History repeating itself in the market

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 16,104
The Smartphone makers are smarter

The smartphone makers might have planned for this, by doing things to encourage frequent replacement. Even when the technology has matured, there are other ways of getting customers to buy new phones.

Plus, DO NOT make the mistake of thinking these two things "are the same" because both can take photos. These are wildly different tools that serve wildly different functions.

  • Smartphones are a lot more than just cameras. They have become necessary tools for modern life. So they have two avenues for future sales.... upgrading existing phones, and selling cheaper new phones in emerging markets. So they have quite a while to go before they will run out of customers.
  • The Smartphone has virtually REPLACED the cheap camera as the tool of choice for casual snapshooters. A camera can never replace a smartphone until it can do everything a smartphone can do. And that means "a hundred different things."
  • Smartphone are frail devices that are impossible to repair yourself, and near impossible to have it repaired by anyone except by a manufacturers authorized repair shop. And the cost of repair is so high, that you might decide to replace rather than repair.
  • Some smartphone makers are now serializing their own parts so even their own genuine parts will not work in their own phones, UNLESS they are installed by their own personnel who have the equipment to reset the codes. Apple is doing this right now.
  • Smartphones are usually equipped with batteries and memory that the users cannot replace or expanded by their customers. The camera makers made the mistake of having memory slots and replicable batteries. Both of which are available at low cost from third party suppliers, and are easily installed by users.

Plus, as you noted, Smartphone technology and fashion moves much faster than camera devices. Operating systems are routinely upgraded, with older ones being disabled, and we have seen entire underlying tech replaced (3G, 4G, 5G) making old models obsolete. It took ten years for MILC cameras to catch on, but just a few months for everyone to "add a notch" when Apple added one. And remember how Samsung poked fun at Apple removing the headphone jack? Well, now they are doing it too.

Smartphone makers are in the envious position where they can limit or remove features while simultaneously increasing their prices. Camera makers just aren't that fortunate.

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