Are we at Peak Smartphone?
You know, smartphones are all kind of the same. I think we’re at peak smartphone, it seems like every new phone coming out. These days is basically the same as the last one, with some minor tweaks and there’s. No big revolutionary jumps anymore and there’s almost never a good reason to spend a thousand dollars on this year’s phone. When you already have last year’s thousand dollar phone, so yeah, maybe we’ve reached peak smartphone. So I see all this and as the guy that’s been in the smartphone world for a while been reviewing them for a long time. I felt the need to chime in so I’ll give my two cents. The answer to the question have we reached peak smartphone? Is yes, but no you see everything, you’re thinking and seeing I’m also thinking and seeing too it’s all true. Yes, we are seeing less big revolutionary jumps in smart phones. Yes, there are less crazy, never before seen features in phones year over year and yeah. It seems like the functionality and the form factor have all sort of evolved into just we all have glass rectangles. Now, glass, sandwiches: this is what we call a mature market. We’Ve seen this before. You always have the greatest rate of change at the beginning of the curve and then, as you, reach the ideal or peak smartphone, it sort of slows down and doesn’t change that much year over year, but that’s not to say we don’t get some seriously impressive improvements.
Every single year, so rewinding a bit at the beginning of smartphones in say the early 2000s. There were constant, big new changes and features that were literally revolutionary. We had the first phones with a glass touchscreen and the first phones with multi touch that’s. When we had the first time they ever put a camera on the back and the front of the phone that’s. The first phones with an app store. The first phones with desktop class web browsers, like it, was just milestone after milestone after pillar after pillar in a smartphone world, and it was more than just the new hardware features. It was what these new hardware features enabled smartphone photography, video chat real time, multiplayer gaming. I mean it. The list goes on so now it’s easy when you fast forward all the way to the iPhone 11. Next to the iPhone 10 R, it seems like they’re, almost the same phone. At a glance, I mean we’re all these glass rectangles anyway, but I think if you zoom that far in you start to ignore and lose track of the outer edges and the peripheral that are still pushing things forward and still enabling new things and it’s oftentimes, not As drastic or as fundamental as it used to be, but it’s real for some examples in the past two years, we’ve recently gotten ultra wide angle, lenses for wide photography and videos that don’t need a separate camera or add on lens.
We got in portrait mode, we’ve, gotten high refresh rates and new backlight technology on display as that’s more efficient and that reduced the latency of the interface and make everything feel significantly smoother than it ever has. Computational photography is another big one, it’s taken major strides in the last couple years, with incredible HDR, with the real time previews combining multiple frames into one composited image nearly instantly with a single tap of a shutter button, and with that and a few new night modes Photos that were literally impossible a few years ago are now just effortless on the latest phones, fingerprint readers are under the displays. 65 watt fast chargers bring a battery from 0 100 in half an hour and yeah phones literally fold in half. Now, not just like. Flip phones of the past, but there’s a whole first generation of fitting a larger display in your pocket than you ever could before, because the displays are flexible, along with the devices built around them, there’s even more on the horizon that we’re looking forward to the cameras In the front going behind the display glass, we look forward to wireless charging, getting better wireless audio, getting better 5g, just to name a few so here’s. Another version of that question to consider. Have we reached peak car it’s, actually a very similar question and when you zoom out again going from not having cars to having automobiles suddenly? Was this massive step and every new piece that was added every new feature was a major game change that I could drive this young new product category forward so long ago.
Now, though, in 2019, what is a car really? I mean they all have four wheels. They all have an engine in the front and a trunk in the back and a steering wheel and some seats right. So, are we at peak car I mean yeah, you can say we’re at peak car we’ve done the same curve and we’ve plateaued the same way, but you have to be careful not to ignore all the newest bleeding edge innovations and all the things that are enabled From them, specifically the electric car revolution and what that means for sustainability, what that means for autonomy? What that means for performance? You know the rivey and r1t and the quad motor tank turn what that means for features Tesla’s worldwide supercharging network and everything that is the cyber truck. So you have to say: we’re at peak car is technically true. We’Ve done the same. Plateau we’ve seen the curve, but it still ignores a lot of the most exciting revolutionary parts of that industry and so to say: we’ve reached peak smartphone same thing, it’s technically, true, yes, but I think when you say that you start to ignore all the crazy newest Stuff we’ve gotten the the computational photography, the bezel is OLED displays and the whole folding and half thing here is a the ridiculous rumoured spec list of the galaxy s 20 ultra coming up a huge 120 Hertz AMOLED display edge to edge a snapdragon 865 and up To 16 gigs of ram half a terabyte of flash storage with the micro SD card, so expandable up to another terabyte, a 5000 milliamp hour wireless and fast charging battery and a hundred and eight megapixel primary camera and four others and that’s, not to mention whatever other Stuff they’re building into the software, which can also enhance and improve the experience and enable new things like not any single.
One of these things is drastically new by itself, and none of these specs will individually enable you to do anything crazy, knew that you couldn’t do before and your smartphone, but that combination of specs all in one place, all in one phone is new and if you Show that spec sheet to someone literally just three years ago, they’d probably tell you it was impossible. So when people ask, are we at peak smartphone right now? Yes, but no we’ve clearly reached a point where people don’t need to buy a new thousand dollar phone. Every single year over a year and we’ve reached a point where software updates are getting better phones just last longer. Now people can use a three or four year old phone and do everything is still need to without upgrading to the bleeding edge stuff. But don’t forget about that bleeding edge, don’t forget about galaxy fold or the cyber truck. You know that’s still happening don’t. Let that plateau make you ignore all the incredible innovations still happening in these industries that are driving us forward or you might miss it.