MWC analysis: Accenture on smartphones, wearables and connected cars

As Mobile World Congress 2015 draws to a close, now is the time to have a look back over the last few days and examine the key news stories that have emerged.

Luckily for us, that's exactly what Accenture has done, covering all the key areas of smartphones, wearables, telecommunications and connected cars.

Smartphones

As you will undoubtedly have heard, we've seen the likes of Samsung and HTC unveil new flagship smartphones this week, with display quality very much being a focal point.

John Curran, managing director of Accenture’s Communications, Media and Technology practice, said: "Consumers have now crossed the 5-inch screen size when it comes to smartphones. More and more are wanting bigger smartphone screen sizes, known as phablets, for a range of reasons including larger font sizes making reading easier on the eyes and user experiences improving when watching videos and TV."

Having said that, Accenture research found a 4 per cent and 6 per cent decrease in the number of consumers planning to buy a smartphone and tablet respectively in 2015, suggesting that this may be an industry in transition.

Wearables

The wearables industry is very much one on the rise, with a diverse range of companies developing wearable products.

The imminent release of the Apple Watch is expected to really kickstart the industry, but Accenture research has shown that it's the long-term market that companies should be focusing on.

For example, 12 per cent of consumers intend to buy a smartwatch within the next 12 months, compared to 41 per cent within the next five years.

This pattern also holds true for fitness trackers as, over the next 12 months, 12 per cent of consumers plan to buy a wearable fitness device, but 40 per cent plan to do so within the next five years.

Telco

Two of the big telco stories were Mark Zuckerberg appealing to Telecoms operators to support his Internet.org project and Google increasing investment in networks and connectivity with the launch of its own mobile network in the US.

Sef Tuma, MD for Media & Entertainment at Accenture, commented: “The number of connected devices and Internet services is growing exponentially, bringing a huge threat to operators and their business models.

"In the coming years, we’ll see an increase in innovative operators transitioning into integrated digital services providers in response - providing the integration engine and customer service for a number of emerging digital ecosystems serving connected devices, turning vast amounts of data into actionable intelligence and value chain prominence.”

With the Internet of Things still gathering momentum, research has found that 79 per cent of consumers would prefer a single provider to manage all of their communications and entertainment products and services.

The rapid growth in intelligent devices, coupled with consumer preference for a single, trusted provider, positions communications service providers (CSPs) to play a key, holistic role in the digital ecosystem.

Connected Cars

Volvo and AT&T are amongst several companies to have announced connected car technologies at MWC.

Marcello Tamietti, connected vehicle lead for Accenture Digital – Mobility, said: “One of the key drivers for 4G networks is Connected Transportation, allowing motorists to treat their cars as an extension of their smartphones. This connectivity will enable drivers to share music and messaging services, as well as use apps to communicate with a vehicle remotely.

"Additionally, we’re going to see an increase in mVallet operations, supporting payments from drivers’ credit cards without the need to leave the vehicle, be it for food or petrol purchases."

With the launch of the Apple Watch and the Wearable Technology Conference taking place next week, don't expect any rest bite as companies fight to establish themselves in what is shaping up to be a very exciting year of tech.