With the upcoming Apple conference, many ardent fans look forward to the upgrade of the iPhone x. Features that are eagerly anticipated for the upgrades are now the very features driving a huge percentage of consumers to accept ever increasing prices that they have come to demand of modern smartphones, the standard bearers known as flagship models. With recent surveys indicating that the vast majority of consumers of smartphones are basing their purchase decision-making process on one factor: the camera.
So if we examine the current giants of the smartphone world the iPhone x and the Samsung s9 we can see that both flagships boast an impressive 12mp rear camera with the iPhone x also carrying a 12mp camera in the front, while the S9 carries an 8mp camera in the front. Despite the upgrade in camera quality and the unfortunate presence of the notch, both phones are exactly what we’ve come to expect from 2018 smartphones.
Nothing has fundamentally changed with either product since their predecessors (a home button?) were launched, but one thing has changed; the price. The era of the $1000 flagship phone is now, and I can’t see how that’s going to change for either company, so what is justifying the price tag?
The $1000 Dollar Question:
The price tag might be intimidating for those of us on tighter budgets or with other responsibilities to take care of, but despite the months worth of food, it could buy for your family the $1000 smartphone is big business. Globally already the i phone x accounts for 35% of Apple’s revenue, despite being the most recent and arguably the most divisive product Apple has created.
As The Verge recently reported, this isn’t an Apple exclusive problem, “Every phone that’s dared to nudge up to the $999 level and above has proven a success. Apple’s iPhone X is selling faster and better than expected, leading one analyst to declare that it has brought 2019 demand forward. Though mostly unavailable in the US, Huawei’s P20 Pro approaches iPhone X pricing, and it’s proven a popular choice in Europe, comfortably eclipsing the sales of its cheaper predecessor.”
Of course people will pay what they think is appropriate for a product, and if even cheaper competition is seeing that the general public have no problem forking out obscene amount ts of money for a phone, we should make sure the phone is really worth it but as one analysis best put it, “No phone is worth $1,000, regardless if it runs iOS or Android. After a certain amount of money, (depending on where you live, usually something like $200) it is no longer a phone, but a portable computer in the form of a phone.”.
Is there such a dramatic difference in performance or specs in comparison to cheaper products? Well if it ever was a case to be made for supporting the “little guy” two phones, in particular, seem ready to stand up and lead the charge against paying ludicrous sums for flagship specs: enter the flagship killers of Xiaomi and Huawei’s newest products, the Pocophone F1 and the Honour Note 10.
The Honour Note 10 comes from a subsidiary of Huawei dedicated to producing high-quality budget smartphones. Their latest model, The Note 10, has some extremely impressive features. It features a 6.95″ (17.65 cm) display with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2220 pixels and runs on Android v8.1 (Oreo) operating system. The Note 10 is powered by Octa-core (2.4 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A73 + 1.8 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A53) processor and comes with 6 GB of RAM. The rear camera has a 16 MP camera, and it has a fingerprint sensor. The Note 10 has got a Mali-G72 MP12 GPU for those who like to play games on their mobile devices. It carries an onboard storage at 64 GB with the option to expand the memory by up to 256 GB. So the bottom line is the price for these specs clocks in at just $470!
So let’s examine the specs on the Pocophone, Pocophone F1 functions on Android v8.1 (Oreo) operating system and Octa-core (2.8 GHz, Quad core, Kryo 385 1.8 GHz, Quad core, Kryo 385) processor combined with 6 GB of RAM. It carries an impressive Adreno 630 Graphics to augment its performance for gamers. The camera carries a 12MP primary sensor and 5MP front camera with a dual LED flash and an even more impressive 20MP front camera with an LED flash. You get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and liquid cooling, and for just $429!
Why They Matter
It is of no use to have a device with impressive specs if your smartphone doesn’t perform properly in real life and both of these phones are ridiculously impressive considering their diminutive price tag and they perform excellently. Additionally, we can argue the point that these phones both carry a well-established update system and quality software, so why will they have such a battle on their hands? Brand loyalty.
For Apple in particular, who are the leaders of the pack when it comes to brand loyalty, brand loyalty is more than a vague concept. Apple has a veritable ecosystem where interconnectivity and UI and UX are streamlined beautifully. The same cannot be said of Android, despite their best intentions, as they are licensing the OS to so many retailers, it means there is no control from Samsung over bloatware or many other factors 3rd parties choose to include as part of their finished products.
For this reason, we can see how the future of the flagship killers plays out; they need to establish a history of beautifully designed software and hardware if they wish to attract the loyalty they need to succeed as brand influencers. The hype behind these phones is extraordinary, and for a good reason, they allow many who don’t have the ability to shelve out $1000 on a phone access to some amazing features , but until they establish a streamlined identity and remove the excessive bloatware we won’t be dealing with “the next Apple”, but rather a competitor who makes the competition a lot more interesting.