The title is not a question. It is a statement that ‘how’ should not be the priority for the bigger tech companies over the next couple of years.
Look at what you do with your phone today; photography, organisation, games, navigation, communication, social networking, work, music, films, fitness, banking, reading etc etc. You can do practically everything you need to do and no amount of tinkering around the edges will grab millions of new users to a particular platform.
My iPhone has a notch at the top and the next iPhone may not. That’s not going to make me upgrade.
My iPhone takes decent photos and the next one may produce stunning images that are much better than what I can currently achieve. That’s not going to make me upgrade.
My iPhone gets through a day on one charge. The allure of 2-3 days in a future version will not make me upgrade.
The three potential improvements listed above are useful, but there is a problem in the industry that would stop me, and most others, from upgrading and that is the cost. We have reached a point where our phones do so much for us that improvements in one, or two, features are not enough to prise upwards of £1,000 from the majority of potential purchasers.
It needs a ‘what’. It needs a new feature that wows us in a way that we have not seen for some time now.
This does not need to be a feature as such, it could be a foldable phone that folds out to the size of a small tablet. It could be a phone that is powered all of the time through the air from multiple charging points. It could be many things, but it seems that these things are still some way off which is what is leading to the problems that the big players are currently experiencing.
I thought of this the other day when I was researching Huawei phones for a freelance article. I have been largely ignorant of Android in recent times and while researching it took me some time to understand the differences between the P20 Lite (£189) and the P20 Pro (£494). That’s a difference of £300 and I found myself leaning towards the Lite version because it looked similar and it seemed to do what I would need it to. With no emotional attachment to Android my natural inclination was to lean towards the cheaper version and to view the extras as mere money grabbing features that would offer few advantages to me.
It’s how I would feel if I needed a new washing machine. I would have no clue what most of the features did as long as it got my clothes clean and was fairly power efficient. I simply don’t understand the extras in a washing machine and that is the same position most people have when it comes to phones.
And this is why a ‘what’ is needed. We are too familiar with our phones and we are stuck in our ways. Apple’s focus on making products easier and more natural to use is commendable, but I’m not sure it will work favourably unless the company can come with with new features that actually do new things rather than improve on what we already have.