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Are The Smartphone Hardware Manufacturers About to Get Thinned Out?

A short while ago we speculated that the tablet market was really just a competition between the iPad ad Kindle Fire with the rest of the manufacturers losing money, selling off at firesales and ultimately the Android lines are otherwise dying off. ZDNet thinks that this same trend is about to hit the smartphone market. There’s a huge influx of manufacturers mostly brought in because of Android and since you get a free OS you figure any hardware manufacturer can now compete with the big boys. This has led to tons of cheap devices and that can only last so long. At the same time RIM is in trouble overall. And what’s that about HTC? Sales are down last quarter. Of course, Apple is doing just fine as is Samsung and Moto but as time goes on the manufacturers will find it harder to differentiate from each other since they all have the same set of components to play with so this may be a race to the bottom until the bottom feeders get weeded out and cannibalize each other.

Internally we were discussing it and of course, there’s some pushback about if a single bad quarter for HTC is anything to speculate about. And of course Nokia lives and dies by Microsoft (or merges as many, including myself, see as inevitable). We also agree that this tendency to release 25 phones in a quarter is just getting out of hand. It is too hard as a manufacturer and consumer to tell them apart. I mean, the Droid Nitro Extreme HD Prime IIS 4G+ has some great specs if you can figure out what the heck it even is.  The Droid 4 and the Droid Razr with keyboard are coming out at the same time? Really? Well it’s been five months since the Droid 3 so had to double down I guess. Redic…

The iPhone is the iPhone because it’s the one and only. Nokia is trying to make only flagship devices (for now – bottom tier later but still not competing against themselves). Contrast this to Android and Moto releasing two phones a month and you see the issue. Yes, it’s great to have options – not knocking that. But make flagship devices and make them standout and the manufacturers can save a few bucks on development and the consumer can get a product they know is top notch and a top tier product and won’t be replaced a week later by the same company. Otherwise you’ll be added to the pile of manufacturers that are going to die over the next year.

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