Android is the world’s most successful Operating System. While iPhones dominate the higher end of the phone market, Android seems set to be the operating system of choice for the vast majority of the growing range of internet connected devices we use around the home and across our lives.
Phone bills are already 5% of the average family income. Industry trends, visible from research undertaken at the end of 2017, indicates that costs associated with an ever-increasing range of mobile devices seem likely to take an even bigger proportion of the household sspending
The devices that will use Android in 2018
Primary research from Australia reveals the following
- Internet connected wearables:11% of Australians already have an ‘Internet Connected Wearable. Typically, these devices take the form of a SmartWatch or health tracking product (Fitbit, for example). Many run Android simply because it’s free.
- Growth in Mobile Broadband: Historically, mobile broadband connections have been expensive, especially when compared to fixed alternatives. This is now changing. Data bundles with bundle sizes so large they can be legitimate alternatives to fixed connections – mobile broadband plans are now sold with 30GB – 100GB of 4G data per month – are becoming commonplace.
- Internet Connected Cars: BMW is among the forerunners of in car connections. Many use the new eSIM replacement for a physical SIM so the user can configure their operator and change providers when they want without ‘getting under the hood’ as it were. Most car manufacturers are working on some sort of connected internet software for their vehicles. Where an Operating System is required, Android is by far the most commonly used.
- Self Service Apps: Finally, an important trend which has hidden from plain sight until this point. Around 45% of users already employ their phone company’s Self Service apps to check their usage, pay their bills and, in the case of prepaid plans, to recharge their service. Uptake of this. The acceptance and usage of these Self Service apps has a significance which will become exponentially more important.
We will soon manage 3 different types of networks
- Personal Area Network: Bluetooth already operates a Personal Area Network. In the future, we will have many more devices connected to our own PAN – within about 10 meters of our body. It will be here that we manage our internet connected wearables and other Internet Of Things devices.
- Family network : Our child’s backpack may well be shipped with an internet connection so we can track it if we need to. One family member will likely manage the family’s mobile data allowance, minimizing cost by sharing out a huge mobile broadband data allocation.
- Personal Internet : Cars, boats, house lights, doors and other personal assets connected to the internet but outside our proximity will need to be managed.
Bringing it all together
The average Australian home already has 13 connected devices. That’s set to grow to 20 connected devices by 2020.Ultimately, the question of whether this array of internet connected devices come to fruition is one about the value they add to our lives, not the costs incurred.
A few years ago, few would have guessed that voice and SMS services would be the smallest part of a 2018 phone bill and data the majority of the value. We are inseparable from our SmartPhones because they help us do the things we want to. We are prepared to pay the often substantial cost for the latest device and largest plans to ensure we stay connected. The same may well be true for the host of internet connected devices which are on the horizon.
The adoption curves for these new technologies are following growth patterns similar to those we saw with the arrival of the smartphone. They could have a similarly dramatic effect on the way we relate to the world.
Android seems certain to be the platform that most of these operate on. Perhaps that’s why Google are spending so much time and money on apps like ‘Datally’ which assists Android users in keeping the amount of data they use each month as low as possible. Datally, launched recently, suggests they can cut the cost by 30%. Google has also bought a part of HTC so they can evolve their Pixel phone product and have built an eSIM management app which is being tested on that product.