Smartphone market floundering: Is this the end of smartphone era?
Most products follow a specific life cycle starting with the launch of the product, after which the sales increase rapidly or slow depending on the strategy of the company, until the market begins to fill this product and sales stabilize at a certain percentage, and if things do not go well can market the product to start sales The downside is negative, and the smartphone market is no exception to this rule.
Sales figures in the first quarter of 2019 recently released by many smartphone manufacturers confirm this, and it seems that companies are facing a lot of difficulties in the sale of their phones, especially the phones leading high-priced.
Samsung retracts and Apple is moving away
iPhone sales are slightly lower than in the last quarter of 2018, which is normal because they are launching their new phones at the same time of the year, but with a 30% annual sales rate, they should seriously consider a new strategy that is not just about launching phones. Cheaper like the iPhone XR but also offer something new to users, the iPhone XS is nothing more than an enlarged version of its predecessor iPhone X.
Google Pixel phones have also fallen as the company’s chief financial officer Ruth Porat said the number of devices sold is falling year after year, adding further pressure on the leading smartphone industry.
Although Samsung was the first in sales of devices that reached almost 72 million smartphones, it is losing part of the market due to the decline in sales by 8%.
Samsung, which launched the new flagship phone Galaxy S10, which has received widespread popularity and approval by everyone and broke many previous sales figures of the company, said: “Despite the big sales figures for the phone S10, the overall profit rate in the phone sector has decreased due to intensified competition in the category of low and medium phones. ”
Huawei swallows competitors’ share in the smartphone war
The Chinese company Huawei dumped the nose of everyone and topped the list of sales, up 50% compared to sales in the first quarter of last year, where Huawei reaped the fruits of its successful strategy at a time when companies face a lot of difficulties in the sale of new products. Some analysts attribute this to the company’s wide variety of phones targeting all markets and categories.
Figures speak on their own. However, after only controlling 5% of the smartphone market at the beginning of 2015, Huawei is now the second-largest manufacturer in terms of market share, controlling 17% of the global market and promising to surpass Samsung and take first place in two years. Most.
Experts differ in the explanation of why Huawei sales so crazy and shrinking in the big players such as Samsung and Apple, and some attribute this reason to the difference in the global market, while others attribute that the market for low and medium phones began to affect the rest of the price categories, and the proportion of users change their phones Had fallen from before.
Does this end smartphones
All these reasons lead us to say that the end of the game is imminent.
Either they find a new way to distinguish their phones from other competitors and convince users that they still have to upgrade their phones such as the addition of 5G technology, or the smartphones will continue to evolve to the point where the fundamental differences between them will be eliminated, so users begin to buy new phones according to their price and not the manufacturer.
The biggest concerns of manufacturers are realized. Their reputation, which they have spent years building, will no longer play a role in marketing their products and price will be the main player. Given the graphical curve of smartphones in the past years, we will see that companies have been doing their best and resorting to new tricks to persuade users to buy new phones such as slowing the processor as the battery performance drops further.
If we look at the rest of the companies will find that they were following unusual methods to do so, Google, for example, offered Pixel 3 phones half the price value a while ago, to reduce the price of its phones by $ 200.
Samsung also deducted $ 200 from the price of its new phone S10, although the age of only 6 or 7 weeks, the company is facing some problems in selling it seems. Even Apple, which sticks to every penny of its phones, has been forced to lower the price of iPhones in the Chinese market after facing problems selling its phones there.
Is there an alternative plan
With smartphone prices increasing more and more in the past few years to exceed the threshold of $ 1,000, the difficulty in persuading users to pay these amounts has increased, forcing companies to increase their interest in the category of medium and low phones. Google, which is known for its orientation towards the leading phones only a few days ago launched the middle-class phone Pixel 3a, while Samsung has renewed the series of phones dedicated to the middle and low category drastically.
The only company that flies out of the squadron is OnePlus, which started as a low and medium-sized phone company, but it is raising the price of its devices year after year to reach the leading category, and the phone Oneplus 7 Pro the biggest proof of this.
Regardless of Oneplus’s approach, all companies face the same fundamental and fateful problem. If they do not rush to create new technologies that convince users to spend their money on them, they risk turning these microcomputers into a commodity, like with printers, where the only major difference between Their different types are price after there are no fundamental differences between them.
If we compare Android phones that fall within the same price category and stripped of the small details that distinguish them from each other we will see how similar and convergent, and although there are minor differences but they are not significant and the user experience is the same in most of those phones, and if companies did not create more differences What sets it apart from its competitors is that smartphones will descend into a commodity.