In what could simply be a case of hitting a speed wall, the latest sales figures indicate that smartphone sales began a decline in 2017, with sales in the US declining for the first time in 2018. Market saturation is nearing 100%, and everyone who wants a smartphone has a smartphone. Phones are now like cars, which you don't really replace as often anymore, since the new phone won't be significantly better.
Citing the trend in Silicon Valley, where computer executives won't allow their kids and loved ones to use mobile devices, the NY Times came out with an article stating that using mobile phones can basically turn you into a zombie. Leo says that while there is indeed a dark and seedy side to the use of mobile devices, is it any different a concern from the wide spread adoption of books in the 1700s, or even the TV in the 1950s? For good or bad, this is the world they are growing up on, but it's important to teach them how to navigate through the connected universe.
Josh would like to educate himself on consumer electronics and technology. Leo says that tablets and mobile have really moved into the game, even in the corporate arena, where Bring Your Own Devices is a thing now. Voice technologies like the Amazon Echo and Google Assistant are really hitting the mainstream, and with that, so is home automation. Drones are also big. And looking over the horizon, AI is going to be big.
Kyle wonders what the future holds for game consoles like the PlayStation. Will there be a new version like a PS5 or will it just keep with incremental improvements like the PlayStation Pro? Leo says that the PS4 has a very powerful processor, and console game systems have a life span of about 10 years before they move to the next platform update. So Leo would imagine we'll see updates during that time, and we hear there will be serious revisions this year. We'll probably see the end of optical media in favor of downloads.
According to a recent Pew survey, nearly 86% of all users have a smartphone phone and 45% have a tablet, pointing to mobility dominating the computer industry. 75% have a desktop computer, and 50% have a gaming console. Tablet use has grown from 15% to nearly 50%, but that growth has flattened. eBook readers are also plummeting in sales.
Marty wants to know what's going to be the next big thing in technology. Leo says it's difficult to predict and usually involved paradigm shifts that nobody expects. Like apps. Some things you can see coming, sure. Like the mobile revolution. But there are others that simply come from out of nowhere. And the internet is only in it's infancy. Leo says you can keep up on your skill set by learning how to learn. And that will future proof you. One thing that won't ever go away though is computer security.
Reports show that Facebook will lose up to 80% of their users within the next three years. Leo says if people start moving away from Facebook, others will follow. Most people who use Facebook under duress, because their friends and family are online, are just looking for reasons to jump ship. Leo says that Facebook is trying to make the Feed more newsy, filled with "link bait," and less about friends and family.