With today being National Telephone Day, and the recent highly publicised issues with the delayed Samsung Galaxy Fold, mobile is as important and topical as ever – as is technology as a whole. New trends are emerging all the time, with varied success. Some have fallen by the wayside (remember when smaller was better?), whilst others go from strength to strength – with no finer example than the rise of the smartphone itself, kicked into overdrive by Apple in 2007 with the launch of the first iPhone.
As the dominance of the smartphone market continues, the big players are constantly looking for ways to further develop their mobile products in new and exciting ways. One such development is the newly devised ‘foldable’ mobile phones. Samsung, the creator of the highly successful Galaxy range, has been the first to successfully build and market such a device. The Samsung Galaxy Fold was built and ready to launch tomorrow. However, owing to complications some early reviewers have had with the Galaxy Fold, the South Korean giant has had to postpone the launch to an unspecified date in the future. Most of the issues seem to come down to broken screens, but this latest furore does beg the longstanding question: How do big tech companies innovate beyond the astounding things that have already been done, especially in the last decade?
Apple has been accused of a distinct lack of vision with their yearly iPhone output, witch each release seemingly more indistinguishable from the last. But they are at least reliable, as is the Samsung Galaxy range. Is the answer really to push an even more expensive mobile/tablet hybrid on consumers (the Galaxy Fold will be £1,800), when there is little evidence to suggest it’s the kind of improvement people are really asking for?
Hot topics such as security and privacy are on people’s lips regularly, especially in the case of a brand like Huawei – who are also developing a foldable phone. The Chinese tech giant’s supposed links with its own government have been the subject of much debate, especially with the company being tasked with spearheading the UK’s 5G network. Apple, Samsung, Google, Facebook, Twitter and many more tech giants have similar problems of their own. Perhaps it’s time for these companies to focus on that all-important selling point that seems to have been somewhat forgotten – trust. The majority of people will prioritise a reliable device from a business they feel they can trust over an unnecessary new product that could set them back nearly two-thousand pounds.
But what of that word again, ‘innovation?’ When it comes to technology, it will always carry great importance. The key is to innovate with users in mind, rather than mere profit. One naturally follows the other anyway, so it seems like an obvious attitude to take, but that hasn’t been the case as the technology companies have grown bigger. Apple removing the standard headphone jack on the iPhone in a bid to make you use their own audio products is not innovating for the benefit of users, and neither is Samsung cramming the Note 7’s battery in so snugly that it threatened to burn down your home. Smartphone sales have been declining since 2018, and tablets even longer than that. With these gadgets already considered to be far too expensive by most, it may be time to get back in touch with the simple but crucial elements of reliability and trustworthiness. In 2019, that would be truly innovative.
Connor is Digital Content Manager at One Agency.