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Acer: ‘The smartphone space is becoming boring’

Luke Johnson

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Acer Liquid Z5
Acer bemoans the slow rate of smartphone progression

As the big hitters of the 2014 handset wars are unveiled, Acer has branded the smartphone market ‘boring’.

Acer, currently a bit-part player on the mobile front, has suggested that the smartphone space has fallen into something of a rut, with leading manufacturers currently unwilling to push the envelope of innovation, instead favouring easy profits.

This is becoming a boring space and there is space to innovate,” Allen Burnes, Vice President of Acer’s Smartphone Business Group said speaking exclusively with TrustedReviews.

Last week both the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z2 were formally unveiled. Adding backing to Burnes’ claims of a ‘boring’ industry, both Android 4.4 KitKat powered phones feature quad-core Snapdragon 801 processors, Full HD displays and water and dust resistant bodies.

It is expected that the HTC One 2, a handset being prepared for a March 25 unveiling, will also host a 1080p panel and Snapdragon 801 CPU.

According to the Acer head, however, these repetitive specs sheets are not due to technological limitations, but a lack of innovation and drive from the industry’s leading players.

“The bigger guys who should, in theory, be changing the game haven’t changed it for a while,” Burnes told us. “They have the money to do it but they simply haven’t.”

Making reference to the likes of Apple and Samsung, Burnes claimed that leading smartphone manufacturers are currently happy to stick with evolution more than revolution as consumers continue to eagerly await the latest big name handsets almost irrespective of improvement levels.

“They are reaping their margins and they are not disenfranchising their core businesses but that doesn’t mean that other won’t change the game for them,” the Acer representative said.

The industry cannot continue in this vein indefinitely, however, with Burnes predicting that without rapid innovation, the current big boys could quickly become tomorrow’s forgotten child.

He added: “I think what you will see over the coming years is that, unless the big guys step up, others will step up for them in ways that the big guys today changed the game for the guys who have now fallen away.”

With the smartphone space having very much become a case of follow the leader rather than a cycle of innovation, we would have to agree with Burnes claims, to some degree at least. We are not the only ones either.

Speaking with TrustedReviews recently, Brendan Arndt, Product Portfolio Manager with network Three, suggested that the leading manufacturers are already looking to bring some variety to their stagnant smartphone offerings.

“The main trends for 2014 will be that your main vendors, so HTC, Sony and Samsung, they are all changing,” Arndt told us.

He added: “It used to be a bit of a spec war and now it is much more about the experience that customers are getting on the phone.

“That’s definitely one of the trends between all of the vendors.”

Do you think that the smartphone space has become boring or are you excited by the latest powerhouse handsets? Let us know via the comments boxes below.

Read More: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2

westislander

March 8, 2014, 1:25 pm

Phone functionality and feature improvements plateaued about the time when Seeri came out,but the industry is desperately trying to keep consumers shelling out substantial cash each 12-18 months but the products aren't significantly improving. Alas these phones are greatly overpriced, and, worse for the consumer, take such a beating that they have a rather short lifetime - scratches and smashed screens being one obvious replacement market generator, but this isn't sufficient to float the industry volume and profit levels. The industry wants to keep reaping this revenue stream so is forced to go to great lengths to keep the hype machine convincing the public that they just have to buy the latest mobile. It kind of resembles the consumer printer industry that reaps profits from ink hence keeps changing the cartridges so you have to keep spending outrageous amounts on them, while the devices haven't really changed significantly in years.

The price of a high end 'smartphone' isn't that different from that of a very nice name brand 40 inch television. Nor, that matter is the computer inside all that different. Which costs the producer more? Which lasts longer? Of course the smartphone is a motor driving the enormous gravy train revenue generator for carriers - data plans being the obvious one, fueled by distraction filled streams of inane witter and spacebook updates. Then there is the absurdity of burning point to point bandwidth to watch TV shows on a tiny screen when broadcast and multicast would be vastly more efficient (and FREE to the consumer since advertising already is the broadcast revenue model). Lets not forget the uncountable billions of dataplan megabytes you pay for(!) eaten up to flow those irritating ads, but that's another story.

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