Stale mobile market has turned into a boring spec race

Monday 12 November 2012 @ 10:32 pm

God, the current mobile phone market is a thoroughly miserable place. Full of identikit slabs of tiresome touchscreen monotony, every handset a slight variation on the previous bag of crap that was released a few months ago with slightly less powerful specs.

And that’s the problem with the whole racket. Has there ever been a more depressing time to buy a smartphone? Take Android for example; line up all the current Android handsets from Samsung and you’d be hard pressed to find much difference between any of them whilst visually, there is absolutely nothing to distinguish between the models apart from screen size where the current direction seems to be let’s make ’em big and stupid.

All Android handsets have essentially been reduced to just 3 soft buttons and a touchscreen with various flavours of awfulness for the manufacturer interface. This has resulted in the whole Android market turning into a ludicrous and pointless arms race with dual and quad core CPU’s battling it out with GPU’s and RAM. Yes folks, fragmentation is alive and well in the Android market but here’s the thing. With so many handsets and manufacturers, why the fuck then do they still all look the same and offer no compelling value proposition?

Windows Phone 8 suffers from exactly the same problem but even here Nokia has managed to make a range of phones that at least look great and exude quality for the top end models so you feel there’s a level of differentiation, even if the underlying OS is shit. As for Apple, well they have just a few handsets and the whole user experience is tightly bolted down which is the whole point.

Back to Android then, would it really kill someone to make a decent BlackBerry clone or a candybar format with high resolution landscape and keyboard? Or are we forever gonna be bombarded with tedious rectangular touchscreens that all look the same?