2018 brought widespread transformation across the apps and platforms space. The rise of emerging technologies like voice, immersive reality, connected devices, and 5G will alter consumer behaviors in the year ahead. The next phase in the evolution of the smartphone will begin to take shape, and developments to two platforms — voice and VR — will create a new battleground for app makers. Mergers will continue to shake up the telecom and media landscapes, and voice will continue to push into all aspects of consumers' lives. Based on our ongoing analysis, understanding of industry trends, and conversations with industry executives, here are our top five predictions for apps and platforms in 2019:

1. The evolution of the smartphone is unfolding. Smartphones are essential to consumers’ daily lives; everyone owns one, it’s where we spend most of our digital time, and it’s the central hub of our lives. While we don’t anticipate new technology to ever fully replace the smartphone, we do expect what we know of the smartphone to evolve. Phones have changed from bricks to slide-opens, and from QWERTY keyboards to rectangular smartphones, Blackberrys, and iPhones. And we believe that foldable phones — which have tablet-sized screens but can be folded to the size and shape of a typical [...]