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Opinion: Death of the Smartphone?!

May 19, 2009

 

“The Smartphone is dead” according to Forrester Research. This article, from Mobile Marketer, takes until the 7th paragraph to state that they are referring to the smartphone as a “category” and not the handsets themselves. Nevertheless, I disagree with what is being said.
The Smartphone category has always been around, and yet its availability has broadened in the past few years. The iPhone and Nokia N95 were instrumental in bringing smartphones to the masses, and since then, similar handsets are being released by the same and rival manufacturers. 
However claiming the Smartphone category is now redundant is nonsense. Just because every mobile now has the internet, a camera and media playback capabilities, does that mean they are all smart? Just like the mobile market itself, the smartphone is constantly redefining itself. A quote from the article states:
 “Now with all handsets becoming smarter there is overlap in the demographics of handset users and what types of devices they are using.”
In essence, this is correct. The definition of a smartphone has become blurred with an ever expanding and saturated market of handsets. But saying “all handsets are becoming smarter” is a rather broad and sweeping statement. How many handsets can access app stores? How many have built in Sat Nav? How many have pre installed QR code readers? How many have an OS that smoothly synchronises with their computer?
My bet is that not many of the handsets that spring to mind possess all of this functionality. One day soon, I am sure the smartphone market will become increasingly saturated with such handsets; however the likes of Apple and Nokia will always be prepared and jump that one step ahead, redefining the market once more. So as far as I am concerned, the Smartphone is alive and well. 
Blink however, and you might just miss where it heads next!

“The Smartphone is dead” according to Forrester Research. This article, from Mobile Marketer, takes until the 7th paragraph to state that they are referring to the smartphone as a “category” and not the handsets themselves. Nevertheless, I disagree with what is being said.

The Smartphone category has always been around, and yet its availability has broadened in the past few years. The iPhone and Nokia N95 were instrumental in bringing smartphones to the masses, and since then, similar handsets are being released by the same and rival manufacturers. 

However claiming the Smartphone category is now redundant is nonsense. Just because every mobile now has the internet, a camera and media playback capabilities, does that mean they are all smart? Just like the mobile market itself, the smartphone is constantly redefining itself. A quote from the article states:

 “Now with all handsets becoming smarter there is overlap in the demographics of handset users and what types of devices they are using.”

In essence, this is correct. The definition of a smartphone has become blurred with an ever expanding and saturated market of handsets. But saying “all handsets are becoming smarter” is a rather broad and sweeping statement. How many handsets can access app stores? How many have built in Sat Nav? How many have pre installed QR code readers? How many have an OS that smoothly synchronises with their computer?

My bet is that not many of the handsets that spring to mind possess all of this functionality. One day soon, I am sure the smartphone market will become increasingly saturated with such handsets; however the likes of Apple and Nokia will always be prepared and jump that one step ahead, redefining the market once more. So as far as I am concerned, the Smartphone is alive and well. 

Blink however, and you might just miss where it heads next!

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