iOS 13 launch – live: Apple release date, iPhone 11, new watch and how to download

Having pioneered the smartphone industry more than a decade ago, Apple has opted for a more cautious approach in recent years when it comes to new innovations.

As rivals like Samsung and Huawei have tried (and failed, and tried again) to launch folding phones, Apple has been happy to sit back and let others take all the risks.

A new camera lens will probably be an exciting development, but it’s hardly breaking the pattern of incremental updates.

But beyond folding phones, what major innovations are left to make in a saturated market? 5G is the obvious one, but there’s another trends quietly happening among some of the world’s biggest phone makers.

It follows on from the HTC Exodus 1, described by its maker as the “world’s first blockchain smartphone”.

Speaking ahead of the iPhone 11 launch, the phone’s lead developer, Phil Chen, explains to The Independent why such phones may be the future.

Smartphones as a business segment has peaked and now plateaued. We’ve already seen the best camera, the best screen and the best audio – which is why we’re seeing smartphone sales slow down. Top brands are struggling to find the next gimmick that would push an upgrade. However, what we need are not gimmicks, but real productivity gains to jump to the next curve of innovation. For example, the inclusion of the rest of the world that currently don’t have access to basic financial tools. Initially considered a gimmick by some, crypto technology is the next frontier of smartphone innovation.

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