Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 24th Dec 2011 13:00 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "Earlier today, Samsung revealed that it won't update the Galaxy S, its most successful smartphone to date, to the latest version of Android. You might shrug and dismiss that as just more evidence of Android's inherent fragmentation or the need for buyers to beware, but I take grave issue with it. This is a decision based not on technical constraints, as Samsung would have you believe, but on hubris." This. A gazillion million thousand times this. Also: "It's simple: make a large high-end device, a smaller value device, and a QWERTY device. Maybe one or two other specialty form factors, tops. That's it. Update them once a year, and keep the names the same." It would make updating a hell of a lot easier. We don't need the Samsung Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch Sensation.
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It's because Android is a commodity
by phoehne on Mon 26th Dec 2011 07:15 UTC
phoehne
Member since:
2006-08-26

Two device manufacturers want to sell a phone through the same carrier. They can add minor tweaks, but it's largely the same O/S and roughly similar hardware. If you don't update your model as soon as the other vendor updates theirs, you will appear to have stagnated. It's called monopolistic competition, meaning that no vendor has monopoly pricing since other products are close substitutes but all products are somewhat different. Dish washing detergent or laundry detergent is the classic example of monopolistic competition.

The more similar the good that you are trying to sell, the harder it is to create the impression in the mind of the consumer that you're a better choice than your competitor. Apple is also part of this market, but their product is more dissimilar to all the Android products than they are from each other. Think of Android as being a cluster and Apple's iPhone is a point separated from the cluster. If I go in to a store and I want to buy a new phone, and I want an Android phone, I would probably be more likely to choose the brand new model rather than the one introduced some months ago.

I would expect the same thing to happen with Windows phones, with manufacturers trying to distinguish themselves by introducing new models at the same accelerated release cycle.

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