The cell phone is dead

Mildly interesting thought piece on the death of the cell/mobile phone.

Google, Sony, Lenovo and even, to some extent, Apple (whose market share is far better protected by its brand than the others) are all fleeing the price wars and commoditization of the smartphone space, and seeking to expand into wearables, smart home hubs, post-PC large-screened gadgets – as well as developing the new user experiences and content types which will turn those new form factors into consumer hits.

To a large extent I agree.
Here is why;

Intel told Bloomberg: “The lines are blurring between PCs, tablets, phablets and phones. The idea is to accelerate the implementation and create some efficiency so that we can move even faster.”

Smaller, cheaper, faster. That’s about the only way to make money these days I think. The big companies are seeing that they no longer can make one product for years and years, things are moving too fast and they have to be more nimble.

This was highlighted at Samsungs developer forum last week, where the focus was firmly on non-handset categories such as wearables, enterprise platforms and the IoT, and on a major internet push. Samsung is transferring about 500 engineers from smartphones – only weeks after it announced a Q314 profit crash in its mobile division – mainly to the IoT activity, according to sources.

500 engineers is a LOT of resources to move, even in a large company like Samsung.
There will be a knock on effect from this in other companies as well. They will see what Samsung is coming up with and rush to market competing products as well.
The end result for the consumer? Hard to say. Cell / Mobile phones are not going away, we all know that much, but we will see the lines blurred for sure in that area.
I think the more interesting aspect of decline in phone sales is the coming uptick in IoT device sales.

Lastly this;

The other main tactic will be to ensure that a couple of high end models, at least, are clearly differentiated from the pack. Yi said: “In low- to mid-end products, price is the most important, and for high-end products, it is innovation.” Here, Samsung is pinning its hopes here on a flexible display, tapping into the resources of its screens division to produce 30,000 to 40,000 of these components a month by the end of 2015, according to Lee Chang-hoon, VP of the business strategy team at Samsung Display. These screens can be folded in half and so will go further than the curved display which makes the Galaxy Note Edge so distinctive (and which has seen strong consumer uptake).

Since the phone has become more of a computer than just phone, I am looking forward to more innovation and higher spec’ed / performance phones than the ‘me too’ phones we saw last year.

I guess at the end of the day this blog entry is just about a heads up of the coming shift in these large companies as they restructure to cash in on the IoT boom.