Mobile Accessories: ‘What’s In’ in 2018
Watch out for wireless charging, USB-C, better cables and screen protection
Smartphone users around the world are wellacquainted with their device’s capabilities and continued innovation, and there is the desire from consumers to realize the full power of their technology as a way to connect to the people and experience they value most.
With the rapid proliferation and evolution of the smartphone, mobile accessories companies such as Belkin must begin the product development process with deep research to truly understand consumer behaviour and gain insight on what consumers need to enhance connectivity and optimize smartphone usage and longevity. In 2018, we predict the increasing proliferation of wireless solutions, the rise of USB- C and a bigger emphasis on the importance of smartphone screen protection and cable durability.
Though wireless charging has been around for years, there is no denying the rapid growth of adoption since the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus were introduced to include wireless charging. Wireless charging allows consumers to charge smartphones, tablets and smartwatches without connecting a cable to their device.
It is certainly convenient to just drop your phone on the charging pad and go about your life, whether you’re at home, at work, or even on-the- go (in- car).
Imagine giving your iPhone or Samsung phone a little battery boost every time you put it down. One thing is for certain, wireless charging is changing the way we charge our devices.
Qi is an established, evolving wireless charging standard owned by The Wireless Power Consortium, and backed by more than 200 leading companies including Apple, Philips and Belkin. Its goal is to deliver wireless charging easily and safely while ensuring compatibility across all devices that bear the Qi logo.
Qi standard products include iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy Note 8. It’s important to make sure you have the right charger to charge your smartphone or tablet. Look for the Qi logo on packaging to check compatibility with your Qi phone before you buy.
We also predict the continued increase of USB- C adoption. As many of the world’s most recognized manufacturers are supporting this new technology, it is likely to be widely adopted. With such support, USB- C will gradually replace previous USB types, including USB-A, USB-B, and USB Mini-B. Plus, as future devices are equipped with the new USB- C port, which is smaller than its predecessors, it’s likely these devices will also be thinner and lighter than ever before.
For peace of mind, purchase products that are approved by the USB-IF, which has instituted a compliance program that provides reasonable measures of acceptability. USB-IF is a non-profit organization made up of companies that facilitate the development of high- quality USB product and compliance testing. Purchasing a USB-IF certified USB- C cable will ensure that your devices and cables work together seamlessly, and safely.
Protection and Durability
For those who are not ready to go wireless this year, we will see the increased quality in existing trends. Companies such as Belkin are collaborating with the biggest names in
commercial- grade durability to provide consumers with heavy- duty, quality cables to enable seamless connectivity at optimal speeds.
Along with cables, we will also see an improvement in screen protection for smartphones. To preserve overall look and feel of the latest mobile devices, screen protectors are now being designed with elements to exude convenient luxury with ultrathin and crystal clear glass material. They now offer improved scratch resistance and reduced scratch visibility. They act like an invisible shield and preserves touch sensitivity. As consumers look for more ways to enhance their smartphone experience, key technology players are going to contribute extensively to the growth of mobile accessories market in 2018. We will see increased wireless solutions, the rise of USB- C and a bigger emphasis on the importance of smartphone screen protection and cable durability as smartphones evolve and continue to be in high demand.
KARTIK BAKSHI, India Head, BELKIN