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Smartphone makers plan to mirror Apple's approach with fewer models each year

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
Four major smartphone makers are reportedly planning to reduce the number of new handsets they produce, in an attempt to capture the success Apple has had in releasing just one iPhone model each year.

HTC, Research in Motion, Sony and Motorola Mobility are all for fewer smartphone models, DigiTimes reported on Friday, citing its industry sources in Taiwan. The companies allegedly plan to focus their resources and marketing on "designated models" instead of diluting the market with too many options.

The only major iPhone upgrade Apple introduced in calendar 2011 was the iPhone 4S. In the just-concluded holiday quarter, Apple is widely expected to have sold at least 30 million handsets, led largely by demand for the latest model.

"The strategy shifts come after Apple and Samsung Electronics have apparently managed to widen their market share against rival vendors by focusing on a single or some flagship models each year," the report said.

Apple's success has already been mimicked by Samsung, which found success in pushing its Galaxy S II smartphone in 2011. That handset sold 10 million units in its first six months, and Samsung is believed to have sold about 32 million smartphones in its record holiday quarter.




By focusing on fewer models, smartphone makers hope to be able to increase their sales, but also save money on development and marketing costs. The adjustments could also allow the companies to reach economies of scale in production, and be more efficient in obtaining components and shipping products.

The apparent change in strategies comes as the launch of the iPhone 4S helped to gain Apple significant market share in the U.S. One report released earlier this week said that Apple's share of smartphone sales in America grew from 26 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 43 percent in the months of October and November.
post #2 of 66
Too much trouble to proofread the first sentence
post #3 of 66
as the point was missed in the article, producing 1 good HW device per year, allows you to concentrate your efforts on the SOFTWARE.
This is what makes the difference, delivering regular, good updates that can also run on hardware that is 2 or sometimes 3 years old.

Why can't the other device manufacturers get this? its all about the system you use. Cater your HW to the 90%, and deliver a good eco-system.
post #4 of 66
They are taking away choice. Sound the alarms!!!!!

/s
post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanie248 View Post

as the point was missed in the article, producing 1 good HW device per year, allows you to concentrate your efforts on the SOFTWARE.
This is what makes the difference, delivering regular, good updates that can also run on hardware that is 2 or sometimes 3 years old.

Why can't the other device manufacturers get this? its all about the system you use. Cater your HW to the 90%, and deliver a good eco-system.

Well, in the case of Windows Mobile and Android, the software vendor is separate from the hardware manufactures. Google and MSFT are able to fully focus on the software, but still manage to churn out half-assed builds. Good to see that Google is finally working on a style guide and helping developers make consistent good looking apps, should have been done years ago.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanie248 View Post

as the point was missed in the article, producing 1 good HW device per year, allows you to concentrate your efforts on the SOFTWARE.
This is what makes the difference, delivering regular, good updates that can also run on hardware that is 2 or sometimes 3 years old.

Why can't the other device manufacturers get this? its all about the system you use. Cater your HW to the 90%, and deliver a good eco-system.

This seems to be what RIM has missed for the last 4 or 5 years. They've thrown darts in every direction trying to capture some of Apple's success but all they have managed to do is spend more developing multiple models and confused customers as to which BB they want. If I have to walk in and spend an hour figuring out which of the 6 or 7 BB models best fits my needs, I am more likely to spend 5 minutes figuring out if I want the iPhone in black or white. Choice may seem like a good idea, but it can (and does) act as a distraction to the customer and they will often end up doing in a completely different direction. Trying to be all things to all people is a big part of why RIM is where they are now. That and their Cheech and Chong co-CEO's having their heads firming implanted in their asses.

But Android vendors may not have this luxury since they don't control the whole ecosystem, starting with the software.

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post #7 of 66
well I never!

not only does Apple have to show the others how to make a great phone, they have to show them how to do business profitably.

can Apple patent this new fangled business strategy?
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanie248 View Post

as the point was missed in the article, producing 1 good HW device per year, allows you to concentrate your efforts on the SOFTWARE.
This is what makes the difference, delivering regular, good updates that can also run on hardware that is 2 or sometimes 3 years old.

Why can't the other device manufacturers get this? its all about the system you use. Cater your HW to the 90%, and deliver a good eco-system.

It is easier said then done. HW companies have lots of HW engineers and no SW engineers. Traditionally these countries don't educate enough software engineers or designers.
post #9 of 66
smart move. this will lead to better quality products.
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by seanie248 View Post

as the point was missed in the article, producing 1 good HW device per year, allows you to concentrate your efforts on the SOFTWARE.
This is what makes the difference, delivering regular, good updates that can also run on hardware that is 2 or sometimes 3 years old.

Why can't the other device manufacturers get this? its all about the system you use. Cater your HW to the 90%, and deliver a good eco-system.


True that.

Overall this will be good for consumers -- we are deluged with four or five device names from each vendor which have three or even a dozen models and comparison shopping ends up a frustration. In the end, half the people end up deciding that "since we can't afford the iPhone, let's get the red one with the larger screen.' And that's how you end up with that abomination phone that has a million features and somehow doesn't ring when you set it down and you missed a dozen calls...

... I just hope that everyone has a Clamshell model available -- and SOMEBODY builds one that doesn't have the drag coefficient of a bar of wet soap. I mean, really? Does it dawn on designers that we grab a phone in the dark, and we want to know which end is up while it doesn't skitter across the floor because of course, there is nothing to grip when you open/slide/multi-click to get it to operate?

It's too much to ask that they can deploy bumpers or an air bag - that would require innovation.

So yes, if they all had a couple designs, and concentrated on software, they will have to distinguish themselves on interface design and unique functions;
And THAT is how we've got 300 different ways to use a microwave and nobody does anything but use the timer on high.
post #11 of 66
The usual strategy for most companies is to throw a bunch of stuff on the wall to see what sticks. The challenge that these other companies will have to face in emulating Apple is that they now have to make the right choice in terms of which model to put forward.

We take it for granted that Apple will come out with a single iPhone model every year that everybody will love. But what if Apple made a boneheaded call on the feature mix of a new iPhone? Think about all of the resources that they put in place to support the launch of a new phone -- big component purchases and ramping up to produce tens of millions of units. All of that would be wasted if a new iPhone were a flop, plus they would have nothing to sell but an old model. it would be a disaster.

Yet this never happens to Apple because Apple is very good about designing that one awesome iPhone model that everyone will love. Can these other companies do that? I doubt it.
post #12 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by winstein2010 View Post

It is easier said then done. HW companies have lots of HW engineers and no SW engineers. Traditionally these countries don't educate enough software engineers or designers.

Thank God they don't!

As soon as the US becomes the 2nd rate developer, all the good stuff will be in Mandarin and FINALLY, there will be respect for intellectual property.

Of course it will be YOU paying someone in China, because now they don't bootleg DVDs anymore.

ON the plus side, our next generation of kids will have better eye-hand dexterity because assembling components for 8 hours a day will really sharpen their skills.
post #13 of 66
The nerds just got a collective chill running up their spines. What fun it is to go phone shopping and comparing specs and more specs until you decide to wait for a rumored model that will have even better specs. Those days may be ending. The iPhone along with all of Apple's streamlined hardware categories has proven a well thought out and designed product which comes in 3 price points will give clarity to the product line and enough options to satisfy 90% of potential customers.

I found it exhausting to keep track of the plethora of Droid phones which seem to be released just about every week with names that are overly complex as well. Droid handset manufacturer that figure this out may finally gain some traction against all the other Droid makers.
post #14 of 66
One of the main roadblocks to this will be the carriers. They do not want the same brands being marketing across the carriers. They want 'unique' phones. Even if it is a slight re-skin or simply changing the name

With multiple names for effectively the same phone, the marketing and promotion becomes all fragmented. Kinda of like Android

It's a blessing for Apple the T-Mobile merger did not go through. They now have a champion for unlimited data fighting Verizon and AT&T. And, they have another carrier that will propagate the marketing fragmentation of similar Android handsets

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post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

One of the main roadblocks to this will be the carriers. They do not want the same brands being marketing across the carriers. They want 'unique' phones. Even if it is a slight re-skin or simply changing the name

With multiple names for effectively the same phone, the marketing and promotion becomes all fragmented. Kinda of like Android

It's a blessing for Apple the T-Mobile merger did not go through. They now have a champion for unlimited data fighting Verizon and AT&T. And, they have another carrier that will propagate the marketing fragmentation of similar Android handsets

????? The carriers will still get their 'unique' phones. They will just get one or two per manufacturer per year instead of 25.

And how is unlimited data from TMobile a blessing for Apple?

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post #16 of 66
How original.
post #17 of 66
Jobs once mentioned that the hardest thing for a business to learn is how to say no. Apple learned this the hard way and has been successful since making it a part of their overall DNA. Seems like these other companies are finally starting to realize the truth and value in that model.

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post #18 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

The usual strategy for most companies is to throw a bunch of stuff on the wall to see what sticks. The challenge that these other companies will have to face in emulating Apple is that they now have to make the right choice in terms of which model to put forward.

We take it for granted that Apple will come out with a single iPhone model every year that everybody will love. But what if Apple made a boneheaded call on the feature mix of a new iPhone? Think about all of the resources that they put in place to support the launch of a new phone -- big component purchases and ramping up to produce tens of millions of units. All of that would be wasted if a new iPhone were a flop, plus they would have nothing to sell but an old model. it would be a disaster.

Yet this never happens to Apple because Apple is very good about designing that one awesome iPhone model that everyone will love. Can these other companies do that? I doubt it.


It's the insecurity and LACK of research by other handset designers that they use the shotgun approach.

Sure, Apple MIGHT make a boneheaded move (remember the problems with the antennae?) -- but in their case, other than a perfectly machined physical form factor with a screen and two buttons -- almost all mistakes can be dealt with by a software update. I think that's why Jobs rightly moved away from physical keys in the first place (and also because I'm sure he hate's sticky keys with junk between them that will NEVER go away).

The companies like Motorola had a negative feedback engine to figure out designs in a Darwinistic way; throw out a dozen different physical / features and see what sticks to the consumer. The Razor was very popular for a time -- but it really stinks compared to the newer phones. None of them were that good -- but since the Razor clamshell sucked less, it won the day. It didn't mean the Razor improved, however other than adding an MP3 player.

>> But at least most all the smartphones have an interface that doesn't depend on a mechanical device. For instance, Androids word prediction as you type throws up a list of possible words that you can just touch and use which is easier than Apple's use of the arrow keys up and down to select and then using the right arrow to use that word... that isn't a revolutionary change, but it's a slight improvement.

>> There is more risk in a single platform -- but at least you can tell what to improve because you are concentrating on success rather than avoiding failure.
post #19 of 66
Good ! All they need to do now, in addition to this, is to design and manufacture insanely great products !

More seriously, a consequence of this is also that, if by any chance, there are some criticisms about flaws in their "world product" (whether justified or not, if you see what I mean), no one but the CEO has to jump on stage and address the issue ... I am not sure all Apple competitors CEOs are ready for this ....
post #20 of 66
Stop making it sounds like all the manufactures are going to copy apple's one phone a year release model. They are only slowing down.

In 2011, Motorola released 18 android devices. They will most likely cut this down to 8 or 10 devices a year.
post #21 of 66
The fact that Apple has had so much success with tha 4s, just goes to show how big Siri is going to be as they put it in their iPads and Macs even.
If it was not for that, a great number of people would just go with the iPhone 4 still.

It is gonna be even harder for Microsofts phone to gain traction because I don't think they have anything coming out soon that will similate Siri very well (leave it to Balmer to completely disregard this as a passing fad).
At least Google is going all out looking for something that will fool the Androits into thinking that they have something just as good. By next year they will realize that it is not the same.

I really think by the time that iPhone 5 rolls around with all the periferals (I think thats how its spelled). Apple will start seeing the Android wannabees in their rear view mirror.
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratero View Post

Stop making it sounds like all the manufactures are going to copy apple's one phone a year release model. They are only slowing down.

In 2011, Motorola released 18 android devices. They will most likely cut this down to 8 or 10 devices a year.

No one said they were all going to a single model per year. The headline itself says 'fewer'. If a hyper-spastic release schedule was working for these vendors this wouldn't even be a discussion. It isn't working, so they are looking to a model that does work. One that Apple has demonstrated is successful and that is a simplified line up and release schedule.

My guess is they half-ass it and they do what you say and only drop to 8 or 10 models per year. In that case they will still create model and feature confusion amongst consumers, just not as much.

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post #23 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Four major smartphone makers are reportedly planning to reduce the number of new handsets they produce, in an attempt to capture the success Apple has had in releasing just one iPhone model each year.

HTC, Research in Motion, Sony and Motorola Mobility are all for fewer smartphone models, DigiTimes reported on Friday, citing its industry sources in Taiwan. The companies allegedly plan to focus their resources and marketing on "designated models" instead of diluting the market with too many options.

So RIM still count's as a major smartphone maker?

Just wondering!
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

????? The carriers will still get their 'unique' phones. They will just get one or two per manufacturer per year instead of 25.

And how is unlimited data from TMobile a blessing for Apple?


Sheesh! Just think about that for a second.

Apple's iPhone was 54% of the data traffic on cell phones when they had only 4% of the market.

With the latest handset -- that number could have only gone up. I've heard estimates that with Siri, there is about twice the bandwidth being used.

So the iPhone users hit the data caps before anyone else with their lousy web browsing, and me-to apps that really get little use beyond people showing friends this "kewl" thing that Android can do (apologies to any geeks who actually have heavy use of Android -- but you are the exception).

T-Mobile's unlimited is really a small risk -- because they don't have the iPhone and their users probably average a fraction of an AT&T iPhone users. It's like an all-you-can eat buffet opening up next to an Anorexia treatment center; very little risk that customers are going to get second helpings.

Having competition on bandwidth, means that the other carriers don't make data too expensive. If the top three carriers were left alone -- it is sure that data would be as big a price gouger as they've done with "texting", and then there would be a backlash against Smart Phones that used $30 data plans PLUS a premium if you went over half a gig a month.

What are people going to do -- NOT have cell phones? The only reason that data prices aren't higher is competition -- and the ONLY reason that AT&T or Verizon upgrade towers is to compete -- otherwise they'd sit on their asses, complain about "bandwidth hogs" like the ISPs, and charge people the same money for NOT improving their network.

From the perspective of the Carriers - the iPhone is a travesty; they don't make any more money than if they sold you those crappy "smart phones" that just did email or browsed a BBS version of the web so that you could check a few important emails and that was it -- same price for 1/100th of the usage. AT&T got a competitive advantage for 2 years in exchange for opening the flood gates. Now, instead of being the only one with a real web browser experience on the web -- AT&T has to compete with Verizon for coverage and cost of data transfers.

The ONLY group that really won with this is Apple and Google. AT&T and Verizon are forced to add more towers and faster data connections -- you know; actually INVEST in their cell phone networks, rather than hire bloggers and other fools to tell everyone that it's impossible to have European style costs and data throughput because this is such a HUGE country!

3 years ago, I used to debate these corporate apologists about the price being nonsense, and the excuses by the carriers being profit-taking without investment. Now the debate is about Android versus iPhone business models and almost everyone has a data plan that doesn't hurt unless they use it for Netflix videos.

>> Suffice to say; damn right T-Mobile's unlimited data plan is good for Apple -- because it keeps AT&T and Verizon from ripping off the consumer and limiting functionality (which is the situation we'd all still be enduring if Apple never entered the cell phone business).
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratero View Post

Stop making it sounds like all the manufactures are going to copy apple's one phone a year release model. They are only slowing down.

In 2011, Motorola released 18 android devices. They will most likely cut this down to 8 or 10 devices a year.

Which is pretty much in line with what they did in 2010. This whole thing is a big to do about nothing. No one's mirroring Apple. More like mirroring earlier versions of themselves.
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post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

????? The carriers will still get their 'unique' phones. They will just get one or two per manufacturer per year instead of 25.

And how is unlimited data from TMobile a blessing for Apple?

My point is that one phone will be morphed into four different versions or brands to support each of the carriers. Even if they only launch five a year, that is 20 different phones. All with different name and marketing efforts. Compared to effectively one for iPhone

Yes, they can reduce the number. But I do not think they will every get it to single digits

Unlimited data plans help Apple in keeping cost of ownership down to consumers. Especially as their use of phones and data continues to increase

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post #27 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

So RIM still count's as a major smartphone maker?

Just wondering!

RIM counts only because 5th place is some ACER netbook with a HotPoint duct-taped to it. I've been tempted, but I figure that the harness I'd need to wear to make this setup convenient would eventually get caught on something and I'd get strangled to death.

However, If we could ever get a HOTPOINT only (like getting Naked DSL from a POTS like AT&T via backchannels, threats, begging and finally well placed wires and some climbing gear) -- then you could have unlimited data, and communications (using Skype or Magic Jack) for about $35 a month.

But again -- not something you can use while driving.


>> But don't count out RIM -- who knows, maybe they'll make a hotspot with a cell-phone attached. It's those "runners-up" in the beauty contest who take the risk and might wear nail polish that doesn't match their shoes.
post #28 of 66
I am disgusted with the copycats. Are they completely incapable of any original ideas? This is getting to the point of being ridiculous, and it's honestly making me sick. I wish whoever is in charge can put in some effort and cease this blatant rip off, so that AI does not replicate every other of its articles from DigiTimes.

post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

Sheesh! Just think about that for a second.

Apple's iPhone was 54% of the data traffic on cell phones when they had only 4% of the market.

With the latest handset -- that number could have only gone up. I've heard estimates that with Siri, there is about twice the bandwidth being used.

When iPhone's were using 54% of data traffic and had 4% of the market, the rest of the market was using phones that were not really data devices. I think it was Sprint's CEI that mentioned how happy they were to have iPhone's on their network now because they use data more efficiently that Androids resulting in less overall data usage. Whether that is true or not, it is true that Android users were not around when Apple had 4% of the market. Other handset users are also now using large amounts of data, not just iPhone users, though they probably still use more than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

So the iPhone users hit the data caps before anyone else with their lousy web browsing, and me-to apps that really get little use beyond people showing friends this "kewl" thing that Android can do (apologies to any geeks who actually have heavy use of Android -- but you are the exception).

Possibly. But, since iPhones doesn't use TMobiles 3G data, iPhone users hitting data caps early on AT&T or Verizon don't benefit. If you are correct, that iPhone users are the ones to be concerned with, almost exclusively, then TMobile could offer unlimited data for free and it wouldn't help this iPhone users.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

T-Mobile's unlimited is really a small risk -- because they don't have the iPhone and their users probably average a fraction of an AT&T iPhone users. It's like an all-you-can eat buffet opening up next to an Anorexia treatment center; very little risk that customers are going to get second helpings.

Actually, those with eating disorders would probably put the buffet out of business when they broke their treatment. A better analogy might be putting an all you can eat steak buffet in the middle of a vegan commune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

Having competition on bandwidth, means that the other carriers don't make data too expensive. If the top three carriers were left alone -- it is sure that data would be as big a price gouger as they've done with "texting", and then there would be a backlash against Smart Phones that used $30 data plans PLUS a premium if you went over half a gig a month.

Maybe. But then Verizon got rid of unlimited data only after they got the iPhone. Where was the backlash over tiered data?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

What are people going to do -- NOT have cell phones? The only reason that data prices aren't higher is competition -- and the ONLY reason that AT&T or Verizon upgrade towers is to compete -- otherwise they'd sit on their asses, complain about "bandwidth hogs" like the ISPs, and charge people the same money for NOT improving their network.

From the perspective of the Carriers - the iPhone is a travesty; they don't make any more money than if they sold you those crappy "smart phones" that just did email or browsed a BBS version of the web so that you could check a few important emails and that was it -- same price for 1/100th of the usage. AT&T got a competitive advantage for 2 years in exchange for opening the flood gates. Now, instead of being the only one with a real web browser experience on the web -- AT&T has to compete with Verizon for coverage and cost of data transfers.

True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

The ONLY group that really won with this is Apple and Google. AT&T and Verizon are forced to add more towers and faster data connections -- you know; actually INVEST in their cell phone networks, rather than hire bloggers and other fools to tell everyone that it's impossible to have European style costs and data throughput because this is such a HUGE country!

true and they did it without (or by getting rid of) unlimited data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fake_William_Shatner View Post

3 years ago, I used to debate these corporate apologists about the price being nonsense, and the excuses by the carriers being profit-taking without investment. Now the debate is about Android versus iPhone business models and almost everyone has a data plan that doesn't hurt unless they use it for Netflix videos.

>> Suffice to say; damn right T-Mobile's unlimited data plan is good for Apple -- because it keeps AT&T and Verizon from ripping off the consumer and limiting functionality (which is the situation we'd all still be enduring if Apple never entered the cell phone business).

That is a logical leap. T-Mobile having unlimited data didn't prevent Verizon from pitching unlimited data and bringing in tiered data. I think you are correct that it was Apple that was the catalyst for more affordable data. Apple. Not TMobile.

TMobile is championing unlimited data, true enough, but they aren't [fully] compatible with the iPhone. So, how exactly is this a blessing for Apple? It benefits consumers, yes. Does it benefit Apple? No. Certainly no more than any other vendors, especially not those that actually work on TMobile.

Briefly, you imply that it is iPhone users that are using most of the data. So why would AT&T or Verizon care if TMobile is offering unlimited data when their iPhone user's can't exactly use them to price match? If it is indeed the iPhone users that are causing AT&T/Verizon to make data more affordable, that has nothing to do with whatever TMobile might be doing.

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post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

My point is that one phone will be morphed into four different versions or brands to support each of the carriers. Even if they only launch five a year, that is 20 different phones. All with different name and marketing efforts. Compared to effectively one for iPhone

Yes, they can reduce the number. But I do not think they will every get it to single digits

Valid enough, but 20 is better than 100.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

Unlimited data plans help Apple in keeping cost of ownership down to consumers. Especially as their use of phones and data continues to increase

The biggest iPhone compatible carriers do not have and have moved away from unlimited data. TMobile offering unlimited data has not brought unlimited data to iphone users on AT&T or Verizon, in fact they have moved away from it.

Does it help consumers in general, yes. Does that help Apple? Not directly and only marginally at best. They seem to sell iPhones pretty well regardless of how the carriers screw their customers.

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post #31 of 66
Metalica: "...Until it sleeeeeeps"

HTC et al.: "...Until it stiiiiicks"
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post #32 of 66
I see three methods for handset vendors to reduce the number of models.

1)

Longer release cycles between models
Pros: Customers less likely to feel alienated. Better focus on SW optimization.
Cons: Potentially sell less units as newness wears off.

2) World mode phones
Pros: economy of scale. Better focus on SW optimization.
Cons: larger, less power efficient chips for ever shrinking handsets.

3) Same model branding for same phone across nations and/or carriers
Pros: Simpler for customer and can help vendor put flagship model on pedestal for longer.
Cons: Carriers want uniqueness and control and the simple iPhone model reduces them to dumb pipes. Carriers may want to pay less for these devices and not promote these devices. I would expect this only on the high end models and I don't expect much from these vendors. There is too much competition among Android and not enough brand recognition to make this effective without a good deal of patience. I think most will resort back to their old ways before they give it a fair shake.

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post #33 of 66
I really don't get it. copycats like samsung and others (specially samsung) are nothing. simply nothing. just HW assemblers. they don't control the software nor they design a good hardware. any idiot can put a chip and LCD together and put it in a plastic case. what they need is something original. a new idea. a different ecosystem. something different from apple, and i mean really different. Microsoft took a big step with WP7 and thats good. but others, copying apple will get u nowhere.
post #34 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alireza View Post

I really don't get it. copycats like samsung and others (specially samsung) are nothing. simply nothing. just HW assemblers. they don't control the software nor they design a good hardware. any idiot can put a chip and LCD together and put it in a plastic case. what they need is something original. a new idea. a different ecosystem. something different from apple, and i mean really different. Microsoft took a big step with WP7 and thats good. but others, copying apple will get u nowhere.

Welcome to AI, you'll fit right in.
post #35 of 66
If Steve Jobs were around, he might choose this year to release 5 new iPhone models just to flummox the competitors again. Odds are that Apple has that many working prototypes ready to *productize*.
post #36 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodbine View Post

well I never!

not only does Apple have to show the others how to make a great phone, they have to show them how to do business profitably.

can Apple patent this new fangled business strategy?

Yes, newfangled. It goes back to 1998.
post #37 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

Other handset users are also now using large amounts of data, not just iPhone users, though they probably still use more than others.[

I agree with you there -- yes, Android has probably pushed up the data use as well -- not as much based on their app downloads and other well-established patterns, but Apple's share has probably decreased. However, overall -- bandwidth usage WAY up. Which means unlimited data or large data plans are MORE important -- agreed?

Quote:
iPhone users hitting data caps early on AT&T or Verizon don't benefit

iPhone and Android users taking advantage of Netflix DO PAY ATTENTION to the unlimited data plan on t-Mobile. iPhone users wait, while Android users look to see if their normal zone of usage is covered by t-Mobile, it isn't so they wait as well.

Quote:
Actually, those with eating disorders would probably put the buffet out of business when they broke their treatment.

So my Analogy is correct since T-Mobile is starving it's business right now! The only thing they have is cheap service. I know -- I've got T-Mobile.

Quote:
Maybe. But then Verizon got rid of unlimited data only after they got the iPhone. Where was the backlash over tiered data?

The backlash is in people moving to T-Mobile even when it's got less coverage. If there weren't an effect, T-Mobile would be hurting more than they are. Actually -- they are in great position with the cash they got from AT&T's bid withdrawal and the extra bandwidth they have to sell them.

T-Mobile will probably START upgrading their networks -- because they were sitting on their heals for the buy-out.

Quote:
That is a logical leap. T-Mobile having unlimited data didn't prevent Verizon from pitching unlimited data and bringing in tiered data. I think you are correct that it was Apple that was the catalyst for more affordable data. Apple. Not TMobile.

OK, and why would I argue with myself? Apple's new device pushed higher data rates on cell phone networks.

However, as a sharp cookie, I'm sure you have to recognize that SOMETIMES competition in business leads to forced improvements regardless of current economic impact. Verizon went to tiered Data because they could. This Christmas, however, was a huge lurch into smart phones for a lot of customers. There tiered plans are not too onerous because MOST People don't get a good enough bandwidth from Verizon in the first place. Verizon has a larger map for "good enough" data, but AT&T has the fastest data service in the right areas -- so the chance of someone hitting the cap on Verizon is much slimmer and kind of rare.

My prediction: Verizon and AT&T are going to get pushback. T-Mobile is going to upgrade their networks and eventually add the iPhone.

The ONLY thing that has stopped a bigger backlash, is the depressed economy, people struggling at work and staying employed -- and nobody making waves. As the economy picks up, then there will be more money in capturing Growth. Right now, carriers just want to have enough to KEEP their customers -- the low hanging fruit is gone.

For instance; Anyone who can be serviced by T-Mobile and doesn't need an iPhone has probably already given them a look.

If T-Mobile upgrades in a reasonable amount of time, they will be cannibalizing from AT&T and Verizon. ONLY THEN, will unlimited plans start becoming available from the other carriers.

The NEXT competitive source of price-gouging might be in; "Pay us not to share your data or spy on your location" or "guaranteed service".

>> I think we can all agree that without T-Mobile in the mix, the prices for the data plans would be higher -- that's my point, and you've complicated it.
post #38 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alireza View Post

I really don't get it. copycats like samsung and others (specially samsung) are nothing. simply nothing. just HW assemblers. they don't control the software nor they design a good hardware. any idiot can put a chip and LCD together and put it in a plastic case. what they need is something original. a new idea. a different ecosystem. something different from apple, and i mean really different. Microsoft took a big step with WP7 and thats good. but others, copying apple will get u nowhere.

I get what you're saying. But while this market is large, it not large enough for every company to play the ecosystem game. In this world, every organism, every organization has its role. Some do HW. Some do SW. Some integrate. And so on ...

To castigate the likes of Samsung as mere assemblers is to misunderstand the market. You can call Foxconn a HW assembler (although that's still technically wrong), but not Samsung and HTC. It may be fair to say their business model lacks originality, but these remain highly innovative companies. If you really understand and appreciate technology, you would not say that good computers and good smartphones are merely the products of putting chips and LCD in a case. If you don't understand and appreciate engineering, you should learn before making such incorrect observations.

The recent Samsung Android phones, including Galaxy I and II as well as the Galaxy Nexus, are well-engineered, well-designed products. It is not a coincidence that Samsung has shot to the top of the Android heap despite being slower out of the gate than HTC and Moto (and they are also in a tight race with Apple, depending when and where you survey the market, which is no mean feat). Clearly they have done something to make their hardware stand out from the other Droids.

To repeat, your comments about their lack of a original business model are not unfair. But there is no universal law dictating that only novel business models can succeed.
post #39 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post

I am disgusted with the copycats. Are they completely incapable of any original ideas? This is getting to the point of being ridiculous, and it's honestly making me sick. I wish whoever is in charge can put in some effort and cease this blatant rip off, so that AI does not replicate every other of its articles from DigiTimes.


I agree, when it pertains to some of the blatant, brazen cases of design emulation. But to call this situation a copycat scenario is just silly, hyperbolic. In that case, let's call out Apple for being a copycat when they released iBooks (hello Amazon), Ping (hello Facebook), iMessage (hello RIM), iCloud (hello many companies), ...
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

If Steve Jobs were around, he might choose this year to release 5 new iPhone models just to flummox the competitors again. Odds are that Apple has that many working prototypes ready to *productize*.

Apple's strategy is diametrically opposed to EVER using this strategy.

When Job's came to Apple, they were on the IBM/Motorola PowerPC and both companies were moving in other directions. They had chronic parts procurement problems with state-of-the-art because companies like Dell could purchase larger quantities and was more flexible with components providers.

Jobs strategy; focus only on the core competency of the business -- no more R&D unless Apple can make the best of class device. NO more pushing into crowded playing fields. Sell only the best product in the market.

By having only a few iPhones, iPad and such, coupled with HUGE SUMS OF CASH, Apple can guarantee the shipment of components for a year or two ahead of production. So Sharp or Sanyo make their screens for the iPhone or the MacBook Pro before they make them for other vendors -- and likely even for their own products as well because of the contracts and the large sums of external cash.

By sharing components between a few highly popular models, Apple can cut their costs, get higher numbers of production, and reduce money wasted on small run designs.

Conversely; The Shotgun approach, means you have inferior components, because you have to make up the cost of short runs and different components.


>> Apple also stuck to the same screen form-factor for their iPhones, iTouchs and iPads and that means developers have less wasted time trying to develop for different resolutions and platforms. If you start with a hi-rez iPad design, you can even just automatically scale all your images and recompile and you have a low-rez application for the iPhone.


>> The point is not to make a bunch of models IN CASE something might be better -- that's what you should look for your competitor to waste his time on -- make the ONE BEST THING, and gradually refine it.

This strategy goes out the window with action figures and toy cars however.
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