Smartphones 2016 Rare secrets

Approximately 1.7 billion smartphones will be produced and sold in 2016, 1.4 billion of these devices will be based on the Android operating system. A significant percentage (> 70%) of all Android smart phones will be sold to consumers for USD 300 or less. Irrespective of the brand, almost all of these billion devices are designed, developed and manufactured through a very efficient supply chain ecosystem in Southern China.
Indian consumers are experiencing a phenomenon where every week, one brand or the other is announcing their arrival. With over 200 brands vying for attention, it takes a lot to overwhelm a potential smartphone buyer in India. Essentially, consumer expectations from these devices have grown exponentially, the device manufacturers have exhausted features and specifications that can be added, and even when they find something new it is instantly and efficiently matched by the next brand on the pedestal.
As a result, most smartphones look and feel exactly the same it is a sea of sameness out there with photocopies as far as design innovation is concerned.
We can attribute this to a business characterized by large volumes and little margins. Supply chain efficiency dictates that a small variation from the standard components and materials impose large penalties in terms of the overall cost. When everyone designs around the same standard features and elements, it is obvious that the result is relegated to the lowest common denominator. Today no price is low enough and no level of specification is good enough to make a mark on a sustainable basis.
To survive, the brands will need to constantly differentiate with their devices. This will require them to take some risks, move away from the median and make investments in design both at physical hardware level as well as in the associated user experience.
There is a real design gap that exists in the smartphone space, the brands that will successfully bridge the gap, will have an opportunity to build long term sustainable businesses by resonating with consumer sensibilities. The shift to design will reflect in many forms but will take intention and effort.
To drive design, one must ensure that design is indeed second-nature. Some of the best designs around the globe are actually so simple that they are completely transparent to the consumers. That means being comfortable and adaptable to the various places and spaces our body inhabits in the world. A great design does not need to be expensive, complex or fragile. It could be simple, affordable, robust and still beautiful.
In 2016 and beyond, we expect to see some brands making clear attempts to induct design thinking in their approach and positioning for the consumers. This shift will result in decisions where such brands will assume the risk of the trade-offs and present a proposition to the consumer they believe is right rather than doing what everyone else is doing. It is time to realize that one cannot pack largest battery in thinnest device. It will be the brand, which will need to make a confident decision of deciding whether their customers need a larger battery or the thinnest phone. A good design will not only solve a real need in the least intrusive manner but also define that need.
Consumers would need to love the design and be able to relate to it this is the ultimate litmus test. The product needs to have visual appeal and yet, it should not end up looking like a nerdy high-tech placement. The brands would need to understand that there is an element of stickiness with consumers, only if there is some reason to believe that the design is actually improving lives. And so, it will be an ongoing quest for a design thinking brand to influence consumer behaviour change and introduce reinforcement for the better.
In the past years, there has been a conscious effort from device OEMS in building affordable devices, but it is also time to build affordable design into devices that have so become a part and parcel of mainstream consumer lives. Smartphone companies that adopt the design philosophy to drive sustainable differentiation will stand to reap rich benefits in 2016 and beyond.
Smartphones 2016 Rare secrets Dev2Tricks 5 of 5
Approximately 1.7 billion smartphones will be produced and sold in 2016, 1.4 billion of these devices will be based on the Android opera...

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