When Nicholas Carlson wrote that the end of the smartphone era is coming, he overstated the comment I made to his post the day before. He had asked his readers whether Sailfish OS was the next big platform. I answered:
DOA. I bet the next big platform won’t look like a phone.
That sparked Nicholas’ imagination and the next day he came with his post: The end of the smartphone era is coming.
Is this the end of the Smartphone era?
Of course not. The point is not that the smartphone era is close to its end. The point is that to disrupt a market taken by iOS and Android, you’d better come with something radically different. Else you have no chance. If you are able to wow consumers into a new platform, it won’t be a phone.
The next platform will not look like a phone.
Google knows it and that’s why they lead the pack to explore what the next step will be. Google Glass is the most visible example. Watches and other wearable computer gadgets will surely spark your imagination. You could argue those things are not new, but hey the Tablet was not a new concept and it was not a reality until Apple made it happen. Glass today is not compelling enough, but if they fix a few things, I would bet it will. Maybe that’s why Microsoft reportedly issued a patent application for a similar concept.
The platform that ends the smartphone era is still unknown. For sure, it’s more likely to look like Glass that than a phone.
If you were wondering to wait until next Xmas to renew your smartphone, no need to.
How different you have to be to beat iOS and Android?
Samsung Note was a perfect example of how to make something different from the iPhone riding on the wave that people talk less and less and write, read, listen, watch or take pictures much more.
Amazon was disruptive in the business model. They sell the Kindle Fire at a loss, because they are in the content distribution business.
But Windows Phone and Blackberry. Sorry guys, so far you are just changing colors, and have no chance unless you come with something that breaks the rules again. Maybe RIM could keep exploring keyboard and variants: Many of us still complain about typing on an iPhone compared to how good it was to type on a Blackberry.
Any other new platform like Meego/Sailfish cannot just bet on being more open than Android. Android is open enough. But hey it is good for us consumers that someone keeps Google honest in not being evil.
How did disruption look in the past?
During years, Nokia kept doing telephones with a dial pad, despite you make most calls from your address books, and despite the huge growth of texting. RIM, Microsoft PDA-phones had already moved a step forward, though it was Apple who reinvented the phone.
The iPhone was a totally disrupting concept with a ‘wowing’ UI and a breakthrough decent mobile internet experience, that had nothing to do with horrendous WAP or Brew.
In short: The end of the smartphone era is not coming (soon)
You are happy with your iPhone or your Galaxy, and just wonder whether this is the end of the smartphone era. It is not.