Many consumers believe smartphones will cease to exist within five years, according to new research carried out by researchers on behalf of Ericsson.

The company’s ConsumerLab questioned more than 100,000 customers in its native Sweden and 39 other countries, seeking their views on their technological desires for the future.  With around 1.9 billion smartphone users globally, this means ConsumerLab covered just 0.0052 per cent of active users for its study.

Half of the respondents said they thought mobile technology would be a thing of the past by 2021, with increasingly prevalent artificial intelligence superseding many of its functions.

Rebecka Cedering Angstrom of Ericsson ConsumerLab said: “A smartphone in the hand, it’s really not that practical. For example, not when one is driving a car or cooking. And there are many situations where display screens are not so good. Therefore, one in two think that smartphones will belong to the past within five years.”

She also predicts that evolving technologies will enable customers to enhance their leisure time.

“Just imagine watching football and being able to choose from where you want to see the game from different places in the stands, or perhaps even from the pitch. Shopping is also an area where you could [virtually] try on shoes and see how they fit on your own feet.”

Ericsson ConsumerLab’s new report, 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2016, claims to represent the views of 1.1 billion people across 24 countries.

Michael Björn, Head of Research at Ericsson ConsumerLab, said: “Some of these trends may seem futuristic. But consumer interest in new interaction paradigms such as AI and virtual reality (VR), as well as in embedding the internet in the walls of homes or even in our bodies, is quite strong.”

“This means we could soon see new consumer product categories appearing – and whole industries transforming – to accommodate this development.”

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