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My Nine 2019 Tech Predictions: It’s Going To Be Another Interesting Run!

I can’t even pretend that I am not excited about how revolutionary tech will be in 2019 with the ‘trailer’ that it has continued to showcase in the subsequent years. 2018 alone was an awesome year for tech and it not only continues to be mind-boggling but also such a fascinating field to look out for in the smartphone business. From bezel-less smartphones owning the space, to perfect slim smartphone designs, gigantic battery life and of course the copycats for the ‘omuntu wawansi’ (the average user) to also enjoy this awesome tech( Hello Tecno & Infinix )

The year 2018 teased some new technologies such as 5G technology, foldable smartphones, Artificial Intelligence (AI), torched a future on Robotics, re-echoed that ‘Data is the New Oli’, promised us an even brighter future in Machine Learning and left us in awe for what to expect in 2019 and the years to come. At home (Uganda), this tech maybe far from getting deeply rooted but that doesn’t mean we can’t get ready for it. At least we are always ready to jump onto the new smartphone craze anytime one is unleashed.

Here; I randomly share my thoughts on what to expect in the tech space in 2019, the tech that will emerge & disrupt the industry( or is already doing so), the tech that will remain and that will go. Some predictions may be too ambiguous while the other may be a reality and the rest may just be me living in my own bubble of illusions. Nonetheless, here we go;

1. More Phones and Laptops will adopt the USB-C

My friend said last year that we shall reach a point when our circle is no longer asking whether anyone has ‘an android charger’ but if anyone has a lightning cable (iPhone charger ) and deep down, I never agreed with him. Why? The USB- type C is the next big thing.

Developed by USB Implementers Forum, USB-C is the true meaning of Universal and a new industry-standard connector for transmitting both data and power. It has developed, certified, and shepherded the USB standard and it is now being slowly adopted by more than 700 companies in its membership, including Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung etc.

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Photo by Thomas Kolnowski on Unsplash

Smartphones, laptops and PCs have readily accepted USB-C. Apple’s newest iPad Pro and MacBooks have USB-C ports, Samsung’s & Google’s Chromebooks and smartphone are supportive of the USB-C and these being the leading, the young companies will soon join the bandwagon.

2. The Bezels will Continue to die out!

Apple isn’t the pioneer of the ‘bezel-less smartphone’ (the Essential Phone was) but credit will forever be theirs for setting the ball rolling on a large scale when they outdid themselves on November 3, 2017, when they launched a fully bezel-less smartphone dubbed iPhone X. One can comfortably say that Apple popularized the notch-less smartphone wave that rocked 2018. This went on to ‘disrupt’ the smartphone industry and soon we saw fewer bezels on smartphones and more screen.

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Photo by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

Before we knew it, Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, Oppo Find X, Vivo Nex S, OnePlus 6T, Honor 8X, Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, and Note 9 etc went on to do away with the bezel as much as possible. This year, the trend will continue, smartphone users will be getting more screen to play with and fewer bezels.

3. Expect 1TB storage smartphones before the year ends

China’s little known “Smartisan R1” smartphone was the first smartphone to come up with a whopping 1TB of storage. With demand for more storage (I know many smartphone users don’t like or understand the gold in cloud storage), there is going to be more pressure on smartphone makers to give users as much storage for their videos, photos, documents and much more.

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Smartisan R1 the 1Tera-byte storage smartphone

People are increasingly resorting to smartphones as their portable offices everywhere they go and they would appreciate as much space on their gadgets.

Apple gave us a 512Gb iPhone X, Samsung gave us a 512GB micro SD and the story went on and on. Lenovo is reportedly also planning to launch a new smartphone with 4TB of storage. Storage and RAM are going to be such a big thing in 2019 in smartphones.

4. More Foldable Smartphones could hit the scene!

Samsung has always been at the forefront of doing amazing stuff with technology but for some reason, they don’t get the premium praise that Apple gets even when their stuff is top notch.

As ridiculous as a foldable smartphone, the rumours will always point to Samsung being the first to pull this off. However, Royole FlexPai a little-known company beat the odds to make the World’s First Foldable Smartphone. Did this upset Samsung? I don’t know for sure but what I know is they’re set to also roll out their own version of a ‘foldable smartphone’ this year. With the way they’re too ‘boujee’, I doubt Apple will also be in the news this year for making a foldable smartphone but the news is already indicating so.

Yes! In 2019, we are going to see a foldable smartphone and it’s going to be hella expensive. Ready your lungs for kidneys won’t be enough! Lol

5. Streaming is going to be a thing!

A few years back, Netflix silently made themselves available here and the ‘woke’ ones didn’t waste any time to blast away to a variety of movies that platform offered just a click away.

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Photo by Mildly Useful on Unsplash

Those that understand the awesomeness of VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) didn’t wait for social media to first be taxed or shutdown to enjoy Spotify, they did so and are now enjoying the music streaming service even before it launches in Africa.

Late this year, Tidal entered the African market with a partnership with MTN and the future of streaming got a newer breath. Not that streaming is a new thing here, we have been streaming YouTube and movies since time immemorial but this year, we are going to appreciate it more. Streaming movies on Netflix will no longer cost you an arm or leg but will be a usual thing.

However, It won’t really explode that much because the internet continues to be expensive and this will continue to discourage many from streaming but it will be a big this year! ( Hi telecoms) In 2019, streaming videos on Youtube, streaming music on Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Boomplay (which btw is expected to launch soon in the country), watching movies on Netflix and anything more will boom this year! This is the same of gaming!

6. More ‘Burials’ for The Headphone Jack!

I don’t know who poisoned the minds of smartphone makers to kill the headphone jack from smartphones but whoever it was they succeeded! 2019 will be a continuation for the death of the headphone in smartphones.

Apple, OnePlus, Google Pixel and more killed the 3.5mm headphone jack from their smartphones last year and I am sure others will continue to follow suit. This is a money move. They simply want to sell more merc like wireless earphones and shit! Be woke!

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Photo by Behar Zenuni on Unsplash

This will also see the rise of wireless headphones and Airpods ( they already are) and they will be hella cheap for everyone to afford. In 2019, I predict more smartphone companies to drop the jack as well.

7. The Fourth Industrial Revolution(4IR) will take centre stage!

Topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Blockchain and Big Data will continue to blossom this year like the previous years but many people will be left behind and won’t understand what these ‘things’ are. The environment in which these technologies are operating & happening is so ‘secluded’ and not many know about them. To make matters worse, not very many give a hoot or care to even know what they are about.

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The few that know about them here in Uganda make the loudest noise that may make you believe that everyone knows them but that is not the case. These have been emerging technologies that many don’t understand but are really interesting to learn about and incorporate in our day to day lives.

The new emerging technologies in the Fourth Industrial revolution will continue to blossom and emerge this year and we simply need to devise means to get as many people on board.

8. The Start-up ecosystem will continue rising in Uganda

The past years have seen the Ugandan start-up ecosystem steadily rise and with the emergence of many avenues for locals to innovate and come up with ideas that attract & secure enormous amounts of funding, the sky’s the limit. This year and more years to come will continue being good for the ecosystem as many companies are now interested in investing in Africa.

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Photo by Chris Knight on Unsplash

There are very many opportunities for youth in Uganda now to learn basic skills in tech such as programming so that they can come up with ideas in software development and more. African company, Andela that identifies and develops Africa’s most talented software developers to help companies scale with high-performing teams is steadily grooming the best talent in Uganda and neighbouring countries.

However, one thing that will continue to affect the startup ecosystem here in Uganda will be that most start-ups will fall short of quality.

9. 5G Technology will knock on the Door!

Telecoms and Smartphone companies will continue testing Fifth Generation(5G) technology for mobile internet connectivity as it is the next big thing. This will be capable of giving users faster video streaming and lightning-fast upload and download times and will offer faster speeds and more reliable connections.

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Photo by Thomas Jensen on Unsplash

There won’t be many gadgets with 5G networks rolled out but there will be test devices that will provide a rise in the Internet of Things technology, helping achieve smarter connectivity worldwide.

According to Sagacent technologies, 5G mobile phone service and at-home 5G Wi-Fi will deliver speeds as fast as fibre networks but are more cost-effective. The technology will not only be capable of moving data with greater speed, but it will also provide lower latency and the ability to connect more devices simultaneously as well.

MTN Uganda showcased something with the technology at their 20 years celebrations at Kololo but it didn’t indicate that they would go big this year. 5G won’t go big this year but the seeds will be sowed!

I will be closely following every prediction and writing more as the tech space evolves more and more. Share with me your opinions, thoughts and feedback in the comment section and let’s have a candid conversation on what you expect the tech space to be like. For more, email me at penywaru@gmail.com

I blog for believers, spirited optimists, and ambitious movers. I am writing to build a home that will be filled with Ideas & Inspiration.

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