Following its three day long predictions event, we talk to Ben Wood, CMO and Chief Analyst of research company CCS Insight for his Top 7 Tech predictions for 2022 and beyond.
1. By the middle of 2023, Facebook’s family of users total 4.4 million
The number of monthly users of at least one of Facebook’s stable of services — Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram — was 3.5 billion people in the second quarter of 2021. Growth accelerated during the pandemic and despite an easing as the pandemic eases, the company reaches 4.4 billion monthly active users by the middle of 2023.
2. At least a third of iPhone sales in Western Europe in 2025 will be refurbished devices
The high price of new iPhones, combined with the regular cadence of Apple product launches, has been an important driver of the burgeoning market for refurbished mobile phones. We estimate that close to 25% of iPhones sold in Western Europe are now pre-owned. Steady growth over the next few years is driven by increased supply, growing support from operators, heightened awareness of environmental issues and a continued squeeze on household budgets as economies slowly recover from Covid-19.
3. Apple and Samsung will struggle with negative public perceptions of their businesses’ effect on the environment
In our research conducted in multiple Western markets, fewer than one in three people said they believe Apple or Samsung make efforts to look after the environment. As awareness of environmental issues grows, an increasing proportion of the population becomes aware of the links to excessive consumption. Apple and Samsung are market leaders, each selling more than 300 million electronic devices in 2020. Importantly, they incentivize people to replace their devices as often as possible, and this draws the attention of more environmentally conscious consumers and pressure groups. Activities such as offsetting carbon emissions and recycling materials fail to convince some people that these companies are committed to change.
4. A wave of smart glasses arrives from leading device-makers in 2022 and 2023, but they will spark a fresh consumer backlash against the technology
CCS Insight has previously predicted that a range of companies will enter the smart glasses market over the next few years. Although these new devices offer excellent utility, they meet with scepticism from consumers concerned about privacy, much like with the original Google Glass (pictured above). They are accepted in the enterprise market, where they are subject to greater regulation. The likes of Apple and Facebook undertake huge PR campaigns to demonstrate the benefits and security of their products.
5. Support for 3G technology disappears from leading smartphones by 2025
To reduce antenna complexity and licensing costs, Apple kick-starts this trend by removing 3G support from the new iPhone in 2023. Although some mobile operators have already outlined plans to reuse their 3G spectrum and switch off 3G services, Apple’s decision initially results in an outcry in the media, but, as with other decisions such as the removal of the 3.5 mm audio jack, the trend spreads to other phone-makers, and 3G support disappears from major new smartphones by 2025.
6. By 2024, Apple adds voice biometrics to its Health platform to detect a range of medical conditions.
Voice analysis goes beyond security authentication, and vocal diagnostics start to be used to detect medical conditions. In some cases, this is physical ailments such as obstructive pulmonary disease, but vocal biomarkers powered by artificial intelligence are also developed to identify stress levels, depression, dementia and even Covid-19. Apple overcomes privacy concerns by processing data on the user’s device.
7. In 2023, Apple partners with at least one of the largest automobile makers to integrate AirTag technology into a car fob.
Following the success of the Apple AirTag and the effectiveness of Apple’s mesh network of hundreds of millions of iPhones, vehicle makers embrace AirTag technology to enable an easy way for owners to locate missing car keys.