The problem is that smartphones are way too expensive. Back in the old days of dumb phones a top end SIM free phone would cost no more than €400. Most people would opt for a cheaper model that allowed for a 12 months subsidy with the phone being free and monthly fees being fairly low by todays standards. In the UK it was common to find deals where you got a cheap phone for free, plus a game console or TV on a 12 month contract.
Now it has flipped. Top end phones are now nudging €1000, this means higher monthly fees plus 24-36 month contracts. That's a hell of a commitment, especially considering smart phones aren't as durable as dumb phones were. Of course people are repairing phones when they cost that much.
Plus, there is less of a feature incentive to upgrade. All I use my phone for is web browsing, email, social stuff and photo/video - it's three years old and does all that with no lag. New models don't offer me enough of an incentive to upgrade.
If manufacturers want people to upgrade more often they need to work on curbing the price of top end models. The more expensive they are, the longer people are going to want them to last. Also, a bit more innovation would be nice - must every smartphone follow the exact same black rectangle design template?
People keeping their phones longer is not a problem. People creating less trash is not a problem. People choosing to hold on to their money rather than pumping it into tech companies at a furious rate is not a problem.
As a consumer I can see the difference between a €200 smartphone and a €1,000 smartphone isn't as wide as it used to be.
Also worth noting that the wholesale company I worked for made its real money in accessories.
As one example: https://foodtank.com/news/2015/01/five-ways-cell-phones-are-...
I'm not saying that people shouldn't get a mobile or smart phone at all. I'm criticizing planned obsolescence, "free replacements" and other consumer-hostile policies that are designed to try and force or trick people into spending vastly more money than they would need to if they were simply after an Internet-equipped mobile device, and were allowed full agency as consumers.
Sure, but also some things (like waste and overconsumption) are objective problems for our societies/environment, and we should not allow companies to profit from them and find ways to make them worse.
I have no idea why people feel the need to spend 6 or 7 times more for the latest iPhone. What do you get for the extra money that is actually useful? I know it has a "better" screen but I never had a problem reading on the phone I have. Faster processor? Are people performing heavy computing on their phones, or just sending some whatsapp messages ans surfing the web?
Other smaller reasons include convenience features like wireless charging, a fingerprint reader, water resistance, a nicer screen, and faster Android updates that are available for longer.
I wouldn’t trust your Motorola’s timely security updates or hardware trustzone implememtation.
Unfortunately, those restrictions also make mobile OSes less useful for the sort of technical work that people use "real" OSes for. However, those restrictions make such devices much more compelling roots of trust for our digital lives.
An iOS app can't extract my contacts unless I grant permission, yet an application installed on Ubuntu via `apt` can casually start rummaging around my home directory which I won't know about unless I spend considerable time on mandatory access control profiles, isolation through containerisation or virtualisation, or something equally esoteric for the average user.
I suppose a phone does hold more sensitive information though, like location and mobile payments, making it a more lucrative target.
Fwiw, this is becoming increasingly less true on macOS. And the newer Macs also have secure enclaves.
I'm generally not a fan of the trend, as it means more hoops for me to jump through, and I'm not convinced I benefit from this level of security. But, it is much closer to iOS.
In particular, I like that it kept it simple by either an application being sandboxed with explicit user permissions for certain features, or not being sandboxed at all. Contrast with Linux FlatPaks where even "sandboxed" programs can have a wide range of implicit permissions based on the image configuration, which aren't obvious to end users when running `flatpak install` in the same way that macOS's privacy settings are for each sandboxed macOS app.
I remember some FlatPak applications defaulting to allowing unsandboxed home directory access without prompting me on installation, which seemed to defeat the purpose somewhat. It does block nefarious control flow attacks against programs that declare a strict sandbox, but that doesn't seem to go far enough in my view.
Desktops/Laptops come with decades worth of software that I do trust. Applying trust at the application level or at a permissions prompt is too late, for the average user it has to be handled by the OS vendor, much like linux distros and apple do. Users mostly just click to allow everything, even most tech savy ones.
The android and possibly iOS sand boxing also does a poor job of protecting against things like user tracking.
So who do you trust?
Apart from that, it's also the same argument about why would anyone buy an expensive watch or a branded handbag or expensive clothes? It's to show off.
The Civilizations AR App is pretty incredible and isn’t possible on low quality hardware. The Chalk AR app for live tech support is also not possible on a cheap Motorola. There are also “fun” aspects, like games, and the Dance Reality app that uses AR to teach dance steps. You can use iPhone to launch model rockets, control drones and a bunch of other cool things. Not everyone is going to care about all of this stuff, but for those that do, iPhone is far more than a websurfing, texting device. The criticism around why would anyone “need” so much power in a phone isn’t unlike the old days when nobody “needed” a hard drive or more than 16kb of RAM. Or a color screen. Or anything other than a dot matrix printer. These expensive phones are essentially supercomputers in your pocket; that people choose to use them for the proverbial solitaire isn’t the fault of the tech. It’s like people that use pocket calculators lamenting why anyone would ever need a Cray.
It wouldn't be much different in adult life too, but unlike kids, richer / upper middle class people are not forced in the same space for half of their day with people making less (unless they're their subordinates in an office). Often they don't even live in the same areas of a city (or in the same area of the country). So they just signal their superiority over their poorer brethren on social media mostly (that's where expensive branch pics and holiday instagrams and other consumption showcases come from).
One, as mentioned numerous times here, is the camera. I'm honestly still wanting someone to just release any old smartphone internals that comes with a leading-edge camera receptor and the ability to snap my 35mm lenses to. I'm certain it's not that hard a task.
Two, however, is application development. I generally roll with the latest and greatest smartphone, as well as a handful of various vendors cheap burners, so I can have a clear impression of how my apps work across these devices.
Of course, if I wasn't a dev, I'd still fall back to point one, and still sit here bitching that every new phone release doesn't match my annoyingly specific want/need.
I've been looking at cameras again, I want more control over focus, better ISO, but don't want to pay so much for a better phone because the glass and sensor size is limiting.
I got my current phone for 160€ (if I'm not mistaken) 1.5 years ago and I couldn't be happier. Browses the web perfectly and runs my few apps great, I'll keep it until it breaks. I'm so happy that I'm even considering buying an extra screen to have reparaibility in the future in case they are hard to find then!
It's funny that many of my non-tech friends who spent half a month salary on an iPhone (Spain) are quite confused about me using a cheap android.
Edit: also note that my 160€ phone now is way better than those 400€ phones 6-8 years ago. And there's not even that much difference with a current 800-1000€ phone.
People have substitutes.
Even if you want a niche feature like Google Fi support, you have to dig a bit but the Moto Android one entries are fine.
Internal memory is tight though. Expandable memory can't support apps or the OS, where sizes are growing...
Seems trivial to give these all 256 or 512 gb but they are stubbornly kneecapped on space and hard to expand.
Maybe space is how manufacturers are fighting back. We know with the battery scandals they aren't averse to "justifiable" planned obscelesce.
When do we get a dozen low cost Shenzhen competitors to diversify the market?
Fast, durable storage is a lot more expensive than an SD card with dismal random performance a few thousand cycles of endurance. The big-name manufacturers do use storage as a segmentation feature, but many new manufacturers are happy to offer you reasonably-priced storage and microSD expansion.
>When do we get a dozen low cost Shenzhen competitors to diversify the market?
We've already got them - Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Elephone, Ulefone, UMIDIGI, Cubot, Oukitel, Blackview and a whole bunch of others. Only the first three are likely to be competitive on the western market, but Xiaomi are already taking big bites of market share in many European markets. They'll sell you a perfectly serviceable mid-ranger for $150 and a flagship killer for $300.
Being able to stream an app would be nice.
Wait a second... we have those, they are called websites.
Maybe apps themselves are the problem.
I realize it might take 3-5 years, but that's okay.
> The oligopoly juiced prices for flagships and is shocked it affected demand.
It didn't affect demand, it affected market clearing quantity because demand was not (assuming, arguendo, the description of surprise is correct) what the makers involved in the “juicing” of prices thought it would be.
OTOH, if there are effectively competing alternatives to those offered by the “oligopoly”, then it is not an oligopoly.
The theoretical reason is I trust a phone more if I know it’s direct from Apple.
Now that I have the XR + Watch combo, I’m seeing if I can get by treating the XR as a “desk phone” and the Watch as a “mobile phone”. So far that’s been working out pretty well. If I get tired of it, I may rethink things and try to get a used SE.
Obviously people do hold on to phones for longer than the support term but that's far from ideal.
Just because it says "fingerprint-protected" on the tin, doesn't mean it has good fingerprint protection.
Even with no security/pattern you have to first press the power button, then swipe up. With a fingerprint reader, you tap your finger to the sensor and the screen is not only on, but the lockscreen (swipe) was bypassed.
I buy a $50-100 phone every 12 months though! (At the low end, specs are still rising quickly.)
You're somehow either wearing very pants from me, or you have a very different comfort tolerance.
(This is very reminiscent of the discussion I have with people who tell me they can fit a Nintendo Switch in their pockets...)
An iPhone XSMax is 6.2x3 so it fits very easily. It's only a quarter inch larger than my own phone. An iPad on the other hand is 9.4x6.6, way too big. An iPad mini is 8x5.3, which lets it be crammed into the pocket but not be comfortable while sitting.
I recently overheard a conversation where someone was amazed by a colleagues small phone and wanted to know what it was.
"Wow, what is that phone its so small!"
"uhh, it's just a pixel."
"Aren't pixel's huge?"
"Those are pixel XL, this is a normal pixel..."
The pixel 3 is 37% larger in volume than the iphone 5. It is only 15% larger than the iphone 7... gosh but I wish phones release normal+ xl + compact.
While I agree that lowering the price of a phone will increase the rate of upgrades, I don't think increasing the rate of upgrades is an end in itself for anyone including the manufacturers. If I can sell you one phone for $1000, that's almost certainly going to be better than selling you two phones for $500 each. It front-loads my revenue and most likely costs me less. For the two phones to be better for the manufacturer, they'd need to be taking the lowest margins on their highest-end phones, which is weird.
Selling you a phone every several years means less upgrading compared to selling you one every year, but it also means a lot less work for me. I feel like the actual equilibrium is "manufacture fewer phones".
> Also, a bit more innovation would be nice - must every smartphone follow the exact same black rectangle design template?
I'd settle for the rectangle being available in the same form factors people used to sell. We didn't just converge on "rectangle", we converged on "rectangle so oversized it only makes sense as a laptop substitute".
The problem with smartphones is that they've solved all their problems and the cheap devices are just too good.
People check out new smarphones when they are considering buying a new one. They (mostly men) are not so interested checking out new phones all the time as they used to be.
Only thing can think of that could change the trend is AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) really starting to deliver.
People are not always consciously aware of their motivations. Something just makes them feel right and they rationalize other reasons to justify it for themselves.
Interesting recent research: Coming apart? Cultural distances in the United States over time https://www.nber.org/papers/w24771
>The brand most predictive of top income in 1992 is Grey Poupon Dijon mustard. 42 By 2004,
the brand most indicative of the rich is Land O’Lakes butter, followed by Kikkoman soy sauce.
By the end of the sample, ownership of Apple products (iPhone and iPad) tops the list. Knowing
whether someone owns an iPad in 2016 allows us to guess correctly whether the person is in the
top or bottom income quartile 69 percent of the time. Across all years in our data, no individual
brand is as predictive of being high-income as owning an Apple iPhone in 2016.
Me and my girlfriend both own the Sony Xperia Z3, which had a cutting edge camera when it was new.
I upgraded to the Galaxy S9 a few months ago, she still has her Z3. The advancement in photos is striking. It's incredibly noticeable, especially the reaction time after pressing the button and the low light performance. To a point we explicitly use my phone to reshoot images we already did on the old phone, if we like the motive. I upgraded mostly because 16GB internal space wasn't enough for me anymore and Android keeps bloating. But if I had experienced the camera difference before, it would have been enough to make me upgrade.
From my non-professional perspective the only thing lacking to a real camera is optical zoom. Otherwise I'm positive many shots of the S9 turn out on par or even better than mid-level Canon/Nikon reflex camera shots, if taken at the right distance.
The camera market is getting more and more redudant for non-professional use cases.
I wouldn't be surprised if a phone is better at reaction time, and possible for compensating for shaky hand moments. In the first case a DSLR has a mirror that has to be moved mechanically, in the second case the smart phone has much more processor power (and presumably better sensors).
And you definitely right that a better phone tend to mean a better camera.
But who is actually making big prints? I've never done a singe one and likely won't do anything bigger than a photobook page. That's exactly my point about dslr's becoming redundant for more and more users.
I own a 500€ low end dslr and it feels worse than my 500€ phone that I carry with me anyway.
I used the example of big prints (big here means bigger than A4) because it's the most immediate demanding application that I could mention. With a phone you also don't have the resolution to spare to apply perspective correction to photos of buildings, dynamic range to deal with less than gentle, bright scenes, etc.
I have a 3 year old print on my wall of my kids, taken with an iPhone 5, cropped from a horizontal framing to vertical, and then printed at 11x14". I did a bit of post-processing on it to sharpen it up, and it looks fantastic (until you look at it from less than a foot away). I need to repeat the process with the X's camera. ;)
Modern kit lenses are optical marvels. A couple of decades ago you couldn't buy a lens with the quality and versatility of Nikon's 18-55mm kit lens.
Leica M rangefinders still have the best controls for non-action photos, which is a bit sad for a design from the early fifties.
That's probably the basis for my impression. I basically only use auto and am not educated enough in photography to use manual mode in most cases.
Increasingly I'm happy enough with a phone (giggle pixel 1 which has a halfway decent camera + software support) for walkabout use, but the benefits of a small DSLRs for holidays or other special events is hard to beat.
You aren't even really disagreeing with the OP. You could have said: "You're right about the 99% of non professional use cases (sharing on social media and the occasional small print), but not the 1% case of big prints.
And for what it's worth, I made a photo book from Google photos with pictures all taken from the pixel 2. It looked great.
It should be noted this is only true if you don't zoom in at all, since no phone camera has optical zoom :(
I have one and it is excellent.
And really this process has repeated in countless consumer hardware products besides PCs. Televisions were another example. The change from CRT to flat screen was a pretty big change. And the TV's kept getting bigger, flatter, and with better image quality. But eventually people decided that their TVs were big enough, flag enough, and looked good enough. And so TV sales have begun their extremely predictable plummet.
That is...100% illegal. Especially if we are talking about EU.
The problem is only faults found in the first 6 months are presumed to have been present at the time of purchase by default - any fault found later has to be proven to have been present at purchase by the customer(and predictably, that can be very difficult). So no, if your iPhone breaks after 18 months in EU, Apple doesn't have to fix it unless you can demonstrate that the fault existed on the day you bought the device(that it's a manufacturing defect essentially).
And even then, it's not on the manufacturer - the law binds the seller, not the manufacturer of the devices(however, obviously whoever sold you the device can use the same law against whoever sold it to them in the first place)
Read the first sample story, exactly the opposite of what you described.
I agree with your second point even though in the case the store it received the product from a European distributor then the store has a 2 year guarantee from the distributor.
"Carla bought a hairdryer with a 6-month seller's guarantee. When it broke after 8 months, she took it back to the shop. The shop assistant told her that her guarantee had run out and that she was not entitled to a refund.
Carla rightly pointed out that she had a full 2-year guarantee free of charge under EU consumer protection law, and that the seller's 6-month guarantee only offered additional services. The shop agreed to replace the hairdryer."
So it broke down after 8 months, meaning it was not faulty from the purchase time and it was over the 6 month period you are referring to. Either that is wrong or they are not interpreting the law correctly themselves either.
"I bought a phone just over a year ago, and it has stopped working. The trader refuses to fix it for free. Do I have a two-year legal guarantee?"
"The legal guarantee covers any defects presumed to have existed at the time of delivery and which become apparent within a period of two years."
I just bought a new TV with Roku built in. My last TV was a tube TV.
I’m writing this on a iPhone SE, which I upgraded to for $100 when my 5S stopped working. I kept the same phone case. I’ll probably buy another iPhone when they release a new one with the same size screen. I might get a new phone case then, too.
I was playing Zelda on the original Wii earlier. It’s the newest game console that I own.
Don’t get me wrong, I think new stuff is cool, too. I’d just rather go on a trip than have the newest cool thing.
A secondary hypothesis is that there is a contingent of people who buy and install smart home devices just to annoy their non-tech-inclined spouses. That one's not mine, though, I got it from one such spouse.
For instance, in the early days on the iPhone, anyone who upgraded every year was getting a huge improvement each time. The iPhone 3G brought 3G support, so you could actually download things at a reasonable speed. The 3G S had a huge and very noticeable performance increase across the board, and the 4 was the first with a Retina screen.
Another example... for PC games, I really wish I could upgrade my GPU each gen. Especially when you're in charge of adjusting your own performance settings, the extra headroom you get from a new card always feels super nice. (Whether the increase is really all that noticeable is perhaps debatable, which I suppose would go to your point...)
As industrial engineer I know what it takes to develop any new product. The real world is enormous and you will always face the unexpected when releasing something new. People is going to buy your product and travel to Siberia or the Sahara desert, or to the beach, and discover things about your product you could not plan.
The fact is that early adopters usually are "long tail beta testers".
So when I buy a product is 2 years or so after it was first released and never have the problems that my friends that are early adopters have.
Maybe if they made an SE-like phone with a better camera, I would buy it: but instead they discontinued the SE.
The people who own SE's all seem to love owning an SE.
That's why I have a Roku TV (well that, and I like the Roku software better) versus one of the other smart TVs. I'd have a Roku anyway so this just frees up an HDMI port.
I picked the max config pixel2xl for over thousand bucks, put a custom rom on it w/o google crap, and that's going to last me till it physically dies.
My boss on the other hand, gets both the pixel and the iphone refresh every year, and fiddles with each for an hour each day for weeks. Screw that. End result though - both you and me aren't as good a customer as companies want - they want my boss.
To address your point, which I cannot relate to. If money is the limiting factor and you still think the new stuff is cool - why not just buy a $200 phone every 3 years? the top of the line stuff is overpriced, but the margins are close to zero on everything else, and specs and features, at least for android, are pretty much the same.
Pros: better camera, faster processor, water resistant
Cons: no headphone jack, too large for my hands
It's not obvious that upgrading would make my life better - it's more likely to make things worse, actually. I'm not paying $1000 for that.
Love my SE. The size is crazy portable. It’s even a little too thin for my comfort. But it’s so thin that a battery case isn’t a problem.
I agree, although note that on many phones the proximity sensory, ambient light sensors, and/or face-recognition sensors are also located in the notch. Moving those to the edges of the phone, or putting them below the display, introduces additional engineering headaches.
I'd rather they just cut off the display about 5 mm from the top of the phone and put whatever sensors they need in that narrow strip. Turning ~60% of that 5mm strip into display is pointless, ugly, and adds significant software complications. Hopefully it's just a fad like the rounded display edges.
Note that iPads already have some sensors behind the seemingly opaque white paint. (Purely for style reasons, I think.) And it's already pretty hard to see the front-facing camera on a black cell phone.
Edges or corners? I doubt rounded corners are a fad - if you think about the geometry of corners, assuming you need some minimum distance between the edge and the display, and your physical corners aren't a perfect 90°, you need rounded screen corners to maintain the minimum physical bezel size around the entire display.
(The silly part is the curve in the display, not per se that there is no bezel.)
I think it’d be awesome to have the same form factor with an actual edge to edge display.
I was hoping that one plus would have kept their jack but it feels like 2018 is the last year to buy a flagship grade phone with headphone jack? I have an HTC One from a while ago that recently got patched to android 5 which is good enough for today.
Plus, any phone that size would have a good shot at improving battery life without being too bulky. I'd love for someone to take my money another good 4" phone, but there's no options regardless of budget.
That goes for either Android or iOS.
There is also a lightning adapter to use aux cables, thats not supposed to sway you just letting you know thats its not a real limitation
They also move the problem of "using headphones" from "just plug them in" to "are the headphones charged, and can I pair."
Dongles move the problem from "just plug them in" to "do I have the dongle, does it fit my current phone."
None of these things are insurmountable obstacles, but they're an unnecessary annoyance.
And as you already know, it was also already how I was using these devices
I am very content with the quality of my particular headphones but for the nuance you highlighted are you listening to sound or listening to your sound system
at this point phones cost about the same as laptops and laptops have a ~3-4 year replacement cycle.
I won't be surprised if the same starts applying to phones, now that the improvements between generations are mainly cosmetic.
Having to pay $100 a month for a difference barely measurable in real world performance however... That will cause me real-world dissatisfaction.
An optimistic but realistic scenario is something like 40% faster and $20 a month, where the phone is used a lot and the speed translates into saving multiple hours a month. Definitely worth it there.
I regret not elaborating on how X% processor benefit would only be Y% real life benefit, but I thought my point was clear enough. I would have been making a much stronger claim about hours saved if I actually thought the total use of the phone would go 40% faster...
If the webpages I browse today load fast on my existing phone, network being the speed barrier... will I actually experience a 40% speed-up on a new phone? No way.
The value is just not there. And that’s not my opinion. That’s the market speaking. Figures are down for phones everywhere.
$20-25 a month lets you trade up to a new $700-900 phone every other year.
You won't benefit from that 40% all the time, sure. But if you get 8%, and you use your phone two hours a day, that's almost five hours saved! Processing is not a negligible amount of waiting. Plus new phones tend to have better radios.
My smartphone only sees data via wifi, and it is definitely not at the center of my life. I get more than enough internet exposure through my home and office computers and wifi networks. Being disconnected outside is one of my guilty pleasures. My main use of my phone outside work is for offline GPS and casual camera use in the wilderness, where there is no phone service even if I wanted it. As a result, I value a small and light phone since it is mostly a passive burden in my pocket. But, the battery needs to last a whole camping trip away from the electrical grid.
My current phone is an aging Moto G4 Play which can still go 5+ days with many hours per day GPS logging. I am starting to see reduced GPS reliability that I think may be physical antenna damage. So, I may replace it with a fresh mid-range phone, rather than replacing its user-serviceable battery and looking into non-OEM firmware updates to extend its life.
There’s a million things I’d rather spend $1000+ on that will get me real joy, rather than incremental improvements to a yet another generic product in an increasingly stale (and increasingly locked down) product-line.
Smartphones is just not a “it thing” anymore. Get over it. The market certainly says. (As in it’s not just my opinion.)
The market says that somewhat fewer people are seeing the need to buy new phones. It hasn't dropped to nearly zero.
Project that trend into the future and you’ll see just what happened in the PC market: ever decreasing sales.
Unless you’re prepared, that’s going to get ugly.
tl;dr the performance bumps cost more.
I even handed down a couple of iPads.
The last few years has been different though. The devices have been good enough. And the prices on the lastest iPhone has kept going up. Had the prices been cheaper I’d have upgraded. My parents are on 4+ year old phones (I use for 2, then they use for 2 before another hand down) and even older spares that are just used for travel and the get a local sim. The incremental improvement is worth it if I can pass down.
As it is, I think they’ll have to get new phones when they just stop being supported. I’m not upgrading.
As phones are becoming commodities like computers, I wonder if Apple will meet the same fate in mobile as it did in computers: being marginalized as a niche player in the market it pioneered as most people flock to the mainstream choice (Windows for computer, Android for phone)
Did you steal half the hardware? I'm trying to do the math in my head and I'm pretty sure the RAM alone cost at least $600. I know I paid significantly more for my i7-2600k w/ 16GB in 2012.
But also remember that Apple has never cared about dominating market share. They think of themselves like BMW or similar, they don’t care that not everyone buys Apple, they just want to make the “best” devices and to have happy customers.
In fact, Apple has dominated the portable music player for a long time.
They also dominate the laptops market, making the biggest seller models of all the world. They make them in Aluminum(extremely expensive to make for small productions) and the big quantity they sell make extremely hard for others to compete.
They dominate the smartphones also. Other manufacturers have more market share but divided in lots of models, and several manufacturers.
The Ipads had been selling fro hundreds of millions per year. There is no sophisticated product in the world that have been sold at those massive numbers in the entire history of mankind.
This is something that Steve Jobs understood very well. The current CEO was the boss of manufacturing for a long time, so he knows it.
But if they continue raising prices, they will lose the mass production.
I understand that you said that they sold the most per a model. But does it count all that much when others sell PC hardware in such a big quantities? They sell more models, but they likely share many many parts.
Apple dominates profits, but not market share. Occasionally, this happens to drive their competitors out of the market, as is what happened with iPod, iPad, and Apple Watch; however, Mac and iPhone, while quite profitable, are not even close to "dominating" the market.
> The Ipads had been selling fro hundreds of millions per year.
This is not true at all. Apple sells significantly fewer than a hundred million iPads each year.
For those curious, here's their non computer sales by year (peak iPad was 2013, with 71 million units).
2002: 381k iPods | 2003: 939k iPods | 2004: 4.4m iPods | 2005: 22.5m iPods | 2006: 39.4m iPods
2007: 51.6m iPods, 1.4m iPhones | 2008: 54.8m iPods, 11.6m iPhones | 2009: 54.1m iPods, 20.7m iPhones
2010: 50.3m iPods, 40m iPhones, 7.5m iPads | 2011: 42.6m iPods, 72.3m iPhones, 32.3m iPads | 2012: 35m iPods, 125m iPhones, 58.3m iPads | 2013: 26m iPods, 150m iPhones, 71m iPads | 2014: 14m iPods, 169m iPhones, 68m iPads
2015: 231m iPhones, 54m iPads | 2016: 211m iPhones, 45.5m iPads | 2017: 216m iPhones, 43.7m iPads | 2018: 217m iPhones, 43.5m iPads
PC sales peaked in 2011 at 365 million units.
They are still over 200 million per year.
The argument, which you may be able to but have not refuted, is that “PC sales” is not a singular product or even a singular form factor like the iPad.
Camera is infinitesimally better. Processor is better in a way you can’t measure. Oh now you can push anywhere to use your fingerprint!
There’s no more cash cow cuz phones aren’t getting noticeably better. Get back to me when I can stop using my thumbs to type or when the world becomes my monitor. Maybe I sound entitled but some day the bullions these companies keep expecting has to be justified.
The camera difference is actually huge compared to 2-3 year older top models, if you experience it first hand. I posted my experience in another comment here .
Apple probably has a similar block built into their SoCs directly. Computational photography will require more and better HW to handle the compute, so I wouldn't bank on camera improvements stalling out for some time.
As an example of runway, look at the Light L16 (which the Nokia 9 Pureview is rumored to use their tech). It takes medium format DSLR quality photos that you can adjust depth of view in post processing. That will filter out to Android & Apple phones eventually.
But I do agree. It’s sad to see the PC-era, and the free software ideals, die-off. Slowly the idea of running your own software on your own devices is becoing arcane.
Ever since I've been using computers (late 90's onward), my experience has been that running your own software has always been arcane. I can count on one hand people I've known in the flesh who've done this. Peoples' eyes get wide as if you're about to empty their bank account with your mind if you tell them you wrote a script or a program to do even the simplest of things.
Joe and Jane Phonetypical of today wouldn't have been the proprietary software-creating types of yesterday, they would've been the AOL, Microsoft Word and solitaire-using types.
But yeah, I see your point. Of course my memory is somewhat clouded by the circle of people I choose to surround me with.
(Edit: But even the 90s has started the downward slope. There was a time before that, and in first half when systems booted into a BASIC-interpreter)
An interesting case to exemplify: Minecraft started out as java application. You downloaded a set of jar-files an ran. The software was proprietary, but it was yours to run, and java being what it is, was fairly simple to modify and extend. A large community of tinkeres and hackers grew up around this capability of modding the software in various ways.
Then commoditization happens, Microsoft bought it, rewrite it in c++ and started selling it as a service with an app-store. Modding is still part of the echosystem, but the barrier to entry is sufficiently high that I have hard time imagine any new generations of hackers growing up as Minecraft modders.
*Im of course aware you can root Android phones and jailbreak iPhones, again this isnt what OP is talking about - they void warranties and are challenging/time consuming even for tech people.
However, I agree that OP is talking about document centered interface instead of application centered.
Nowadays, Lineage will work perfectly OOTB 99% of the time. And 100% of the time if you buy a phone which is already compatible.
Unless you have root access someone else gets to define what “general purpose” is.
Someone else gets to tell you “no, that’s off limits”.
That’s doesn’t sound like being in control of your own device to me.
Root access is just a platform specific construct, and it doesn't necessarily have an important purpose on every platform. Furthermore there are lots of ways that a platform could take away your control even if you had root access, such as through binary firmware blobs (which I'm sure you're running dozens right now, as am I probably).
Root access is the machine never being permitted to tell the human owner “no”.
Nothing platform-specific about that what so ever.
On the contrary I’d rather say it’s so detached from platform it’s more like a fundamental principle than anything else, a technological ism of sorts.
EDIT: Here's another example. Let's say you have a VPS on which you have root, but you don't have ring 0 access on the machine where it's running. Are you in control then?
Nowhere are Linux syscalls part of the official stable APIs.
However, needing tinkering is not generally a desirable capability from an everyday appliance.
Ford is now down to a single gasoline car.
1) Decided on a minimum acceptable functionality for a device
2) Set up uncompromising logistics chains to support creating a device (eg, famously, touchscreens)
3) Price at a rate that was extremely competitive when considering the device components
4) Crush competitors who could only offer cheap goods that didn't really do what Apple's could, or expensive goods that could match functionality but not price - recall the iPad's original differentiation was it was cheaper than expected, given what it did. It looked very cheap compared to the preemptive tablet releases of the time trying to head its success off at the pass.
They've made a lot of money over the last few years, but that strategy doesn't seem to match the modern Apple's approach. The price gap between an iPod Touch and the cheapest iPhone is not something I'd have expected of 2010 Apple.
EDIT I looked for a source - https://www.videogamesblogger.com/2010/03/29/ipod-touch-vs-i... - initial iPhone was extremely comparable to an expensive iPod.
Just to confirm, up until a couple of months ago, the difference between the low-end iPod Touch and the cheapest iPhone was $150, and today this is $250. I don't recall there ever being a time that this was significantly lower.
/me hopes that the fine community of LineageOS provides at least security patches for Nexus-5 for the upcoming five years.
(Besides, I don't buy the notion that current phones are more expensive than in the past. A good baseline-to-midrange device, costing around $300, can do everything that the N5 could and more. The Xiaomi A line is very good, or you can pick Asus or BQ if you're concerned about Xiaomi being from China. Really, just pick something that's trivially unlocked and has good support by the modding community, and you're good to go.)
Apparently it's based on Alpine Linux. And from a quick reading, it sounds very promising:
"... postmarketOS is developed in the spirit of regular Linux distributions ... Furthermore postmarketOS will not impose arbitrary restrictions on you. Use the apps from any ecosystem you want (even desktop software). With Alpine's simple package format, you do not need more than a bit of Linux knowledge to package your favorite programs (assuming that they run on Linux already)."
From a recent IRC chat on #lineagos (on Freenode), folks there said I should be totally fine switching Nexus-5 to Lineage. I'm just being cautious before I pull the trigger.
To me the real innovation in looking for with phones is that they can connect to an external screen and keyboard and in that case just give me something very close to regular macOS. To me that will lock off another wave of valuable phone upgrades for a few years because we again need more computation power to drive that setup. Maybe we could do something where the screen includes the GPU...?
My battery life isn’t what it used to be, but I can still make it a full day with slightly less usage (restricted to browser/text based mediums). Should have taken advantage of the battery upgrade. Meanwhile my sibling’s 6S(?) Plus drains charge like someone is bloodletting it.
What I find mystifying is why as an average user it’s impossible to figure out why it happens, is it normal, is your phone broken?
Apple docs and support provide no insight into one of the primary usability issues.
Other than that, it’s quite a nice phone. I picked it up cheap on Craigslist and it’s going strong for two years.
Basically, I now use laptops for games and the desktop for storage/office tasks. The single board desktops are quickly growing out of the RPi-type niche and look increasingly competitive with the traditional ATX platform for this role, and opting for them means that I define my system around the storage and RAM, rather than the multitude of PSU/motherboard/CPU/GPU/case combinations, which is both easier for me and eliminates most instances where components push each other out of their tolerance range. So long as I'm on the same memory and storage, I can replace everything else in the case for <$200. This is really what sold me on the idea; since my existing system fell out of warranty after one year, repair would be the cost of a new board. But if the whole system is the board, then a failure is a forced upgrade.
My laptop is always ssh-ed (mosh provides the "always" aspect) into one of the others anyway. It's stuck with 8GB of RAM which is often a bottleneck, especially since Docker holds onto a couple gigs and Chrome tries its hardest to get the rest. Portability is necessary but not sufficient to addrrss my computing needs.
If I could, I'd have a 4x8 foot display with no decrease in pixel density. I.e. an incredible number of pixels.
Heck, why stop there. Give me a wall sized display! Phooey on laptops.
I have my MacBook Pro hooked up to a 4k external display, Microsoft Natural Keyboard (or whatever they are called today), and a nice big Magic Trackpad 2. I can undock it and have exactly the same system on the go. the MacBook Pro can drive multiple screens (2x4k on 13", 4x4k on 15"). You also use an external GPU over Thunderbolt 3.
What's the point of having a laptop if you can only use it with an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse? A powerful desktop is much cheaper, and you can stuff huge disk drives in it.
When I'm on the go, I bring a cheap laptop (in case of loss, theft, or damage) that doesn't have my whole life on it and mainly take a vacation from working. (And I'll use the time to catch up on my professional reading.)
Really hard to get myself to code on my laptop now.
i think you would find this setup to be really poor.
you need be within ~2ft viewing to appreciate the difference between 1080p and 4k at 24" diagonal display size.
sitting 2ft from an 8ft wide display will give you very poor viewing angles for the majority of the content. at greater distances than 2ft, the pixel density of a 4k 24" display become nothing more than waste of gpu, cpu and electricity.
As for discerning pixels, I know that the retina display is distinctly easier to read than non-retina (both from Apple) even though I could not see the pixelation on the latter. Watching video does not make much difference, but reading text sure does.