While Motorola and Samsung unveiled flexible smartphones that can also be used as smartwatches at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on Monday, Deutsche Telekom unveiled a phone that favors artificial intelligence assistants over standard apps.

Working in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and Brain.ai, Deutsche Telekom's "T-phone" device redesigns the way a user interacts with their devices. And company officials claim that traditional apps will become obsolete in the next 10 years.

"Artificial intelligence and Large Language Models (LLM) will soon become an integral part of mobile devices," said Jon Abrahamson, CPO of Deutsche Telekom.

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"With them, we will improve and simplify the lives of our customers... This is a true companion that meets the needs of everyday life and simplifies digital life.

Smartphone sales have been declining in recent years due to a lack of innovation. In 2016, global shipments peaked at 1.47 billion units. The latest figures from International Data Corporation (IDC) show that this figure fell to just 1.17 billion shipments last year.

This trend has led some analysts to argue that the world has already passed the "peak smartphone" era and manufacturers are now trying to remake the industry.

Other recent product launches have shown a variety of potential directions for the post-smartphone era, ranging from devices with screenless edges to simple square-shaped ones.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, AI startup Rabbit unveiled its standalone R1 device, which uses an assistant similar to Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri to control everything from music and texts to restaurant reservations and online shopping. 
 
While leading phone makers such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei are expected to continue making upgrades to their smartphone lineups in the coming years, productive AI is likely to have an impact on the user experience.In a recent interview with The Independent, Qualcomm's CEO Cristiano Amon said he believes AI will fundamentally change the way users interact with their phones.

"We will see this change in the app-driven UI," Amon said.