2018

What’s Happening On the Smartphone Market?

Smartphones have become an integral part of modern life. They are everywhere in the developed world and are increasingly present in developing economies like India, Africa, and South America, providing people with an easy means of listening to music, reading the news, playing Gaming Club online blackjack, and keeping in touch with their fellow smartphone-wielding counterparts. Smartphone sales have been soaring in the last decade – but despite their entering a series of new, untapped market, their growth has slowed in the last few quarters. But this is only one of the many surprising things that is happening on the smartphone market today.

One of the most surprising pieces of news to see the light of day in the last few weeks was the one about iOS 12 possibly coming to an iPhone 5s near you. This has not been confirmed by Apple (by the time you read this, it may have been already) but spotted by a vigilant Reddit user in the code of WebKit, the browser engine powering Apple’s own Safari browser. The code clearly references an “iPhone 5s running iOS 12”, indicating something never seen before: Apple releasing its latest operating system for a five-year-old iPhone model. Could it be part of a strategy aiming to spread the iPhone in markets with more “unfortunate” customers than those in the US? Who knows?

On the other hand, the Android-powered half (more like two-thirds) of the smartphone world is also bracing to attack the more price-sensitive markets. Google has announced earlier this year the impending release of a lightweight Android version called “Go Edition”. It will have all the security features and benefits of Oreo but will have a much smaller appetite for hardware – it will reportedly run on “entry-level” hardware with 1GB of RAM, it will occupy much less storage space, leaving more useful storage for apps and such, it will come with a peer-to-peer sharing function to save data, and will come with its own set of lightweight apps that will download faster, run better, and be more efficient on lesser handsets. I wonder – will big brands like Samsung release Android Go updates for their older phone models? It would be something, right?

The last few months have seen lots of ultra-powerful flagship phones hit the market but there is an equally large pool of mid-range and entry-level smartphones hitting the shelves. This seems to indicate that people are getting tired of paying an arm and a leg for a pocket-sized supercomputer they only use to play puzzles and follow Insta models on, and becoming a bit more sensitive to their price. Will this be good news for the world’s leading smartphone makers? Only time will tell.

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