799, shows that there is a point that people will stop paying for the latest phone.
- Smartphones are another form of computers and when computers become more interactive, to the point of sentience and beyond, then our smartphones will become ever more interactive and sentient. They will become our assistants, booking meetings and socials, booking flights and scheduling dentist appointments, alerting us when we go overdrawn.
- I think we’ll see holographic calls, so that we’re having almost true face-to-face calls.
- Lastly, what are the opportunities for the time when everyone in the world has a smartphone in their pocket? We’ll see an tremendous leap forward in human potential, with EdTech being able to reach billions, access to basic banking and lending, and peer-to-peer micropayments.