2019 was huge for technology, with foldable phones and the rise of AR all standout features of the year. 2020 has a lot to live up to, but there's sure to be even more amazing developments in store. Let's take a look at some of the predicted tech trends for 2020.

The rise of the eSIM

Currently, smartphones connect to a network using a SIM card. While small, it still requires the device's owner to insert the card manually, and pick up a new one whenever they upgrade or change networks. Manufactures are set on making the process even easier though, thanks to the creation of the eSIM.

The eSIM is, essentially, a digital SIM card built into the core of a device. You won't need to purchase a physical SIM card to insert into your phone, smartwatch or tablet, making switching providers as easy as changing over your number.

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There are other advantages to using an eSIM. You'll have the opportunity to have plans with more than one network, which can be particularly useful if you want to use one device for both leisure and business. The same goes for travelling abroad - you can sign up with a local network if data roaming isn’t included in your existing plan with ease.

eSIMs already exist, but they're set to feature prominently on handsets in 2020. Apple currently has a range of devices with eSIMs, including the Apple Watch Series 3, 4 and 5 and variations of iPhone since the release of the iPhone XS and XR.

Wide-spread 5G

5G officially launched in 2019, but 2020 will see more wide-spread coverage across not only the UK, but the entire globe. With 5G mobile networks and 5G broadband being rolled out to even more locations, and an increase in 5G-ready handsets predicated, more and more people will be able to take advantage of 5G.

It's not just faster social media scrolling or webpage loading 5G will give you either. Increased download speeds, lower latency and a more complex, powerful infrastructure opens up a whole new world of possibilities for not only the technology sector, but other industries too.

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Lower latency means a reduced chance of buffering and lagging, which is likely to lead to a surge of VR and AR apps, all while improving performance of graphics-heavy games. 5G is capable of handling this kind of tech with ease, encourage more developers to put forward new software.

The speed of 5G will also be essential for the Internet of Things (IOT), and it will play a key role in the development of self-driving cars and even improve the healthcare industry. Discover more about the possibilities of 5G here.

All-new Streaming Services

Gone are the days of only having the choice between Netflix, Amazon Prime and Now TV. 2020 is all about the variety when it comes to online video streaming.

Alongside the old favourites just mentioned, loads of other streaming services will be launching worldwide in 2020 to give viewers even more choice. Some are already available in select locations and will be heading to the UK soon, while others will be launched as brand-new services in 2020.

Disney will get its own online platform in the form of Disney+. Launched in America back in late 2019, and coming to the UK in March 2020, Disney+ will show all of the classics and newer releases, tons of Pixar films, documentaries and loads of new exclusives. It'll be the home of Star Wars too.

Quibi is, perhaps, even more exciting. Announced at CES 2020, and coming to the USA first in April,Quibi is all about bitesize content. Everything on Quibi is between 4 to 10 minutes long, and all kinds of genres are covered - including exclusive news services supported by the BBC and NBC. Big names like Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and even Steven Spielberg have already declared they're on board.

Sleep technology

There's been a keen interest in how technology can help improve sleep, and help us track of sleep quality, for a few years now. The trend is set to get even bigger in 2020, and we can expect many sleep-focused products and software to be released in the next year.

A few examples of what we can expect were seen at CES 2020 - one of the biggest technology events in the world. And while these products might not be ready for the everyday consumer yet, they show us a glimpse into where sleep technology is heading.

For example, the Sleep Number Climate360 smart bed uses microclimate control technology to adjust the temperature of the mattress. The idea is to counter-balance your body temperature, heating up to help you fall asleep quicker, then cooling down gradually to prevent you from waking up in the night.

Then there's the Motion Pillow, from Korean company TenMinds. Designed to stop you snoring (something your partner might be very thankful for), the pillow is made from memory foam and contains a microphone as well as four airbags that detect pressure. When you start snoring, the airbags slowly inflate on one side, gently prompting you to turn your head and stop snoring.

Curious about what 2020 has in store for smartphones? Don't forget to check back throughout the year for amazing SIM-free and contract deals from Mobiles.co.uk.