Android wants extra competitors within the high-end market

The higher strata of the Android telephone market appears somewhat stagnant currently. There are solely a handful of units at this finish of the market, which is generally wonderful, however the premium telephones from which we get to decide on are painfully the identical, compounding the scenario. An absence of innovation is stifling buyer pleasure. Add sky-high costs as one other ache level, and we really feel that Android may use far more competitors within the high-end market to liven issues up.

The place’s the thrill?

Most high-end Android units look fairly comparable these days

Android might be thrilling. The working system is obtainable for any OEM to energy no matter loopy new concepts they give you. Certainly, it was this fashion. Keep in mind when Motorola and Nokia and Modu tried to make modular telephones? The thought was cool. Android was the OS the place innovation occurred.

As we speak, it appears the high-end of Android exists solely to parrot the iPhone, by far the best competitors to Android in locations like North America and Europe. Each design is similar: a glass and metallic slab with three or 4 cameras slapped on the again. The foldable line is a shiny spot, however even these are starting to converge, very similar to the similarities between the leaked Pixel Fold 2 and OnePlus Open. Nothing feels contemporary anymore.

To me, the answer is straightforward: make Android thrilling once more. Producers, as an example, may make high-end Android units out of distinctive supplies utilizing a various vary of daring colours. Or they may soar on the outdated modular thought and create customizable telephones we are able to improve (and gather) piecemeal. Even restricted editions may convey again some pleasure, just like the current and completely superb OnePlus 12R Genshin Affect telephone.

The place’s the innovation?

Let’s have a look at some real-world enhancements to the {hardware}

Corporations jumped throughout AI and are pushing it into every part as a result of it is all they have. AI is the most recent buzzword, however let’s be sincere, it does not blow us away. We would like tangible features.

Digicam developments are slowing down. Some would even say this 12 months’s cameras are somewhat worse than final 12 months if that is even doable. The Galaxy S24 Extremely now not has the identical excessive 10x zoom discovered on final 12 months’s S23 Extremely.

Different priceless options disappeared years in the past: detachable storage, headphone jacks, and replaceable batteries had been as soon as normal on telephones. We might like to see them come again.

There are shiny spots right here and there. The OnePlus 12 has a incredible digicam array because of the corporate’s partnership with Hasselblad. The Sony Xperia 5V has a headphone jack and detachable storage, however we have discovered Sony could also be downgrading its 4K OLED panel to a lower-resolution show within the subsequent launch. It additionally does not assist that Asus has executed the unthinkable and eliminated the very options that made the ROG Telephone and Zenphone so distinctive. Originality seems to be useless as each producer chases the mainstream market with extremely uninteresting units.

The cash drawback

Costs for upper-end Android telephones now match or exceed the iPhone


Excessive-end telephones are costly, however that is part of what makes them high-end. Nonetheless, Android’s present high-end telephones do not supply something over the competitors whereas typically charging extra. Samsung touted its circle-to-search as an incredible game-changer, however the remainder of the telephone is a nap till you get to the brand new titanium, however that feels extra like Samsung’s copying Apple as an alternative of providing any sort of actual innovation. Is a little bit of titanium and a trend-chasing AI actually value $1300? Why cannot we get distinctive supplies past the body, the place it may truly make a distinction?

The issue right here is the dominance of some manufacturers on this market section. Samsung and Google rule the roost for the Android market in america. So, it might be nice to see some extra modern gamers, corresponding to OnePlus, acquire mainstream traction.

We clearly want extra gamers on the scene

The Samsung-Apple duopoly is not wholesome

The Galaxy S24 Ultra next to the Pixel 8 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max

So many smaller telephone makers have disappeared, leaving only some behemoths accountable for the upper-end market section. LG was an incredible telephone maker till it exited the market in 2021. Motorola was top-of-the-line premium telephone designers within the 2010s, nevertheless it was purchased and bought just a few too many instances, and now it is completely happy to make low-end and mid-range telephones.

OnePlus gives a glimmer of hope for the way forward for Android. The corporate has constructed a loyal fan base by providing cutting-edge telephone designs at respectable costs, proving the corporate can compete successfully. It is nonetheless right here after a decade and some shakeups when so many different OEMs have vanished. Maybe high-end Androids can expertise a revival if OnePlus leads the cost. Higher but, OnePlus is not alone. Nubia just lately entered into US direct gross sales with the Z60 Extremely, and whereas the telephone did not stand out, extra competitors is how we get higher telephones at decrease costs.

Sony additionally should not be discounted. It hasn’t precisely hit any house runs currently, particularly with its excessive costs (how is Sony tax nonetheless a factor). Nonetheless, the corporate is established, revered, and has the monetary clout to change into a giant participant if it needs. Maybe Sony may do one thing Apple-esque and create a complete ecosystem round its merchandise. The corporate excels with its music, film, and gaming efforts, in any case, so it isn’t like the corporate does not have the power to learn markets accurately and capitalize on them.

Android wants a shakeup

Customers deserve higher than what we at the moment have

The high-end Android smartphone market wants a kick within the pants. Android is a flexible and superb platform, crammed with prospects because of its flexibility, but the few dominant producers are sleeping on it. These similar few gamers give us iterative updates, not innovation, and push sky-high costs with out corresponding worth. We customers on the lookout for high quality are confronted with few decisions relating to which glass and titanium slab we must always drop $1,000 or extra on each couple of years.

New challengers are the important thing to shaking issues up. They’ll power a renewed concentrate on innovation and pleasure. Extra importantly, they can provide us the liberty to select from amongst many various capabilities and options at costs that match.


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