It can’t be easy being a mobile phone manufacturer in this day and age. Technology continues to evolve at an obscene rate, and we gadget-hungry beasts can be a fickle lot.
But hey, that doesn’t stop us thinking we know what’s best for everyone and judging manufacturers from the comfort of our respective chairs.
In this feature, I’m aiming to scribble a few mini-rants about things that currently really irk me about the hands that feed us handsets.
Wasting time on 3D
3D is rubbish. Who decided that people needed – or indeed wanted – 3D on their smartphones? It’s utterly pointless, makes phones fatter (more on this later, actually), and often leaves the user with a sore head.
In theory the very fact that the LG Optimus 3D and HTC Evo 3D exist makes no difference to me, in that I can simply ignore them, but manufacturers could be investing time and money in R&D for something else. I’m not entirely sure what, but hey – that’s why I’m a scribbler and not an inventor type guy.
Being obsessed with thinness
Manufacturers are stupidly obsessed with making the next “slimmest smartphone on the market”. But why? Did someone perform a secret study that shows consumers crave supermodel-thin smartphones?
Actually, that reminds me, there was a survey about the iPhone 5 recently. Let me go grab the results. Back in a mo…
Yep, here we go. A Pricegrabber survey asked consumers what they’d like to see from the new iPhone 5, and here are the top 5 results:
- Improved battery life
- Cost reduction
- 4G compatibility
- Larger screen
- Improved camera
We’d gladly accommodate an extra millimetre or two if it meant improved battery life. Also, it’s almost worrying when a smartphone is too thin and light; give us some beef. Take note, manufacturers. Take note.
Same phone over and over
Sony Ericsson is the obvious example here. This year we’ve had the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, Pro, Arc, Arc S, Neo, mini, mini pro, Ray, Active, and Live with Walkman. Have I forgotten some? Probably. All those phones and not a whiff of 3D or dual-core.
Conversely you’ve got LG, who’ve pumped out the world’s first dual-core smartphone, the world’s first autostereoscopic smartphone, and the world’s first 3D tablet. Clearly innovation isn’t necessarily a recipe for success, but at least they’re trying!
Pricing your tablet the same as the iPad
The iPad is the one tablet that everyone knows. Indeed, as far as some of the less technically learned people go, it’s the only tablet. A friend of mine once asked: “Didn’t Android release a version of the iPad?” He generally knows his stuff, but I guarantee he’d struggle to name as many as three tablets.
So, put yourself in a tablet manufacturer's shoes. You’ve got the iPad sitting at £400 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, and it’s utterly dominant in the tablet arena. The tech nerds reckon your tablet looks pretty good, and it’s had some good reviews, but Joe Public is another story. What price do you set for your tablet?
HP, Sony, Motorola, HTC, BlackBerry… not one of those companies undercut the iPad at launch. Am I missing something here?
Ok, rants over.