Will Smartphones all be the same in another year? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Will Smartphones all be the same in another year?

I just read over the Android 4.0 platform highlights and recently just looked over all the new updates from Mango. Combine that with RIM's announcement yesterday and the new Apple 4S and it got me thinking.

In another year, do you think it will really matter what Smartphone OS you buy?

The feature set of all these OS' seem to be converging and the hardware is all very similar so will the OS of a phone matter much in a year?

Will Smartphones become a commodity in another year or two as new phones will be pretty much all the same?

FWIW, the one distinguishing difference that I can see in a year is still Apps. Android and iOS will have them all but will WP7 and RIM?



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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 11:34 AM
 
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Hugh,

A very good question. Too much is made of the OS at the moment. All of the high end phones have very similar hardware and when you look past the glitz they all have similar capabilities.



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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 11:40 AM
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I think cloud functionality will also become more important as I am really liking what iCloud does - I don't know how Android or WP support Cloud services but there isn't much on my BB for Cloud support yet. But the BB isn't very strong at doing stuff other than email, calendaring and contacts.

I must say that I have also been very impressed by the support offered by Apple at their Apple store. I don't know how you get that level of support for phones from Googorola, Nokia/Win, RIM, etc. That could also be a differentiating factor.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 12:12 PM
 
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It all comes down to what you really need and what device has it. A lot of people fall for the hype of one product over the other, for the "cool factor", even though they end up not using most of the functionality the device offers.

It's becoming like cars, certain demographic buys Honda because they think it's "cool", even though insurance is high for that demographic.

Price is still a big factor when it comes to buying one of these
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Will Smartphones become a commodity in another year or two as new phones will be pretty much all the same?
I think this is a given. Good features will be copied/emulated. Like Steve Jobs said: "Good artists copy, great artists steal."

There are a lot of great artists out there, apparently.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 12:16 PM
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There are still some differentiating factors. If you want a keyboard then generally the BB is the way to go.

You either love or hate Apple but they make it easier to integrate all of your apps, photos, media, etc across multiple devices. I don't know how far Android is on this front but we still haven't had very successful Android tablets if you want to have a tablet in your arsenal.

If Win8 is as good as promised then this could really change things as it brings a more consistent platforum across smartphone, tablet and PC. But it may be more than a year out, especially for all of these different types of devices.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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If you want a keyboard then generally the BB is the way to go.
A keyboard is not unique to the BB operating system. There are Android phones and I assume Windows phones with keyboards. I certainly think hardware features will continue to be a differentiating factor in the purchase decision but the operating system?

I just wonder if two years from now if the overwhelming majority of consumers will even care (or maybe even know) what OS is running their smartphone?



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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 01:08 PM
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When I look at Rogers' offereing only 2 of 11 Android phones have keyboards and 0 of 1 WP. They do exist for Android but it restricts your choices a fair bit.

The other thing is that it will still matter to corporates if your smartphone is supplied by your company. I know a few people in my company who carry both BBs and iPhones. If all phones are as good as each other then there is no need to carry a second phone, unless you want to keep personal stuff completely separate from work stuff.

Another barrier to switching is the lack of cross-OS compatibility for communication tools like BBM, iMessage, FaceTime, etc.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Wayne, I don't think you understand the point of the thread. what Rogers is offering today is not what this thread is about or what phones have keyboards or not today. Please re-read post #1



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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 01:46 PM
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The signifcance of what Rogers offers today is that a keyboard is a differentiating factor and it is only available on some OSes.

The thread is entitled "Will Smartphones all be the same in another year?". My answer is no since a physical keyboard will continue to be a differentiating factor. If you want a keyboard then today it is highly likely that you will go with a BB as your choices from the other OSes are very slim (Android) or non-existent (iOS, WP).

Will this be different in a year? Maybe. But I am betting that you won't be able to buy an iOS phone with a keyboard in one year. And I am also willing to bet that most Android and W7 phones will not have keyboards.

Therefore the answer to the question posed by the thread is No - because BBs will have a keyboard and very few other phones will.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, I understand you took the word "same" to mean physically identical . I did not mean that every smartphone would be identical,

What I said was

Quote:
The feature set of all these OS' seem to be converging and the hardware is all very similar so will the OS of a phone matter much in a year?

Will Smartphones become a commodity in another year or two as new phones will be pretty much all the same?
So let me rephrase

As smartphone OS's became nearly equivalent in terms of feature sets, will the Operating system became irrelevant in consumers list of things to look for when buying a new device. i.e./ Something that is added at the bottom of the spec sheet after the size of the processor, the amount of on-board memory etc.



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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:25 PM
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I think the OS will be relevant only were there are OS specific apps, which should decrease, or features.

iOS devices will always (probably) be locked down by Apple. Android devices will always (generally speaking) allow more customization.

So, if you assume the above is true people who want/like a canned experience will go iOS and the tweakers among us will go with Android.

Android rocks!
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:42 PM
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I think the OS is the only thing that will really matter in the near future. Frankly, I don't know why stores bother listing the specs for phones anymore - it just matters to a few of us geeks. Virtually every new phone will vastly outperform the majority of users' needs. Will the average user notice any difference between a 1.0 and a 1.2 GHz processor?

Phones purchases are becoming just like game console purchases. You are buying into a platform. All will do more or less what you want, and most apps will be able to be found on all platforms with a few exceptions. You just happen to purchase them from MS, BB, Google, or Apple, or whomever depending on your platform of choice.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
I don't know how far Android is on this front
Android's cloud services are generally farther along than Apple's; cloud services have been an Android focus basically since the beginning.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:51 PM
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I think it'll take more than a year to equalize. After that, I think it will be more about competing services that complement the devices than the core OS itself. iMessage vs BBM vs Google Talk, iTunes vs Google Music vs BBM Music, etc.

Value added services will become key to the competition.
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