Is it me, or smartphone innovation has stagnated?

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime 3

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[/blockquote]The iPhone’s share price has dropped amid reports of a decline in iPhone sales, and this being the crème de la crème of smartphones we knew some day this time was coming and I for one think it was long over due. Apple has announced its 2016 financial first quarter earnings – a quarter which ended in December 2015 and this confirms that, yes, iPhone sales are down, and as a result the questions have arisen – have smartphones become boring? In other words, do you think smartphone innovation has stagnated?

The UK’s BBC has asked in an article,  “Is the mighty iPhone in decline?” It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out,  We haven’t seen the fevered excitement around recent iPhone launches that we saw back when previous generations were announced, gone are the long lines outside Apple shops and the past couple of iterations of the iPhone have brought incremental, not revolutionary, improvements. This is for sure that innovation has crawled, and so it’s unsurprising that iPhone weariness may be setting in.

iOS 8_iPhone 6

The iPhone 6

It is not any different in the Android world when it comes to their flagship offerings. To spice things up last year, Samsung slapped a curved edge on a Galaxy S6 variant and  Sony stuck a 4K (4 times high definition) resolution screen in its Xperia Z5 Premium and HTC…well, HTC made a couple of minor upgrades to the M8 in the name of the HTC One M9 and  later on made an iPhone clone called the HTC One A9 that they claimed was inspired by their own designs. These are all undeniably great phones, but at their core they’re just slightly better versions of their predecessors. So have we reached a pinnacle in smartphone development?

Looking forward

I for one think we have not yet reached that place yet, and anyone who says we have is not looking in the right places. I know, its a contradiction from the title of this post, but let me try to explain. The iPhone may have lost its shine and Samsung, Sony and HTC may be settling for minor and irritating upgrades, but look elsewhere in the world of Android, there’s a whole lot of creativity going on and am not taking about the creativity from our Chinese counterparts who just clone them, I mean real hard-core creativity. Smartphones are still struggling to reach that longevity battery life that our dumb phones phones are known for, but with the existing commercial battery technologies we still think its still a dream for the near future.

Let’s talk Blackberry. Just about when the company had lost all its relevance in the smartphone world, in came its new CEO Chan.  He has struggled to turn the companies fortunes around and at the premium end of the market, the Android-powered BlackBerry Priv was born last year. The phone revives the hardware keyboard and may just save the company from extinction. The Priv has breathed new life into the dusty Android smartphone market.

Nextbit Robin

The Nextbit Robin

At the begging of 2015, Fujitsu – not a brand you’d immediately associate with smartphones – developed iris recognition technology for phones so you can quickly unlock your handset just by looking at it. How cool is that? We only wish Fujitsu would license the tech to other phone manufacturers so we can start using it.

Remember our smartphone awards 2015? We predicted that companies like Nextbit will be a force to reckon with in the future as they are offering something different, with their Robin phone  thanks to the way it moves your data to the cloud, which means your phone will never run out of storage. Of course such phones face challenges in the developing world where internet speeds seem to be lacking and data prices too high.

On the other end of the scope, we have those phone manufacturers that are revolutionizing pricing. For the average smartphone user, there’s really no need to spend more than UGX 350,000 on a phone any more. Xiaomi is already making your current handsets look overpriced, though. It’s just announced the Redmi 3, a metallic-bodied, solid spec’d handset which will retail for just over UGX 350,000 ($100) depending on where you get it and the additional taxes fairs apply. That means you could buy up to six Redmi 3 phones for less than the price of just one 16 GB iPhone 6S.At the end of the day both phones will text, call and browse the internet.

Do you think smartphones have become boring? Let us know.

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