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

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 65
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 22 of 65
    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!
  • Reply 23 of 65
    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).
  • Reply 24 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 25 of 65
    red oakred oak Posts: 678member
    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
  • Reply 26 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 27 of 65
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    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.



  • Reply 28 of 65
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 29 of 65
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,754member
    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.
  • Reply 30 of 65
    Metalica: "...Until it sleeeeeeps"



    HTC et al.: "...Until it stiiiiicks"
  • Reply 31 of 65
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 32 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 33 of 65
    drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    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.
  • Reply 34 of 65
    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*.
  • Reply 35 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 36 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 37 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 38 of 65
    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), ...
  • Reply 39 of 65
    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.
  • Reply 40 of 65
    Today I counted 47 phones on Sony-Ericcson's UK site. When I'm out and about I see something like 80% iPhones. Apple came along with a vision and showed us how terrible some companies had become. I was a Sony-Ericcson fanboy until I looked at a K850i in a shop and was shocked at what shoddy plastic tat is was, and got an iPhone. I wonder whether TV execs are sleeping well these days. This is their lull before their storm.
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