The decline of the smartphone market | TECH(talk)


hi and welcome back to Tech Talk I’m Ken
Mingis executive editor computer world I’m here with Mac world’s Michael Simon
we’re gonna take a look at what’s going on in the smartphone market Apple sales
seem to be down Samsung sales seem to be down and we reach peak smartphone we’re
gonna find out or at least we’re gonna talk about it to stick around okay so
Mike thanks for being here appreciate you you know what caught my eye recently
first of all obviously there was the the earnings miss that Apple had based on
slowing smartphone sales Samsung had reported you know it seems like sales
are down there and we had a stir in computer world last week looking at the
market the research firms are saying basically that they’re you know seeing
the whole market in fact one of the analysts said it’s a mess right now and
I thought I would just pick your brain for a minute as to what we thinks going
on you know III jokingly think have we
reached peak smartphone I don’t think so but I mean you’ve got a situation where
certainly penetration is pretty broad globally you know you’ve got super high
prices on some of these devices which maybe putting a cap on on some sales
global economy could be slowing down so you know what do you think’s going on I
mean to be honest I think we reached peak smartphone about two years ago okay
and what’s happening now is so from let’s say the iPhone 7 yep the galaxy s7
or maybe the galaxy has eight we reached the you know the balance of screen and
features and design and now they’re just piling features on top of feed better
cameras better Glenny cameras can you get on the back of a phone yeah and all
these things make the phone more expensive rather than making it more
desirable right and people are well for one they’re seeing the full cost of
these things and Tim Cook talked about this and I’m glad he did because it’s
the God’s honest truth that most people thought they were paying $200 for a
phone it’s true and I can talk to my my mom as a perfect example we were talking
about Christmas she has an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6s I forget which and is are
you gonna get the you know the new one she’s like well I was looking at the
Verizon store and they’re gonna charge me $30 a month for
the new phone and I’m not paying them and I like you were before yeah they
just didn’t tell you perception can become reality and the other problem is
so everything’s a lot more transparent but it’s not like our phone bills have
really gotten down that much because you know the network is better and things
like this and they’re they’re charging more fees and whatever else so your end
up paying more you know then you were five years ago for your contract where
you maybe you had it unlimited one now it’s not but you’re you know it’s faster
and bla bla bla bla bla bla people aren’t haven’t come to grips of
the fact that we are carrying around insane amounts of technology executive
power in your smartphone is beyond what took us to the moon 50 years ago they’re
not over price per se for what they are they’re they’re they’re overpriced for
the fact that these are not mainstream products and Apple doesn’t sell a
mainstream iPhone the iPhone 10 our is the closest thing to it it’s still 750
dollars yes so I mean I don’t know where they go from this they had the iPhone se
that was a great idea they got rid of it Samsung is gonna now have the Samsung 10
e if you I laugh I don’t know where these letters come and that’s gonna be
another thing you know $650 or some like that but the different unit Apple and
Samsung is Samsung has a million phones below the s10 that’s nine or whatever
ones they can play in Li and the in absolutely and they do and that’s why
Huawei and mizu and all these companies are eating their lunch because they’re
they’re coming out with phones that cost $300 and do a lot oneplus companies like
this that you know they can compete on the power and the processing the storage
and even the display and they’re hundreds of dollars less and people are
looking at this form the thing why am i paying a thousand dollars for an iPhone
well because what you’ve got here is sort of a Swiss Army knife when
everybody just needs you know a fork or a knife or a spork or whatever the
people we saw this with laptops too and that almost killed Apple because they
were making $2,000 Mac’s at a time when everybody was making $800 pcs yeah and
it nearly cost them their entire company they rebounded are we gonna see it
happen again with the iPhone are they gonna play on that luxury end
and you know gradually chip away until they’re just another has-been
well you know it’s interesting because when I was looking at some of the trends
that the analysts were coming up with it really did remind me of sort of the iPad
you know almost straight up and in you and and sort of tailing off and now it’s
like trying to figure out what you can add to this particular device in this
particular form factor that’s gonna make it worth the price that people paying
and you know you make the point you know we were talking a little bit earlier
about is this gonna spur innovation is it gonna require innovation from
manufacturers we were talking about the upcoming folding phones and but
personally I was like why do I want a folding phone you know and and why am I
gonna want to pay two thousand dollars for a folding phone of course if that
will come up came came out with one I’d help me I’d be up at 3:00 a.m. ordering
but the bottom line is nobody wants or needs it right now right they have to
show us why and I’m excited you think there is a use case you’re convincers
convinced you kids I don’t know if we’re gonna see it in 2019 but I think all
right here’s the perfect example you have a phone and an iPad right now
you’re on your person and I assume you can’t you travel with both of yes if you
could boil that down into a pocketable device that performed both functions at
you know that flips out and can be an iPad when you want it to be and be a
phone in this form factor roughly if you build things well and it didn’t
sacrifice battery life and it didn’t sacrifice Queen Kruk a screen quality
and there’s a lot of questions we have here and then things that need to be
figured out and answered and I’m sure the first ones aren’t gonna do any of
that but in a couple of years if you can get a a listen it’s not gonna have a
10-hour battery level you if you can get eight yeah using it both you know the
diverter bowl like office day you know you can get eight hours worth of phone
calls and you know iPad you someone you know maybe there will be a breakthrough
a better at battery technology we’re still waiting for there’s been a while
well see that to me makes more sense than then you know I’ve seen some of
these designs where like you know have something like this it’s folded in half
and I’m like or you know fold it up and I’m thinking that really is not gonna
spur this I mean it does even spur me and I like to think of myself as an
early adopter so I guess it’s going to depend
on what the manufacturers come out and then of course is Apple is want to do
they’ll wait yes see how the mark doesn’t a couple years let others test
the market and then theoretically come in with their own take up maybe they
won’t worry maybe you know it’ll it’ll crash and burn and then people will
realize that this is it viable we don’t want it it’s it’s for you know certain
Nisha the market and not for everyone and and Apple never do anything but I
think the the concept of a phone that can open up into a larger device to for
videos and for work more comfortably I mean I I’m excited about that prospect
anyway yep would you agree that as one of the analysts said that the current
smartphone market is kind of a mess as everybody sort of jostling around trying
to figure out where to you know where to play at the high end what to play at the
low end I think the biggest question is no one really knows where it’s worth
going you know it was it was clear so the iPhone came out then Samsung came
out with there was bigger and it was there was a general direction yeah
we’ve reached six six and a half inch screens and not getting any bigger right
the processing is way beyond anything we need to on our phones I mean there’ll be
an a thirteen chip there’ll be a the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip I mean
compare them all you want the the processing power of both of them is just
outrageous right you know far beyond what you need to do to make phone calls
and even do basic editing and and video and of course I mean you can do whatever
you want on them and you know they’re still you’re still tapping forty percent
of what it could do we’ve reached apps yep I mean they are where they are you
know they’re great they’re not great whatever the help that we’ve whittled
them down to the ones we need there’s no use case out there that any was waiting
to fill between the iPhone one and the iPhone six there was tons of them right
and you know gradually the cream rose to the crowd to the top and we got you know
what we wanted Android iOS I mean I think that they’ve you know ever see
some iteration but you know yeah they’re both very good yeah there’s nothing
about them there’s no features that people are saying man I wish it did this
I wish it did that yeah there used to be that sort of you know back in the old
days when you had Apple and Microsoft competing to one-up each other with the
operating system and then for a while it was iOS and Android competing in one up
up each other and I’m not seeing that now it’s like they’re roughly you know
you pick your poison pick the one you want the ecosystem you like and you’re
gonna be pretty much fine in either one and so you know so Apple came out with
its notch to do more of a screen and have Samson’s gonna have a hole punch
and you know so in it’s a mess in the terms of there’s no clear direction as
to what’s next right the next iPhone is gonna look like this iPhone yeah because
where are they going everyone’s waiting for someone to you
know knock down the door with this with this great design maybe folding is it I
don’t know but without you know that direction even the iPhone was obvious
yeah I mean Steve Jobs is the person who put it all together but we saw where it
was going we could see kind of an idea of where you know get rid of the
keyboard on the smarter we saw it the next step did there’s really nothing
there maybe it’s those folding Elio legs I don’t know I wonder if it’s actually
the network and this gets me in doing I have to I have to do a quick 5te rant
here but you know I do wonder if the next thing that’s gonna spur you know
upgrades and adoptions will be the movie or 5g which is still several yeah at
least a couple and even more although and this is part of the forehand the
fact that AT&T is now billing you know it’s old network is 5ge
what’s slightly new slut well slightly newer all they’re doing is taking
advantage of the of the radios and the in the phones to tweak the bandwidth a
little bit see and get a little bit faster downloads and uploads by getting
5g it’s probably 40 megabits per second yeah I think that’s exactly yeah yeah
which you know you might notice it a little bit but I mean so I think 18 T is
stepping in it here because if they’re telling people this is 5g and this is
the next thing that’s coming and we’ve all you know anybody paying attention is
heard 5g and you Dan but bandwidth and you know smart networks and everything
and they get this it’s like what’s new I you know they have they run the risk of
popping the balloon before to even get somebody its
ek5 GE and listen man Sam exciting fuck did this four years ago and they got
dragged for it and then we’re doing it again you know I get I guess it’s a
marketing tool and I guess it works I don’t know but I agree it was
disappointing when I started seeing an Android phone
now it’s showing up on some of the I guess if you’re in the right network or
in the right area getting the right cell tower you’ll get it
with iOS 12 so I can listen it is faster and it is better but it’s it’s
lte-advanced yeah which is what Verizon costs it’s okay it’s not 5g light at all
not even even close no such thing as 5 G’s
you’re either 5g or you’re not you can it be halfway fifth-generation anyway so
but it’s it’s it’s kind of duplicitous mostly because you cannot get 5g on
these phones it’s available you have to buy a new phone right once it is
available yes you you can’t flip a switch on the iPhone 10 s and get 5g
service it’s not gonna happen no all right well I’d you’re planning to go to
MWC this year alright so we’ll have to revisit this in a few weeks and because
I’m sure they’ll talk about 5g based on like in boxes here all gonna be fine is
all 5g well ask him about 5ge okay well great listen that that does sort of you
know calm my nerves I do feel like I know that the where the smartphone
market is going and maybe we have reached peak smartphone for now our
iPhone sales gonna get an rebounds that’s the best approach that’s I think
they might plateau I mean look at what happened as the iPad and we’ll we’ll
know in a few quarters but I mean I I mean I’m happy now with my iPhone 10’s
max sure 10s max is that yeah thanks um because I’m one of the the I wanted the
big form factor otherwise I would have stayed with my iPhone 10 yeah I mean in
terms of what it does so we’ll see you know maybe this will be the first year I
don’t upgrade and if you look at Apple sales Mac sales were up iPad sales yeah
wearables whale yep revenue because they don’t tell us sales anymore but all
those categories were up yeah it’s just I phone sales is such it’s such a
monster if it drags down I mean it what five billion dollars they lost because
China was a and we do have recession you know there’s some talk about a recession
could be affecting it too alright so we’ll leave it there for now and check
check back with you you know in a few weeks and see what’s what’s coming in a
vm WC and whether you’ve got any more insights but for now thanks for the
insights here that’s a wrap

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4 thoughts on “The decline of the smartphone market | TECH(talk)

  1. features I would wish for:  the phone that is put out as the top most secure, encrypted, less bells and whistles, more security, end to end encryption, and any other new tech that they can come up with to make it the "Secure Smart Phone" .  ( I know there is no way anything can be completely secured, but that is what the market would jump at and pay more for. ) Use that as a marketing tool and they would probably make a huge market for it. Especially as the new 5g comes out.

  2. This guy does not have a clue. When the 200-300 dollar subsidization was in place you paid the "hidden" cost of the phone in your bill along with the contract. When the contract ran out you still payed the "hidden" cost. Now you still pay the "hidden" cost along with 30 dollars a month. The phone bill did not go down at all. The subsidization isn't there. No excuses anyone who leases a phone or buys a 1000 dollar phone is stupid.

  3. They need to add full spectrum transreceivers to the phones in order to keep them relevant. The possibilities would be endless.

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