All quiet on the smartphone front

All quiet on the smartphone front

Summary: The smartphone space is still growing, but we aren't seeing a lot of innovation. The phones today are pretty much the same as they've been for a while. We need something to shake things up.

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RIM announced another Curve, HTC announced another Android phone (but with a dongle), Samsung launched another Galaxy S, and we will soon be blown away by the awesome phones coming out with Windows Phone Mango. Sound familiar? That's pretty much what we've been hearing for months and months. Maybe it's just me but it seems the smartphone space has gotten awfully boring of late.

Smartphones are still flying off the shelves, and adoption of them is still strong in the consumer space. It's just the phones themselves that are boring. Google is activating tons of Android phones every day, but frankly they are all pretty much the same. Same processors, same basic form, same cameras... well, you get the picture.

We keep hearing about the great Windows Phone handsets that are sure to come our way, especially given Microsoft's partnership with Nokia, but those are Real Soon Now. Mango looks to be the version of Windows Phone that will give Android a run for its money, but that's also Real Soon Now.

It seems the only buzz these days about Android is around the promise of Ice Cream Sandwich. Instead of buzzing about Android phones, all the talk is about how the next version of Android is going to be awesome. Real Soon Now.

Of course there is the standard iPhone rumor mill, which Apple is careful to keep just rumors. Even those rumors seem tame lately, with nothing surprising about the gadget that is coming Real Soon Now.

RIM is basically rolling over to die, having put all of its eggs in the QNX basket that will be appearing on phones Real Soon Now. Its problem is the QNX platform has tanked in the market on the PlayBook, so it killed its Next Big Thing itself.

What can shake up the quiet, boring smartphone space? How about HTC buying webOS from HP and going all in on its own platform? HP/Palm couldn't entice buyers with webOS phones but I'll bet HTC could do it. Quality phones with nice features packing the webOS interface would be competitive, and shake up the boring smartphone space. HTC could rebrand webOS, I'm thinking Sense would fit.

Image credit: Flickr user renaissancechambara

Topics: BlackBerry, Hardware, HTC, Mobility, Samsung, Security, Smartphones

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18 comments
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  • Re: All quiet on the smartphone front

    Probably has more to do with all the lawsuits taking place, manufacturers as well as people developing an OS are waiting to see what happens after the fallout.
    nacourtney
    • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

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      alexdan2
  • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

    The purchase of WebOS by HTC is not good for them regardless of what you want to believe.

    You know what would be good, setting up an Android Patent Pool that people could share all their mobile related patents with and that would allow the others to use them as long as they are all in with their own mobile patents.
    slickjim
    • Except theres no invention going on with android, just copying.

      Nothing valuable to patent for trading.
      Johnny Vegas
  • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

    You're right. This stagnation will be swept away Real Soon Now. I like that phrase. I've waited years to join the smart phone race, and I'm still waiting. But I think some phone to be released in the next 6 months will finally make me upgrade. It might be Galaxy S2. Or iPhone 5. Or Samsung Focus S with Windows Phone. Or a Nokia with Windows Phone. Basically I've been waiting for a "no compromises" phone. I'm fairly certain it will be one of these 4.
    bmgoodman
  • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

    I can only think that they are all waiting for Apple to come up with the next greatest design innovation. Then all others can follow until the situation stagnates yet again. Nobody cares about design here other than Apple, no wonder they have such strong loyalty.
    regsrini
    • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

      @regsrini yep, pretty hard for anyone to innovate until after Apple's next iPhone release. Not long now.
      CowLauncher
    • Sheesh...

      @regsrini
      Last time I saw something as full of "it" as your post, I had
      to reprimand my boys for failing to flush the toilet.
      wizard57m-cnet
    • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

      @regsrini

      Don't hold your breath. Their design has stayed the same since the beginning, a copy of a crowded desktop with static tiny icons and the need for external apps to fulfil functions that are built in on WP7.

      Lower the door handles, dynatune the wheel covers, stage 3 cigarette lighter and you have the new iPhone 5 ;-)
      tonymcs@...
    • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

      @regsrini

      Microsoft is the innovator now. I haven't seen Apple come up with anything particularly innovative recently, not even in iOS 5.
      wp7mango
    • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

      @regsrini

      Maybe this time Apple will figure out how to make a phone that doesn't drop calls. Or, to pay people that own the rights to antenna technology. (nokia, motorola)
      MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGOOOO
    • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

      @regsrini Right so they can all copy the drop down notifications and everything else they've been following Android on for the past couple of releases. Oh wait they already have those. As far as phone design they haven't brought anything new to the table since they first launched.

      Fact is innovation is moving along quite nice. The HD Galaxy S2/Nexus is coming. The Vigor is coming....etc. If anybody thinks these phones coming are the same thing as the phones already out they are blind. Leave it to the Android ecosystem to save the day again.

      WP7 Mango is just as dead in the water as it was day one. The uninitiated are still excited about functions being built into WP7 when Android is well beyond needing things baked into the OS and wondering why no one is buying it. When MS finally figures out that allowing third party apps to integrate as if they were a part of the phone off the manufacturing line then they might have a chance.
      storm14k
  • Mango is more about better user experience. Workflow to accomplish tasks.

    Not really a lot of new stuff. But its a still a very big improvement over using an iphone/android. Also nothing really new coming in iphone5 or ice cream sandwich. Nor in Nokias first WP devices. I think there wont be any interesting Nokia devices until 2012. In fact dont expect anything earth shaking from iphone or android ever again. I think the next real mover in the smartphone space is going to be hinted at with WP8 and really hit the mark in WP9/WP10
    Johnny Vegas
  • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

    Frankly, I think people in technology world are probably the most fickle customers on the planet. In the last few years we've seen a massive explosion in capability of smartphones and people are already jaded and bored with them. I usually see a spacing of about 2-3 months after a product release before people are bored and looking for the next product. The vendors of these devices have convinced some people not just to upgrade every couple years but that after a few months you're out of date and need more.

    The reality is that most folks are dragging around 2-3 year old smartphones because they don't need the latest and greatest and a whole lot more haven't even bothered buying one. Yet, technology bloggers/reviewers are already bored of what most people haven't even bothered looking at.

    The tech community really needs a bit of perspective.
    Ididar
  • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

    Quiet huh? Guess you missed this news from Sprint:

    http://www.sprintfeed.com/2011/09/sprint-capping-phone-as-a-modem-to-5gb-starting-october-2nd/
    lgpOnTheMove
  • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

    dbl post***
    lgpOnTheMove
  • I'm Not So Sure

    Look at the new crop of Android devices with screens around 4-5 inches, totally destroying the boundary between smartphone and tablet. Don't you think that's innovative? No proprietary platform dares to try the same thing--not Apple, not Microsoft.

    Whatever kind of device you want, it seems like Android is the only platform that can offer it all.
    ldo17
  • RE: All quiet on the smartphone front

    Why is there no mention of Meego? Haven't you heard of the Nokia N9?

    It will be released in October.
    MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEGGGGGGGGOOOO