Smartphones, smartphones everywhere. Few technologies have done more to speed the pace of change in business and leisure in the 21st century. Today's Apple announcement, in which it is hotly tipped to reveal at least two new smartphone models, is one of the most eagerly anticipated dates in the 2015 consumer technology diary.

Apple is the world's most valuable publicly traded company, but with over 63% of revenue coming from sales of the iPhone alone there's little doubting the importance of the announcement to Apple as well as its shareholders.

Smartphone sales slowdown

Smartphone sales, however, are showing signs of stalling in many key markets. Data from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker revealed 2015 Q2 shipments were lower than forecast, reporting a "noticeable slowdown in smartphone shipments in 2015 as China joins North America and Western Europe in a more mature growth pattern".

IDC: Smartphone Vendor Market Share 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 Chart

As markets reach saturation smartphone manufacturers' continued success would appear to hinge on replacement, their ability to sell handsets with new or improved features.


But with devices already 'good enough' in the eyes of many, IBTimes UK asked which new features would be most likely to tempt users into upgrading their smartphone. Our unscientific straw poll of Canary Wharf commuters revealed that battery life and screen size remain important factors, but many reported being in no rush to upgrade their smartphone, something Apple and its competitors will be hoping to change with their latest handset announcements.

That tonight's Apple's press conference is being held in a 7,000-seater venue in San Francisco does suggest a major announcement of some description, and the rumour mill has been rife with talk of an updated Apple TV service and a larger-screened business-focused version of the iPad.

Apple announcement news

For as-it-happens updates and post-event analysis on the announcement make sure follow the IBTimes UK Apple Event live blog on Wednesday afternoon.