Reimagining Smartphone Experience: How ‘Surfaces’ Can Play a Key Role in Making the Phone Smarter

The recent years have witnessed an unprecedented surge in smartphone usage, marked by a 35x increase in the number of apps and a 5x rise in smartphone sales since 2010. A typical user fires-up her smartphone 70-80 times in a day. 1 out of 2 times users pick up the phone they do so without knowing why they fired up their smartphone. BCG’s research reveals varying clarity of intent in three such unique journey types – Pre-Determined, Exploratory and Spontaneous. While ~50-55% times the consumer has no clarity of intent, ~45-50% of the times consumers are very clear on the task to be accomplished and 5-10% of the time consumers have partial clarity.

This BCG report delves into the concept of 'Surfaces,' defining them as AI-powered engines, driving interaction between users and apps which manifest as a rich, dynamic screen right from the start of a user’s phone journey. This surface-ecosystem comprises four key stakeholders: app developers, OEMs & telcos, brands & advertisers, and content creators. Within this framework, BCG explores how 'Surfaces' can present a unique opportunity for each stakeholder to deliver consumers a more seamless and smart experience on their phones – while driving serendipitous discovery.