Dixons Carphone’s Sebastian James claims the industry is ‘reaching a precipice’ where connectivity is widely available, predicting 2016 will see smart technology take centre stage.
Year of smart tech
Speaking to Mobile, the CEO said: ‘Smartphone adoption is at an all-time high. We are reaching a precipice where connectivity is accessible to everyone and the mobile phone is quickly becoming the remote control for our lives.’
He explained that the last year has seen wearable and connected technology gain momentum in the consumer market, predicting that adoption will only gather pace. Dixons Carphone has made significant strides in this area of the market throughout 2015, with its Connected World Services division achieving revenues of £130m for the year.
‘The Connected World is coming into its own and the adoption of smart technology that genuinely makes our day-to-day lives easier is rapidly increasing. Wearables have been the front runner so far, but categories such as home security are now starting to pick up the pace and we have likely only seen the tip of the iceberg.’
James expects this pace to continue, despite the changes in the market that he predicts will be brought on from potential mergers between BT/EE and Three/O2.
‘Potential convergence between the networks is set to shake the market up and whilst change always brings risk, it’s an exciting time and the sign of a thriving sector,’ he said. ‘It’s going to be an interesting year and the big winners will be those who push beyond customer expectations and offer great products and value.’
As consumer interest in connect products increase, James believes the manufacturers will have to work harder to deliver handsets that work seamlessly with each other. It’s a view shared by Carphone Warehouse MD Jeremy Fennell, who believes that 2016 won’t just be about technology, but also about value.
‘We all know that customers want great value, together with great technology,’ he said. ‘Value is different to each and every one of us though, so understanding exactly how customers use their mobile phones and reflecting this back to them in a tailored offer to make their tariff extend further is key.
‘2016 will without doubt have some cracking handset launches but the winners will be those who can provide the latest technology, a choice of flexible tariffs that adjust alongside our daily lives, whilst still maintaining great value for money.’