They say everyone is entitled to their own opinion– but not to their own facts. Since much of humanity does not agree with itself, maybe facts are an argumentative issue, too. I have opinions. I share those opinions.
So does Owen Williams who thinks it’s time to end the yearly smartphone launch event. Why? Because ho hum. Because all smartphones are the same these days; flat slabs of glass with rounded corners, a couple of cameras, shrinking bezels, and almost every one of them run Android or iOS.
Fair enough. What’s the replacement for the smartphone launch event? Williams doesn’t say. He’s just tired of same old same old.
As smartphone sales begin to stall and phone makers clamber to figure out what’s next, we’re in a period of uncertainty: is the decade of continued, unprecedented growth going to come back?
Probably not. Half the human race has a smartphone of one kind or another, thanks to hundreds of manufacturers the world over. The industry appears to be led by a handful of phone makers, including, by not limited to, Apple and Samsung.
The fact is that many of these year-to-year changes are simply designed to try to get you to upgrade. Apple appears to have succeeded in this regard so far with the iPhone X, convincing consumers to buy a more expensive phone to get the notch and Face ID, and has ultimately raised revenue per unit to stave off the shrinking industry for now.
“Designed to try to get you to upgrade?” Or, perhaps designed to improve the product. Improvement trumps lame attempts to upgrade, and from what I can tell of iPhone history each new model is a notable improvement over last year’s model– display, camera, graphics, security, iOS and app capabilities. Apple isn’t sitting still and neither is Samsung or many competitors.
To be fair, Samsung had a busy week of announcement events, though– Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Watch, Galaxy Tab tablet.
I believe that we’re seeing the beginning of phones lasting longer than ever, and ultimately becoming boring to the consumer. Phones are getting ever-closer to commoditization.
Critics throw that word around– commoditization— with reckless abandon. I’m thinking beans and corn and not automobiles, certainly, and not even PCs. Microsoft made plenty of noise with their Surface notebook tablet hybrids in an industry in decline. Smartphones may not have the excitement they did a decade ago when iPhone began to take over the industry’s mindset, but I look forward to what is new and improved.
When it can’t be improved then it’s time for an end to the show’n tell. Wait. The new MacBook Pro models didn’t get a show’n tell, did they. Hmmm.
I’ll still watch the new iPhone launch anyway.