Has the iPhone had its day?
We take a look at the latest consumer trends for mobile technology
The mobile technology industry is one of the fastest-moving in the world. As befits a sector which sells tools for lightning-fast communication and trans-national calls and messages at the touch of a button, the growth and expansion of the popularity and usage of mobile telephone devices is one of the barometers of the speed and voracity of supply and demand in twenty-first century economies.
And as one might expect in an industry built on speed, rapid communication and quick-fire response, the trends and features which characterize the industry’s leading players also change and transform rapidly, with great force and sometimes curious side-effects.
Who after all would have predicted that the iPhone, the success story which really kicked off the smartphone phenomenon nearly ten years ago, would be eclipsed by a little-swooned-over brand, Samsung, that’s now one of the most in-demand in the world?
And who would have predicted that pay as you go sims would find a resurgence of popularity as do-it-yourself mobile networks like giffgaff create flexible, bundle-based packages for smartphone dealers who are now beginning to tire of the always-increasing monthly charges from contract phone suppliers?
Let’s take a closer look at these two major trends in the mobile industry, and examine whether they are passing phases, or whether in fact they tell us something prescient about modern consumer behaviour.
iPhone vs Samsung Galaxy: smartphone kings?
This year, with the release of the much-anticipated iPhone 5, the big news was not that this Apple megastar was the big hit. Rather, the huge news of 2012 is that Samsung’s Galaxy range, the iPhone’s biggest competitor in recent years, has seemingly cemented its reputation as the world’s favourite smartphone. Reports in mid-November confirm that for Q3 of this year, the Samsung Galaxy 3 helped Samsung outsell Apple and Nokia.
Regular new models, solid advertising campaigns and steady, stylish reputation mean the brand has been seen favourably, and we may find that it wins out in the long term.
Pay as you go returns
Another new trend on the radar is the re-emergence of pay as you go as an option for smartphone users and travelers who wish to use a more flexible, personal tariff. Shop and call centre-free network giffgaff, owned by O2, is the epitome of this. Bundles and goodybags allow users to keep buying data for their smartphones without a contract.