Special Report: There's a smartphone for everyone
The less-heralded brands are very much in the game. Increasing brand-agnosticism - particularly from millennials - and more cash to spend play into their favour.
One of the most basic rules of commodities is that the higher the supply, the lower the price should be. Within the tech world, meanwhile, there's also this some sort of unwritten rule, particularly with new innovations: Don't buy a first-generation product; wait for it to become just that - a commodity.
New tech is unpredictable. Sure, a lot would've been poured into it - R&D, human intelligence, billions in whatever currency you want spent on it - but there is always the risk that something could go wrong. To err is human, so don't expect man-made things to be perfect; Murphy's law has never been so apt.
Currently, the triumvirate of Huawei, Samsung, and Apple control 54.3 per cent of global smartphone sales, according to Canalys' report for the second quarter. Apple's share is 15.8 per cent, a good distance from fourth-placed Xiaomi's 10.1 per cent.
However, look back a little further and you'll see an interesting dynamic: In the year-ago period, the same report says Xiaomi had 9.7 per cent, practically breathing down the neck of Apple's 10.8 per cent. The International Data Corporation (IDC) had it at 9.5 per cent versus 12.1 per cent, while Gartner scored it nine per cent to 10.5 per cent.
Varying, but there's a point to all this. While that gap has widened considerably, one thing is clear: It's not only the Big Three that exists. And you know that.
History will always remember big events from big characters. Samsung maintaining its leadership despite the Note7's 'fiery' demise. Apple easing its way to an unprecedented $2 trillion valuation on Wall Street amid the coronavirus pandemic. And Huawei finally climbing to the top of the heap - some sort of vindication amid endless allegations concerning security.
What about the rest? They're also doing fine, with some even having a stellar line-up of products that can be worthy challengers. And mind you, if they weren't performing, they'd be out of business.
There are several factors to be considered: Brand awareness and availability, pricing and, most importantly, purchasing power - the last one of which could arguably be the most critical.
Matter of factly, these less-heralded brands are very much in the game. Increasing brand-agnosticism - particularly from millennials - and more cash to spend play into their favour.
'Spoilt for choice' is such an overused statement, but can also be so underrated. The whole spectrum of mobile phones is an opportunity for both manufacturers, who can of course earn a lot, and consumers, who can pick the ones they need.
Need. That's miles apart from want.
Sure, certain brand logos on the smartphones in your hands can be a badge of honour, a status symbol, or simply bragging rights. The sad part is there are those who will do anything to be identified with any of these three - even one's bank account or a friend's credit card.
Figuratively, everyone was up in arms when Apple priced the iPhone X at $1,000 back in 2017, unprecedented for such a 'commodity'. Yet others soon followed suit - without much ruckus, mind you, because of one simple fact: It was to become the new normal.
The original iPhone in 2007 was sold for $499; in 2020 dollars, that would've been around $624, or about Dh2,200 - the price you'd now pay for a mid-range smartphone. Would you have paid that amount back then?
This just doesn't apply to tech. As a sneakerhead, I'd look no further than to Air Jordans; you know you're crazy when you trek to a mall at 5am just to ensure you'll be one of the first in line for a limited-edition drop. I know. I've been there. A lot. I'm guilty as accused.
You want it? Pay for it.
Unless, of course, you're a committed early adopter and/or have wads of cash to spare. Or determined to borrow money from someone or loan from a bank. Be my guest. -email@example.com
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