Smartphones haven’t been around for that long in the grand scheme of things. The first iPhone was only released in 2007 and we’re now on the sixth version, while the BlackBerry was the first to really explode onto the market a year earlier. Yet many people are starting to question whether we’ve had our ‘concord moment’ in the industry already.
It seems impossible to think that we’ve seen such incredible technologies introduced into the tiny handsets over the course of a decade if you include research and development time, but people are now beginning to question whether the smartphone has reached a point where even the geniuses behind the devices have run out of ideas.
The new iPhone 6, for example, has been made bigger than previous models and that – essentially – is the only major difference between the handset and its predecessors. In previous years the new iPhone has had people queuing and fighting to get into stores to be the first to get their hands on it, but this year’s release didn’t have that wow factor and sites like onrecycle.co.uk are yet to receive mountains of iPhone 5s from people who have upgraded.
A recent study also revealed that customers in America aren’t even downloading that many apps to their smartphones anymore. In fact, the research revealed that the average smartphone owner now downloads ZERO new apps per month! This could be down to a number of factors, admittedly, including a lack of interest in games and the fact that they’ve already downloaded what is – or could be – useful to them. Either way, to be downloading no new content, (other than music and images of course), is a worry.
It could also be said that, like the theory from many psychologists and scientists relating to a human brain, we are now only using about 10% of our smartphone’s capabilities, that the kind of software they have implemented already is either redundant to certain users – or the users just aren’t, well, using.
An example here is with the iPhone and the fact that one of the built-in apps that doesn’t need to be downloaded from the App Store, (and can’t be deleted from the phone incidentally), is the stock market app. Unless you work in finance or have an interest or understanding of how the stock market works, you are never going to use this app. The same goes for apps such as Health and the Compass.
While the evidence is clear to all concerned that people aren’t fed up of smartphones in general – we’re still buying them and more than 70% of people in the UK own a smartphone of some kind – we are getting tired of what we’ve already got on our phones and we’re our own worst enemy in that respect. The new models don’t have the same ‘wow’ factor of their predecessors and that’s because we’ve already got models that are utterly brilliant. Updating camera quality and battery life are the most important things to the majority of users, yet developers like Apple are still looking to make phones bigger and lighter…listen to the audience!