How large producers saw the branch on which they were sitting. Or how the full screen leads to fleeing shoppers.
Powerless rage, frustration, depression – these are the feelings that electronics manufacturers should experience when a regular customer leaves them for a competitor. Let's see together why, who and to whom left recently.
In the entire short history of mobile electronics, there have been two classes of electronics buyers. In the context of our conversation, they should be divided not by the size of the wallet, but by the strength of the habit, i.e. the amount of time they stay true to the brand after the last purchase. The first, having received negative experience from the operation of the product of a particular brand, will never buy it again. The latter endure to the end, giving the brand one more, this time certainly the last chance. Let's talk about the former.
Each manufacturer has successful and not so successful devices, but there is always a certain general trend, which is a distinctive feature of the entire line of its devices in different years.
For example, before the massive arrival of touch screens and the development of a user-friendly interface for working with them, the Nokia family trait was push-button smartphones and magnificent presentations.
Another example is the Walkman application in Sony-Ericsson phones and possibly a dedicated chip for processing 3D Java. Each manufacturer tried to create a unique strong direction that would favorably distinguish it from competitors, remained in the memory of the consumer and made him remain loyal from year to year.
What is the advantage of Samsung smartphones over other manufacturers? The first thing that comes to mind is the capabilities of the camera, night shooting, instant hardware HDR, electronic zoom, close in quality to analog, and in top smartphones AMOLED – screens that are most similar to high-quality IPS with a bonus in the form of gorgeous black.
For a long time, Sony has delighted us with its design, so much so that I am still not ready to give up the round metal 'Power' button on the side of the smartphone, to forget its look and convenience. It is also worth adding to this the technology of improving the image on the screen, which turns the average IPS-matrix into an excellent one. Believe me, on the stock firmware and AOSP, the difference is striking. Otherwise, these are ordinary smartphones with average cameras and battery life.
If we talk about other manufacturers, which can rightfully be called A-brands, at least within a short period of time, then those of them who offered the most modern technologies for the least money achieved the greatest success. In this field, the company Xiaomi left the brightest mark, first guessing to simplify the speculative 'flagship in a vacuum', and not to 'pull up' a regular smartphone to its level. Until recently, every smartphone Xiaomi could be called nondescript in appearance, but with stunning internal beauty, from the operating system interface to decent hardware.
If you look in retrospect, the fall of each brand was accompanied by the loss of its uniqueness, the very chips for which it was loved. Gone are the shutters for Sony-Ericsson cameras, the metal body and the round button Sony, the Finnish quality and symphony orchestras at the presentations of new Nokia, the undisputed leadership of Samsung in photography, the really attractive price of the pumped-up OnePlus smartphones, the unique design a la 'look for the future of the 60s' Motorola, alternative leadership Apple iPhone. All this time, products of less daring manufacturers were spinning nearby, who were not ready to take risks and get ahead to take a piece of the market. Among them, an honorable place is occupied by a company LG, which from year to year offers just smartphones, about which there is absolutely nothing to say. Although at one time she had a chance, which fell off along with the components of the motherboard in LG G4 and led to a global 'bootloop' of both devices and buyers. And all these long years we have heard the hoarse, heavy breathing of the Eastern giant bound by patents on the hands and feet, which the Western gnomes (companies) forced to engage in screwdriver assembly.
Ready for assembly iPhone!
To all of the above, it is worth adding one more point – in the loss of brand recognition, fashion played a cruel joke, the manufacturer's constant desire to fill the entire upper plane of the smartphone with a screen. We are already accustomed to the fact that, under the guise of a competitive advantage, we are offered to estimate the percentage by which the screen fills this very plane. A rather unfortunate idea, the manufacturer dug a hole for himself, making his product less recognizable to a potential buyer. Moreover, not seeing the external difference, a person begins to look for it inside the device, where the superiority of the A-brand is far from obvious. We have already said a lot in different ways that the sensation of the speed of a smartphone depends on the pure performance of the chipset and software optimization, and that already now the performance of three-year-old mid-range chipsets is enough for everything except an insignificant number of especially 'heavy' games. A slight difference in the form of changing the aspect ratio of the smartphone screen seems to be a necessary measure, the only possible way to show the buyer how the old smartphone differs from the new one. And the fact that all manufacturers simultaneously 'stretched' the screen may indicate the parallelism of their conclusions.
Price as a sales engine
So, let's take a customer and show him two absolutely similar smartphones, in prominent places of which there is no room for placing the brand name, because there is now a screen. He takes them in his hands, turns them on and again does not see the difference. What smartphone will he buy if one costs twice the other? The answer is obvious, isn't it? Perhaps this is the reason for the massive escape of former Samsung Galaxy owners into the warm embrace of OnePlus and Google Pixel in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to research portal Counterpoint Research. According to them, the lion's share of Google Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T sales was provided by the former owners of Samsung Galaxy smartphones and iPhone 7-series and earlier smartphones for both brands. Despite the fact that user throwing itself did not play a large role in the sale of OnePlus and Pixel, we can find in them a direct connection with today's topic of the material.
In addition to the life of a flagship in the hands of an ordinary buyer (about 2 years), another thought can be gleaned from this information – nowadays people are not ready to buy expensive flagships, the advantage of which is not visible to the naked eye. And the 'price / performance' ratio is becoming increasingly important, a completely atypical phenomenon for the smartphone market, which previously looked like 'price / function'. To realize this simple thought, just look at the results of an older confrontation, a deadly battle for the user's wallet between companies Intel and AMD in the field of desktop processors.
AMD and Intel share price statistics for 10 years. Look with what a huge time lag there is a reaction to the changed reality 'goodbye Intel'
Since last spring, the ice of mistrust that has surrounded AMD products in recent years has finally shattered. PC users do not care about the appearance of the processor, and the main selection criterion is price / performance ratio, which has led to the steady growth of AMD with the release of the Ryzen line.
In just one year, AMD dropped Intel from 61% of CPU sales in units to 31%. The net profit graph follows the piece sales curve.
Source Mindfactory / ingebor
Let's go back to our smartphones. The presence of a systemic crisis in Samsung since the Galaxy S7 can already be considered proven, and it is too early to judge how successfully the company coped with it. Any sales figures for the Galaxy S10 will tell us absolutely nothing until migration and 'origins' are tracked. The value of the company's shares also cannot be a reliable source of information about its success or failure, since the example of AMD shows how long and hard it takes for investors and buyers of shares to get information about the actual state of affairs. As for the defectors from the camp Apple, this is an understandable and logical process of the slow fading of a company that cannot offer the buyer anything interesting.
This is how the seemingly bold and interesting idea of putting the screen on a smartphone kills the very concepts of 'the influence of the brand name on sales', 'competition' and 'technical development'.
In conclusion, I would like to cite another interesting scenario that cannot yet be attributed to the smartphone market, but which over time will surely finish off all existing brands of mobile electronics.
When visiting large shopping centers, we rarely refuse fresh baked goods if the center has its own bakery. The fragrant and ruddy bagel will not let you pass by, tempting with its freshness and price, because it was created to be dipped in milk and smacked, eaten. At the same time, the bakery itself does not necessarily belong to the trading network and can be an ordinary tenant with whom the trading network is ready to share the risks and bear joint responsibility. As a result, the competitive advantage of the retail chain increases, new customers are attracted and pressure is exerted on competitors. Everyone is fine, except for the distributors of the bread factories, who are suffering losses.
Eluktronics MECH-15 G2 Slim & Light
These kind of roguelikes include gaming laptops from Eluktronics, with the help of which the Walmart retail chain knocks down prices from classic brands such as Asus, MSI, Lenovo and others. For $ 1,499, the buyer gets an Nvidia RTX 2060 laptop, Intel Core i7 and 16GB of RAM. The most important thing in the previous sentence is the price, which is two times lower than that of the A-brands of the computer world for similar laptops. It is important to note that Eluktronics is a kind of analogue of ZTE at the dawn of its development, making laptops for the voiced A-brands as well. It's profitable for Eluktronics, it's profitable for Walmart, it's killing profits for A-brands. The same can happen with smartphones, because no brand can survive without unique chips, and the screwdriver assembler (Eluktronics) and the store (Walmart) will celebrate the victory.
Friends, share your thoughts in the comments. Isn't it time for electronics manufacturers to take their minds and start making different smartphones again?