You can argue if this is true or false but the evidence suggests that Android is really running out of ideas when you see all those phone makers are mimicking iPhone X’s top notch design. Think back about 5 years ago when the 1st-gen Samsung Galaxy Note was revealed that U.S. consumers are drooling to have hands on it. Now… everyone is like … well… “we will have android’s soul but iOS’ flesh” on our lineups. How ridiculous this sounds… this is up to you to judge…
Good Old Days
Back in 2007, 2008, and even 2009 when the iPhone was the only “King” walking on the streets… there were really no competitions what so ever. Sure… Blackberry made an initial attempt (that was a very good move initially but they reverted back to the physical keypad… and that was the beginning of the downfall of the RIM) which could be called a mildly success since … quite a few consumers wanted them for variety of reasons and their name (RIM) meant something back then. Then … 2010 came… the year that the Android’s “Good Old Days” started.
2010 – Google Nexus ONE
Google decided to show all the phone makers how the hardware could be nicely played with the software (we are talking about integrations here). And the result … it was stunning. It started the good old days of the android history. Android took off since then. All the phone makers started their impressive imagination of the future phones based on the Android OS. For instance, the “Asus Padfone” which is a combo of a smartphone turned into a tablet implementation. Samsung Galaxy Beam Projector Phone which also made some big buzz back in 2012 as well.
2013 – 1st Generation Samsung Galaxy Note
It was highly criticized before it was actually released since it challenged Steve Job’s belief that “the best stylus is our fingers” … also … human beings tend to forget and lose things so … lots of doubts over this 1st-gen Note.
However, it was a hugely success for both Samsung and Google. It brought android phones to another level which caused more and more consumers willing to give it a try… which in turn, of course, a positive cycle that helps android OS captured even more market share.
Well… we gotta be fair here… it’s not because of the innovation really stopped. There are still tons of things that smartphone can do but haven’t done yet. Therefore, the innovation and creativity parts shouldn’t be the root cause for the stagnation of the android smartphone. The problem is … it’s just “TOO MUCH”.
Remember what we wanted the iPhone in the first place? We wanted our lives much simpler. We didn’t want to bring “A cellphone”, “A music player”, “A camera”, and “A computer” with us all the time; however, we would like to use any of them whenever we see the needs. That’s what brought us the “one and only” iPhone to the top of the world.
The problem with android phones is that … it’s just giving consumers too much distractions. Too much freedom and too much adjustments… too much customizations… too much so called “professional” features. Which mainstream consumer would like that? Let’s say … adjust camera settings for a while and take a photo of his/her newborn baby? Well… we just wanna have “A THING” (which is a smartphone here) that works.
Giving another example that why Samsung isn’t going to replace Apple anytime soon (and possibly won’t if they don’t have the total control of the mobile OS to make fundamental innovation moves they would like)… The Galaxy Note 8… which is an impressive great phone. However, it appears that consumers need to make some adjustments in order to enjoy videos playing on the device… the sound settings and all sorts of troubles. The camera which is a fantastic camera. However, when you use the camera on Note 8… there is a voice consistently remind you that “you can adjust settings based on the lightings” … something like that… sure, you don’t need to but since you have the Note so … you might be better off trying it out. The result is … frustrations.
There are other examples but we think that you get that. The problems aren’t because android is running out of ideas but because those phone makers don’t know where the real “PRIZE” is. Since they know that Apple does “KNOW” where the real prize is because they have been doing so extraordinarily well even with the highly criticized iPhone X… therefore, all the android phone makers think that maybe… maybe… maybe… the real prize is on the “top notch” design. Well… it’s a desperate move and, of course, it’s a wrong move. They really dig graves for themselves this time. We will see how well those “top-notch” phones will perform when the see their quarterly sales report.
Hey… KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. That’s right. It is this simple. Don’t over think it. The real prize is to serve what consumers want instead of providing too much unnecessary features and coverups… we, as a consumer, really don’t care (maybe some do but even if they do … trust us… they really don’t use those features that often … they just love to think that they do).
So … there it is.
KISS – Kepp It Simple Stupid