View Count: 142 |  Publish Date: January 01, 2013
Are Smartphones Getting Dumber?

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The market for smartphones has been conquered by Apples iPhone and Samsungs Galaxy series, making it difficult for competitors to break through and acquire a larger share of the market.
According to statistics recently published by CNet, Apple and Samsung accounted for 106 percent of the smartphone industrys operating profits last quarter. Samsung and Apple sat back and watched their profits rise, while competing cell phone companies such as Research in Motion, Motorola and Nokia posted losses during the same time. Furthermore, it looks as if their success in the market will continue to grow, especially since the launch of the new iPhone 5.
Experts believe that these titans of technology will remain the industry leaders and that no one should expect change in the near future. This dominance is squeezing out rivals, and thus limiting competition, which is troublesome. Without competition from other cell phone companies, the smartphone market may suffer because no other company presents a genuine challenge to the iPhone or the Galaxy. Users are happy with their iPhone and Galaxy products, and as a result, Apple and Samsung do not have to constantly strive to improve their products or release new updates. Innovation will be at its peak if another cell phone company can emerge and challenge the status quo, forcing Apple and Samsung to make a greater effort to maintain their market share.
Apple and Samsung launched the Galaxy and iPhone despite the fact that both phones still had kinks and bugs that needed to be worked out. However, because they have strong brands, consumers trust these companies and will purchase the phones regardless. A lot of this is because many smartphones available through the nation’s major mobile carriers (T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T) have the same features, and thus, consumers make their decisions based on brand recognition, Other cell phone companies struggle to compete because consumers do not have experience with their products.
The iPhone and the Galaxy are also able to dominate the market because they are sold by many carriers, as opposed to just one. Some phones are only sold by one carrier, so it is more difficult to have rising sales. Carriers prefer to have exclusive deals with cell phone companies because carriers want products that differentiate them from other rival carriers. However, because consumer demand for the iPhone and Galaxy are so high, carriers cannot demand exclusivity. The result is that the Galaxy and the iPhone are sold by multiple carriers, which increases their market share.
Another reason Apple and Samsung are so successful is the ability of their phones to use apps. Consumers care about apps, and want phones that maximize the amount of apps they can access. This poses a problem for competitors because app makers are typically hesitant to create apps for phones if there is not a high demand for the phone. And there is not high demand for phones if they cannot support a plethora of apps.
But, a little innovation, hard work and understanding of consumer needs can result in a phone that can challenge and even surpass the iPhone and Galaxy smartphones.

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Time: 1:42  |  News Code: 53785  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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