You’re probably still fairly satisfied with your current smartphone, especially if you got it in the last year or so. The screen and picture quality is good and it’s still relatively fast. The camera takes really nice images and you have some video’s you’re quite proud of. But then, there’s some features you wish you had, and that d*** battery doesn’t last very long anymore.
But none of these things are enough to push you to upgrade – and definitely not for just that one killer feature they offer on a new device.
Reaching folks like you is a tall order for the companies exhibiting here last week at the Mobile World Congress. From a market leader like Samsung, which unveiled its latest flagship Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge devices, to any number of handset makers who don’t have near the resources or clout of the South Korean tech giant. And its apparently becoming more of a challenge for Apple, too.
To be sure, smartphones almost always get better with each new model introduction, and have beefier specs. Still, it’s worth asking: is better, better enough? “The challenge is how do you make money in an environment where everyone can source components that are good enough?” asks Avi Greengart, an analyst with Current Analysis.
Indeed, smartphone innovation appears to have run smack into a great big wall, with most tech breakthroughs hitting other corners of tech, such as autonomous cars, fitness gear and virtual reality. According to Gartner, global sales of smartphones grew by just 9.7% (to 103 million units) in the fourth quarter of 2015, the slowest rate of growth since 2008.
“Is there anything different?”
“I was just in the care with our head of engineering reading out specs of one of the launched phones here and it was like, ‘Is there anything that’s different?’ It’s really hard to tell,” says Rick Osterloh, president and chief operating officer of Motorola, now owned by the Chinese tech company Lenovo.
Motorola didn’t launch any major new devices at the MWC event. Another Chinese company, Huawei, now the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, also didn’t announce major new smartphone hardware.
LG’s removable battery
The one company that actually revealed something different at the show was LG. It’s new G5 is built around a “modular” design, in which you can remove a bottom piece of the phone, slide out the battery and slide in accessories. For starters, a camera module (with extra batter), and a module featuring high-res audio. This is an interesting approach which bears watching, but the idea of bolting on accessories, however it is done, isn’t entirely novel.
Although, HP did launch its Elite X3 Windows 10 phone at the event, it isn’t entirely a new concept either. But the pitch behind this Windows 10 phablet, which is due out this summer and aimed at enterprise customers, is that the Windows 10 tech is known as Continuum and with optional accessories, a single device can serve as your phone, notebook and desktop computer.
Phone designs inevitably change over time, sometimes more than others. But do phones with flexible displays have a future? Or do phones that exploit multiple displays?
Read Article (Edward C Baig | usatoday.com | 02/28/2016)
It seems that the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, basically turned into a mass discussion about 5G type networks, that won’t arrive until, maybe, 2020. This all tells me that we should see a major smartphone price drop in the near future.
And guess what? I don’t need a new phone right now, anyway.
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