Smartphones in 2018

By Sidirgot
October, 11 2018
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Couple of days ago I wrote an article explaining why the prices of smartphones are getting this high, well this one is somewhat around what are the consequences of this fact.

A lot of blogs and news websites are publishing articles about Huawei passing Apple in smartphone sales, thus becoming the second largest company in this industry.

With technology becoming more accessible, this would eventually happen and it’s something that companies already know. Apple knew this will happen and they already started to plan for the it, more on this subject on a later article.

Where are we today

The more we move into the future, the more we see smartphones with a price tag of 200€ be able to satisfy their users. Everyone loves to have the brand-new phone that just came out, but if you take a look there is actually no real reason to spend that kind of money and instead choose something in the middle range.

The baseline needs for a smartphone these days is simple: provide the user with the ability to make calls, send text messages, use Social Media Platforms and provide descent camera for pictures, even the capacity that was a major issue about 2-3 years ago, it’s not any more.

All the above can be covered with a smartphone at around 180-250€ and this is what actually has been happening, especially with Huawei. Since most people have their needs covered by smartphones in this price range, the need for new devices in the market has started to decline. 

Below its a chart of the smartphone shipments since 2012. It’s clear that as of 2018 the need for new devices has declined rapidly. The chart is only referring to china specific but I think the numbers speak for themselves.

Smartphone shipment decline

Why Do We see Companies bypassing the Giants?

It's a fact that Huawei bypassed Apple in smartphone sales this past August. Although, Huawei it’s not the only company that has seen the light of day, Xiaomi has also seen a worth noting increase in their sales since last year.

If you think about it for a second this shouldn’t be that much of a huge outcome, since Huawei and Xiaomi are not in the game of selling only high-end flagship phones. Both companies offer most of their phones in the range of 200€, and this small detail is what has started to place companies like this in the front row.

If you take a look at the charts of the 1st half of smartphones shipments for 2018, Samsung has seen a decline of about half of what they had last year, but both Huawei and Xiaomi have been striving ahead with Xiaomi hitting a 37% increase, translating to 12 million units compared to last year.

Final Thoughts

No matter how much innovation you put into a new device, the needs of the customer for this particular situation will always be the same. In my opinion the end game that I see in this industry is simple, every device will be the same. There will be one camera that can do everything, one chipset that can achieve everything, one look that will be the standard. 

Maybe we have couple more years for that outcome to be achieved but we are not very far.

Every year a new device comes out and I am waiting to see what’s that new feature that will make me go crazy and say I will dump what I have and go with that, but in the end the changes are minor to say the least and upgrading is just a waste of money for me.

Well maybe if mobile gaming becomes a thing, people will have the need to upgrade to the latest smartphone because that’s the only way I see the justification for spending 1000 euros for a smartphone just to be able to send messages.

If you ask me I don’t think mobile gaming will be a thing at least for the near future. 

Obviously, there are a lot of other reasons that play a role into the decision that someone makes when buying a smartphone and it all comes down to how much you have to spend on it.