Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the next big growth areas for the mobile industry according to a white paper released by IHS Markit, which specializes in critical information, analytics and solutions.
“We see AI making smart devices even smarter with improved user experiences,” says Ian Fogg, director of mobile and telecom analysis at IHS Markit. “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 machine. Smartphones will both be the interface for consumer AI and deliver the vast amount of data technology companies need to train AI systems.”
Software investments and partnerships are critical for hardware companies to create smarter AI-enabled experiences, according to the IHS Markit white paper. Vendors such as Apple, Google, Sony, Microsoft and Samsung have heavily invested in the development of their own AI and voice-assistant capabilities. In order to compete, smaller players with less in-house software expertise and resources will be looking to partner-up.
“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.”
The AI opportunity comes at a time when the global smartphone installed base is still growing, the white paper said. By 2020, the smartphone-installed base will exceed six billion units, up from four billion in 2016, with revenues totaling $355 billion.