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Thread: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

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    News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Mid range and budget Android devices can only differentiate using price.
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    Theoretical Element Spud1's Avatar
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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    It's no great surprise really - it's really hard to differentiate yourself when everyone is running almost exactly the same software, so your main differentiator becomes hardware.

    Before i post anything though what i write here has to be taken with the knowledge that I really don't like Android as a mobile OS (particularly/mainly the UI/UX parts of it which are awful imo), and I await the day that it's replaced with something that doesn't feel like a linux beta build..so it's all a little biased

    Hardware only becomes interesting to those at the higher end of the market (geeks) and an insignificant minority of non-geek purchasers. So where else can you innovate? Really it comes down to the UI front end that gets slapped on to Android to make it slightly more user friendly, but again here the same problem crops up in that only the larger players can afford to invest in this. Even then, only HTC have successfully differentiated on this via HTC Sense (Which has been in development and available in various guises for around 10 years now).

    So, it's tough out there if you are working with Android..I don't really have an answer - Microsoft will have this issue eventually if/when Windows Phone becomes a success (Something that is unlikely, especially if they keep forgetting to market it outside of the USA). Apple don't have the problem as cleverly they have kept the iOS IP to themselves and have not fallen into the trap of licencing it (for free!) to anyone who wants it.

    You know what i would actually like to happen, given that android is here as a platform to stay - get google to remove the default UI. Force manufacturers to differentiate themselves from one another by creating a unique front end, which is actually what 99% of end users really care about. I guess this would cause problems for the smaller suppliers in the chain..but if there is one thing that would help android as a platform, it would be a polished UI that doesn't have that cheap linux feel to it that every single version I have personally played with, has.

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud1 View Post
    [snipped] Before i post anything though what i write here has to be taken with the knowledge that I really don't like Android as a mobile OS (particularly/mainly the UI/UX parts of it which are awful imo), and I await the day that it's replaced with something that doesn't feel like a linux beta build..so it's all a little biased

    You know what i would actually like to happen, given that android is here as a platform to stay - get google to remove the default UI. Force manufacturers to differentiate themselves from one another by creating a unique front end, which is actually what 99% of end users really care about. I guess this would cause problems for the smaller suppliers in the chain..but if there is one thing that would help android as a platform, it would be a polished UI that doesn't have that cheap linux feel to it that every single version I have personally played with, has.
    I agree with some of what you're saying (apologies for the editing) hardware does only push buttons for the geeks/nerds - i.e. few men-in-the-street are bothered if a particular device is quad core, amoled v's s-lcd, etc.

    The problem is that there's very few Android manufacturers* doing anything innovative with the platform - so what we get is a series of very similar devices. Heck, look at the <£200 board at CPW or P4U from a distance and it's darned difficult to tell what's HTC, Samsung, etc. In which case, as you say, the differences come down to the UI, (and I'm going to vehemently disagree that the stock ICS feel is poor - I like it). And not just at the low-to-mid end either - take the recent Galaxy S3 announcement and the vast majority of the sales pitch were for UI features.

    (*Honourable mention for Asus - PadFone is unlike anything else)

    There's a fascinating flame war on xda-developers at the moment between S3 adherents and HTC One X loyalists. Both excellent devices, but there's some real excitable fanboy-type arguments which seem to come down to that the S3 looks like it was designed after a drunken lunchbreak and the HOX is of poor quality.

    Doesn't bode well actually, with Android folks fighting each other; RIM dying slowly; Nokia/Microsoft apparently deciding that Lumia/WP7 are so good that they don't need to push them; and Apple being their usual snotty, writ-flinging selves.

    In closing I'll also argue that the ... ahem ... "eccentric" behaviour of old Android devices is on the wane and modern mainstream ones are just as easy to drive and good to look at as their iPhone/iPad based competition.

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    is anybody else thinking that WP7.5 hasn't a hope in hell of succeeding? 1.9% of the market and declining...I said this months ago, it's just too little and too late for both Nokia and Microsoft.

    I believe there is still time for people to make nice and yet different Android devices. My next phone will be an Xperia Mini Pro because I love the hardware keyboard...I can type/txt etc. so much faster using one and whilst it's not a multi-core beast it's still small enough to pocket yet powerful enough for most apps
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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    is anybody else thinking that WP7.5 hasn't a hope in hell of succeeding? 1.9% of the market and declining...I said this months ago, it's just too little and too late for both Nokia and Microsoft.
    I said that the moment the news broke that Nokia hired a Microsoft stooge as CEO.
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    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    is anybody else thinking that WP7.5 hasn't a hope in hell of succeeding? 1.9% of the market and declining...I said this months ago, it's just too little and too late for both Nokia and Microsoft.
    See http://apebox.org/wordpress/rants/391/

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    is anybody else thinking that WP7.5 hasn't a hope in hell of succeeding? 1.9% of the market and declining...I said this months ago, it's just too little and too late for both Nokia and Microsoft.s
    Kind of inclined to agree with you - and all the talk about WP8 isn't helping matters - since I figure that "folks in the know" might actually be holding off until that launches.

    We definitely need more than just iOS and Android, and WP seems - to me at least - to be the natural "third force". I feel that RIM's time-in-the-sun has past; Symbian is a corpse; nada Bada; webOS - who knows; and Linux-on-phone (apart from Android) - forget it.

    And if that "third force" gets market share at the expense of Apple, then so much the better. I'm a firm believer that the amount of share (real and perceived) that they currently have isn't good. Heck, I'll even hold them partially responsible for the poor state of Android devices. iPhones sell, so 'droid makers obviously want to play it safe by trying to emulate them, rather than doing something different. Heck, the HOX even looks like an iPhone (and other people on XDA have said the same thing).

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Whilst I agree we need a 3rd force or something, I can't help feeling that WP has no traction these days. People are fickle things, they look at an iPhone and either go yeah it's great or nah it's Apple. Android has Samsung and err Samsung at the moment in many places and the S3 looks a decent phone. Go and look in a shop though, and the WP phones just aren't being marketed well. And ask the sales assistant and they have most times to me anyway said you don't want one of them you want one of these...if they don't change this it soon will be a 2 horse race because once it's down to 1% marketshare then the devs and everyone will be off to better and greener pastures
    Old puter - still good enuff till I save some pennies!

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    And ask the sales assistant and they have most times to me anyway said you don't want one of them you want one of these...
    Any chance you were speaking to a sales-person for the manufacturer of those phones who works on commission?

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by 3dcandy View Post
    is anybody else thinking that WP7.5 hasn't a hope in hell of succeeding? 1.9% of the market and declining...I said this months ago, it's just too little and too late for both Nokia and Microsoft.
    I can't wait to get rid of mine Great hardware, great concept for an OS, lazy implementation and a huge swathe of nasty region locked features, with a leash to "bing"..makes it a poor competitor to even an Android device

    Now, Android's flexibility and technology stack mixed with Apples App Store/App model and Windows Phone's UI? That would be my dream phone!

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    Re: News - Smartphone commoditisation on the horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by valhar2000 View Post
    Any chance you were speaking to a sales-person for the manufacturer of those phones who works on commission?
    nope most of them readily admit they haven't really used one..and here's the crunch, they admit that other phones are being pushed harder and the sales of WP are pathetic or useless and nobody wants them...
    Old puter - still good enuff till I save some pennies!

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