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Weekend Conversation: Where is the Mobile Phone Heading?

Whenever I get ease time, I habitually mull over so many things and today, my head was pondering on where is the Mobile Phone Industry Heading after my friends and I were discussing about the iPhone 6 release.

Before finding where it is heading, here is what you will have to know about Mobile Phones.

Mobile Phones are basically a “Private Transceiver “ that can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link while moving around a wide geographic area. This was initially anticipated by Arthur C. Clarke in 1945 and now mobile phones have infiltrated about 95% of the Human Population. All happened within 69 years. This is expected to grow further and we will reach a period when everyone may possibly have 2 Mobile phones with them.

Again, the question here is where are we heading?

When it comes to technology, a couple of years back, most of the public were in sync with the latest happenings then. But now, people have started thinking well ahead of time. They have started to see technology in their mind’s eye. When a person is able to predict Mobile phones in 1945 and he could get his prophesy fulfilled just after 50 years (at least by others), with all the technological advancements imagine what would be the case today?

I do not want to delve into the science and history of Mobile Communication however I just learnt that complex things always start with a simple thought.

Yet again, what’s trending about Mobile Phones and where is it heading?

When it comes to mobile phones, everybody have their own choices. Some people may wish for more Apps on their device while others may just cherry-pick considering the bucks. Analogously, we have so many factors that drive a person to choose their mobile phone.

  1. Number of Applications
  2. Operating System
  3. Camera/Camera Lens for Mobile phones.
  4. Mobile Accessories
  5. Hardware
  6. Technology equipped
  7. Money
  8. Build quality
  9. Entertainment
  10. Education/Productivity (Work at home)
  11. Max Talk Time
  12. Max Battery Backup
  13. Style
  14. Branding
  15. Support ETC.

Surprised to see a 64 bit architecture processor or a 41 MP Monster camera on a mobile phone? Mobile Phones, now-a-days are designed to be more powerful, energy efficient and almost at par with the actual computers. These kinds of technology advancements make us forget the basic use of a mobile phone.

The twist here is all the goodies that stir us to buy a mobile phone are trending! Of course that does not stop people from buying mobile phones but with the technology advancements beyond a certain point, I reckon mobile phone would get stagnant without evolution! At least, for a short period. Makers must stop manufacturing and start thinking what needs to be implemented next instead of bootlegging like what most of the companies are doing!

Why do I say this?

Consider a simple example of Mega Pixels in a Mobile Camera, even a point and shoot camera doesn’t have 41 MP sensors and beyond a point, our eyes would not make out the difference in clarity. Again, why do we need a 64 bit processor on a mobile phone? Don’t you think it would be too much for a mobile phone? In a positive side of it, this is a technology innovation and on the contrary, why do we need it? Remember, 64 bit will not help you deliver your voice with more clarity! Same way, beyond a 64 bit processor for a mobile phone, I seriously cannot think of a 128 bit processor in near future in view of the fact that it might require a CPU fan! Who knows, it might not require one however this really sounds Witty!! Now mobile phones are replacing your credit cards which are good and at times good for hackers too!

With so much functionality, this is no longer a mobile phone yet people call it a “Mobile Phone”. Remember, mobile phones were just a “Private Transceiver” once but now, it is more than a mobile phone.

It has

  1. Phone functionality
  2. GPS
  3. Audio/Video Player
  4. Audio/Video Recorder
  5. Internet
  6. Games
  7. Performs Official Tasks
  8. Date & Time
  9. Alarm
  10. Calculator
  11. Flash light
  12. Projector
  13. TV
  14. Sensors
  15. Digital Wallet

So on and so forth, what else would you think can be added?

So far Mobile Phones have been developing in a conventional trend and would you still think this would be the case a 100 years from now? How do you like if your mobile phone talks to you? I reckon mobile phones will gradually be developed with Artificial Intelligent elements. I was also visualizing the scenes from Iron Man in which stark’s Mansion had loads of Augmented Reality devices, not real though but this will evolve into a technology in the long run on Mobile Phones. Imagine an app pushing the mobile Phone’s display on to the wall or to TV in just a swipe or a finger/hand glove that connects to your phone which can read your hand movements and monitor your Pulse, Blood Pressure, sugar level so on and so forth. Now don’t say Sony or Samsung does that! I am talking about unplanned and random setups. Sony requires a Sony TV to display the image or Samsung requires an additional accessory to read your body data.

iron man

Project Aura from google is yet another innovation which would make a revolution not only in the mobile world but wherever applicable. So many things trending about mobile phones at the same time we have no clue where this would lead to.

Aura

Having said all these, I really cannot be without a mobile device!

So where are the Mobile Industries heading? (Cortana Style)

We are looking at a smart handy assistant in the near future who can understand and react to our emotions. That’s very obvious now then, what is the odd here?

Imagine your Mobile device acting as a CPU! All you need to do is, connect you phone to a monitor, keyboard and a mouse. Voila! Your computer is ready! Sounds overwhelming? Now how about this? Mobile devices becoming the Red Chip one fine day which acts as your key, the Engine for your cars, a CPU, personal assistance, remote and so on. I was seeing things in my mind’s eye about using mobile devices as a red chip, what do I mean? Your doors will not open unless you authenticate your house door app properly on your phone. Your car engine will not start unless you plug in your mobile onto the car. Your daily tasks are prompted by your mobile device; this device is your remote, your virtual companion and your pal! Having said that the future device will have so many additions and extra peripherals that add to the advantages on the other side, there are counter effects due to the hi-tech evolutions, we may get more radiation or heat produced while working on such devices which are proved to be detrimental. The below picture depicts how the world would look if Mobile Phone radiations are visible! No wonder why sparrows have become a part of the endangered species.

radiations

Will it become more intelligent that people might start spending more time with their mobile devices?

Companies must start concentrating on technologies that would not affect us and our surroundings!

With so many future concepts stuck in the net, I reckon the mobile industry will experience a major dip after a gradual elevation. No matter how advance the mobile devices are, there will always be a “Nokia 1100” in the market that will haunt the market reminding people about the basic functionality of a mobile phone.

There was a twist in the mobile industry after the launch of the Apple’s iPhone way back in 2007and I feel that it is time for yet another twist but not sure from whom it might be. With all these things in mind, we will have to eye into the crystal balls rather than focusing on prototypes and unreleased phones! Mobile devices are heading towards a major revolution!

But where are we heading?

As I mentioned previously, Friends and I were discussing about the iPhone 6 announcement and all made awesome points which kindled me to write this long article! The above were also discussed by us! I am thinking that the mobile phones are heading towards a big evolution and will soon replace your DSLR’s, Credit Card, Wallet, Keys, Computers, entertainment System, iPods or Other music players, modem, universal remote, personal assistance, books and much more! What is after that? This is for the companies to think!

Coming back to square one, the discussion was about why iPhones has a preference over others. So as we were discussing, one of my friend made excellent points about moment of truth.

Sanjay Varman explained “So here we have 3 moments of truth

  1. 1st moment of truth is when a company creates anxiety and tends to incite people to know what the device is.
  2. 2nd moment of truth is when people actually gets awe-struck and procure the device to try their hands on.
  3. 3rd moment of truth is when people are more than satisfied with the device, the company has delivered and consequently people will keep buying the same company product or at least they prefer the same company to other companies.

Now this is why iPhones are becoming a threat to other Mobile Phone industries and if you could see iPhone users are loyalist and so they might not move out of Apple.”

I totally agreed with what Sanjay told considering the fact that Nokia is lacking this! As I always say, Nokia lacks a Steve Jobs. Taking about Nokia, Nokia was actually the market leader for almost 14 years which made me wonder what on Earth did Nokia do with all its money? Money and resources spent extravagantly on R&D, no proper administration, no new innovations and Nokia didn’t even consider Apple, Samsung or Google as a rival and now it is just the opposite!

Coming back to the iPhones, the iPhone 6 is good but not good enough and I personally felt it is just not worth the bucks! You can very well get a HTC M8 and you would end up having few more dollars!

I got a forward text message from my friend and it read

“Price of Apple iPhone6 in India is Approx. 65,000 Rupees. Other option are you could go on a trip to Bangkok with return tickets for 24,000 Rupees. You get a good shelter for 13000 Rupees. You could do a Thai Massage for 3000 Rupees and Shopping for 10000 Rupees. Now you will save 15,000 Rupees. Come back to your home country and buy Xiaomi mi3, MOTO G Gen II, XOLO Play or Zenfone 5!”

I have got a similar text but instead of the Thailand Trip it was house hold utilities! Basically you could get so many other things for that money. This made me think of how Apple could sell its product at such a price tag.

Another friend of mine, added “High Price points are their keys. Apple fans have blatant ignorance of what the product has inside of it! Apple is aiming to target only the upper class and they don’t even bother about the middle or lower class people, here in India” with a little awkward moment Sathya Continued “Apple has created a big brand value for itself!”

What does he mean by Brand Value?

I still remember Steve Jobs introduction to the Apple’s first iPhone! That was innovative and the undoubtedly Mr. Jobs was amazing! That provoked even me to buy Apple iPhone, sitting in a small room in a place where Nokia was the Synonym for Mobile phones!

The Question is, how did Apple create a Brand Value?

Let me take few more lines before I actually talk about brand values. In 1997, the Company was lost and Apple’s board of directors had just ousted their second CEO in as many years. Apple was clueless. Then came Steve Jobs who took the throne in 1998 and unveiled the iMac. He proceeded to guide Apple through an exceptional period of growth and profitability. The growth rate was from the 3rd to the 4th quadrant on a graphical representation! Another point to be included is Apple’s Market Share is about 13% World Wide and 40% in US. No one ever gives what their market share outside US.

How did Steve Jobs do it is my next question?

Steve Jobs started focusing on new products that are new to the market and less competitive. iPod is a very good example. iPod was not the first Music Player however this was the first Music Player that was out of the blue. iPhone is yet another example. Apple’s products aren’t usually the first of their kind, but they are roughly always the first to get it right. This explains Sanjay’s First moment of truth! So people will be interested to try these.

You don’t need billions of dollars of Innovation to stand in the market. Then what do we need?

New markets are emerging every week in the world of online entrepreneurship. Mobile marketing, online video production and social media services are all well established and at its peak yet growing. Apple had implemented new ideas. They were nothing but recurring revenue for the company and so they built the iTunes and the App Store. We all know number of apps in the mobile phone or on tabs plays a vital role now though we can’t use all of them at once. They started getting revenues from these as well. More than anything, Apple has built a sense of belonging for its consumers of setting them apart with its distinctive theory of art. It creates a family for its users defined by the recognizable brand look and design! This is what we call it the Brand Value.

We have so many mobile phone makers who sells quality products at cheaper price points but why not Apple? Apple always wanted to stay above the fight. Apple incorporated the “Luxury Culture” Why? Apple liked their products to be considered as Luxury Products. Hence people who have already used iPhones and willing to change his/her phone will obviously choose a device from Apple. Now, this is called the 3rd Moment of Truth.

The 2nd moment of Truth is Apple’s unmatched Quality and the usability!

Another friend of mine, his name is Siva was talking about the Hardware/Software Synchronization which is said to be optimum in case of Apple devices! This is the reason why Apple’s Dual Core Performance is in par with Quad-Core Droids.

Where is Nokia?

So talking about Apple and other random facts, we have now totally misplaced “Nokia”. That’s what had really happened with Nokia.

Nokia Innovation Editor in Chief Lenny, said “Let me say it this way everyone in the world knows the biggest singer/performer in America but I can’t tell you the biggest singer in China, India ETC..”

Same with Nokia!

What do people want?

People do not get phones based on their requirement if that wasn’t the case, then basic models would have flooded the markets. People look for phones that have set a vogue in the market (Android and Apple). They require a million apps on their phone as if they use all of them and bar model without key pad which is the current trend. There are people who choose their phone based on their requirement and they are the ones who really do not utilize the full capacity of the phone. People who push their phones to or beyond limits are the ones who really know which phone is the finest and I have done this to all my phones including a Micromax phone. All smart phones have apps, the problem is that people are so indoctrinated with Android/iOS mass manipulation, they have no clue that Windows has all the important apps, and works perfect with them. People didn’t know what a smart phone is until the release of Apple and Blackberry. It would have been wonderful if Apple and Blackberry were just fruits.

Other day, one of my friend wanted a smartphone, I recommended Windows Phone and his reaction was appalling. He blindly said no to Windows Phone. I was wondering why people are crazy behind Android Devices and Apple. I was asked him so many questions on why not Nokia but he was eluding me. Windows Phones (Nokia) has advanced to a level that is in par with Android Jelly Bean OS. We have most of the top apps and an unsophisticated UI.

I am thinking Microsoft should start making premium products at least they can make their products premium like what Apple did. They just increased the price points. That’s all, it made it a premium device! Honestly, iPhone 6 has only entered 2012! My 920 has the same features and in fact my device supports Wireless Charging too! Though Nokia is way ahead of Apple Technology wise, Apple sells more!

920

All these because, Apple has created demands! I do agree with the fact that Apple’s iOS is very fast and smooth with tons of apps but Windows Phone too has quality apps and features which runs as smooth as in Apple! Apple has created a Brand and people are falling for it. Even if Apple makes an iPhone that has the same feature as that of a phone that came in 2013, it would still sell high!

I honestly couldn’t digest the fact that Verge and other big online journals are behind Apple! I am not sure if Apple pays the but look for yourselves the review! That is of course not a bad idea either! Microsoft should consider paying the online journalists for publicity and their positive reviews.

Verge Score for 930 is 7.0/10

Verge Score for iPhone 6 is 9/10

I was actually alarmed after checking out Lumia’s 930’s Camera clarity. Verge managed to give 930 a 7 out of 10 for 20MP with OIS, a 1/2.5-inch sensor and an f/2.4 lens. Below image shows the score for the Lumia 930 by Verge!

Verge Lumia 930

 

I honestly do not understand why iPhone 6 got 10/10 for display and 10/10 for its 8 MP OIS Camera! Now check out iPhone 6’s score given by the Verge!

Verge iPhone 6

I am actually laughing at this! Display on the 930 is way better than the iPhone 6 but iPhone has got full marks! Apple has still stuck with 320 odd pixels per inch on displays while Lumia 930 has a whopping 441 ppi! Apple has thought people would not be able to make out the differences in clarity it is true but Human Eyes can actually do wonders! Matter of fact, Human Eyes are digitally 576 Mega Pixel Camera! So I am thinking Human eyes would be able to differentiate between charities till that extent! My close buddy Siva, has a LG G2 and I was able to see an obvious difference in clarity (comparing my 920)! Below is the actual display comparison between the Lumia 930 (to the Left) and Apple iPhone 6 (To the Right)

display comparison

 

Nokia Editor in Chief, Chris Wright said “I personally think iPhones are nice devices but can’t stand all the delusion involved with them”

People wants premium products but the truth is, this ain’t premium. This is just publicity promotions! Yet people will still buy an iPhone

“This is all because of lack of clarity, lack of understanding and ignorance of the subject (Mobile Phone)!”

It is also not about Technology advancements but I also realized that everything is about Marketing. We are now in a period where Marketing is not only the key, but we must have Reality Marketing. Microsoft (Nokia) has the insides but lacks projection! Nokia’s brand value has come down in India and is still coming down. As I said on my earlier post, I still didn’t forget the days when Nokia released the 6600, N-gage QD and the N-series. None dare to overthrow these models. It had limitations but people were happy with its technology. I still operate my Panasonic TV with 6600 but unfortunately we cannot do it with most of the present-day phones. Microsoft can probably work on the late technology Infrared (IR), phones with touch plus QWERTY keypad and on N-gage apps. MS can invest more on R&D and reward the developers for each of their creations. It should also work on ground-breaking technology like the Nokia 888 concept. Nokia should always remain unique and legendary as it is, always. Microsoft should have the moments of truth not just those but an additional one which is 4th moment of truth – when the company creates a dependency! Hope Microsoft implements something new that leads to yet another twist in the mobile phone market.  As I said earlier, I learnt that complex things always start with a simple thought.

My Experience:

I have used an iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, S5, Moto X, Moto G, Nexus 5, Moto Atrix II and almost all Lumia devices. All are great devices but I would say they are designed for separate users groups. The Android Phones will try to pump in more features while the iPhone operates on limited features but making it easy for the  users. Android is not that tough but iOS is better when compared to Android however with an Android device you have got the liberty to customize your phone as you wish. iOS is all about brand, design, less feature and ease of use.

If you want a phone that will “Just Work” get an iPhone. If you are into customization and looking for feature phones, Android will be best suited. If you want the latest feature with the design, quality and better user experience, I would suggest you to go with a Lumia!

So WHERE ARE THE MOBILE INDUSTRIES HEADING and where are WE HEADING?

Answer is “Nowhere” (Now here or No Where). Depends on how you see it! 😉

 Disclaimer: This is just to create awareness and to let know people that there is no term called premium product. These are just marketing tactics! Also, this is just my personal opinion!

 

WP_20140726_23_10_37_Pro WP_20140826_22_38_34_Pro Taken with Lumia Selfie Taken with Lumia Selfie Taken with Lumia Selfie

 

Special Thanks to all my friends for the inputs and for a good tête-à-tête!

-Parasaran

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