Where We're Headed: Sunlight is a smartphone screen's Kryptonite. Enter transflexive LCD displays, which reflect ambient light, eliminating the need for powered backlighting in daylight and rendering bright, crisp and colorful images when the sun is shining bright. The problem is that transflexive screens are prohibitively expensive and lose contrast in dimmer conditions. As a result, no smartphone maker is tinkering with transflexive technology at the moment.
Prediction: The need for a smartphone screen to stand up to sunlight is too acute to go unsolved, so we'll likely see a sunlight solution five years from now.