Innovation in Smartphone Companies

How Competition Has Led to Innovation in Smartphone Companies

The rivalry between Samsung and Apple is legendary in the smartphone industry. Back when Apple was dominating the smartphone market, with Steve Jobs emphasizing on innovation and technological ingenuity to change the course of history forever, it was Samsung that dared to stand in his way. While Samsung initially partnered with Apple to provide chips and other components for the iPhone, the fact that Samsung used the Android OS in its early smartphone models drove a wedge between both the tech giants. While Jobs vowed to seek retribution, Samsung was hell-bent on giving Apple a taste of their own medicine.

What followed was a feverishly contested battle between Apple and Samsung for market dominance. From advertisements and campaigns knocking each other’s products to throwing everything but the kitchen sink when it came to innovation and cutting-edge technology, neither brand held back. While this led to their tussle being dubbed, “The brutal war for smartphone dominance”, the real winners were the smartphone users. By pushing each other to constantly innovate, and trying to stay one step ahead of each other, Samsung and Apple redefined and reimagined the smartphone experience.

How Competition Has Led to Innovation in Smartphone Companies

Since then, other mobile phone brands have entered the fray. Today, we have Chinese OEMs that have taken the driver’s seat, and it is now up to Samsung to respond. While Xiaomi displaced Samsung in the Indian smartphone market, brands like OPPO and Realme are quickly closing the gap, which has set the stage for yet another war for smartphone dominance, this time in the Indian smartphone market.

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We take a quick look at how competition has led to innovation in the mobile phone industry, and why intense competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing for smartphone OEMs.

Displays

Back in 2010, Steve Jobs, who is considered to be one of the greatest minds in the history of the smartphone industry, and a man that single-handedly revolutionized the entire tech world, made a rather bold prediction. Jobs predicted that no one would be willing to buy a mobile phone that couldn’t fit in the palm of their hands. This quote from the former head-honcho of Apple Inc. came after Samsung started offering smartphones with more than 5-inch displays. And as things turned out, Apple soon saw the error of their ways and started offering iPhones with bigger displays. The iPhone 11 series offers phone models with more than 6-inch displays, which would’ve been considered blasphemy during the 2010s by Apple execs.

Thanks to Samsung’s Galaxy Note smartphones, phone brands understood that the consumers wanted larger displays. We have since witnessed the invention of “phablets”, while smartphone brands today offer models that come with about 6.5-inch displays. These enable consumers to note things down easily, or consume content the way no one would have expected or predicted a decade ago.

Better Cameras and Features

When HTC unveiled a smartphone with dual-rear cameras for the first time in 2011, not many brands really bought into the concept. However, things quickly changed just a few years later, and HTC gave it a second go with the HTC M8 and M9(+) smartphones, and other brands like Huawei and LG followed suit. This resulted in smartphone brands realizing the true potential of dual cameras, and the proverbial goldmine they’ve been staring at all this time, and started pushing out models with dual camera setup.

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It is safe to say that things have since escalated. Today, the mobiles under 20,000 INR sport at least four rear cameras, while there are a wide range of mobiles that also offer dual selfie cameras. In a similar vein, we have moved on from 2GB – 3GB RAM phones, and today, we get 6GB RAM phones in the mid-range segment, while brands like Samsung, Realme, OPPO and Xiaomi offer 8GB RAM mobiles for around Rs. 25,000.

iOS versus Android OS

It is often said that there are two kinds of smartphone users in the world: those who use iOS, and those who use Android OS. Once again going back to the halcyon days of Steve Jobs, he was so staunchly against Android OS, that he once vowed to “destroy” Android. However, the competition between both the operating systems pushed Apple and Google to offer better user interface and experience, along with better tech support, security and privacy features, and better compatibility and accessibility.

Furthermore, we now also get Siri with iPhones, while Google has responded with Google Assistant in Android phones. This reaffirms the notion that competition can only be good between smartphone companies, at least from the consumer’s point-of-view.

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