Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 14th Aug 2015 10:09 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

From a consumer's perspective, Google's Android operating system has been an exceedingly good thing. It's the only viable competitor to have kept pace with Apple's iPhone, and in its time it has stimulated grand battles between device manufacturers - first competing on specs, and now on price. All this competition has driven smartphone development forward at a blistering pace, and we're all profiting from it now, but it has its downsides, too. Today is a fitting day to take a closer look at those.

Odd article. It argues that cheaper, low-cost Android devices are hurting consumers, which I find peculiar. People have a choice. Nobody is forcing you to buy any phone - you actively choose to get something cheap, risks included. These cheaper manufacturers - from shady ones all the way to by-now proven companies like OnePlus and OPPO - provide more choice, not less. Thanks to these companies, I get to choose between sending 40-50% free money profit margins to Apple or Samsung, or get a similarly specced phone of equal quality for a fraction of the price.

This is good. This is choice. I know a lot of people ascribe to the idea that you should not give people too much choice because their dainty, fragile little minds can't comprehend it, but I disagree with that vehemently. More choice in the market is always better than less choice - and if that means companies like HTC have to crumble because they can't keep up... Well, I just don't care. They'll make way for a dozen others.

That's business.

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Comment by mdsama
by mdsama on Fri 14th Aug 2015 11:22 UTC
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It isn't only about the consumer, though -- and that was the major thrust of the article as well.

What does it mean for workers and work? At the very least it's complicated: opportunities for many, mounting drudgery for others, and plenty of insecurity all around.

I'm not sure the layoffs cited in the article mean much when balanced against the jobs the industry has created first, but to those thousands of people it'd hurt.

It just seems a bit one-sided to consider only consumer choice (more? less? the right choices?). Really, there are probably a few things far more important than consumer choice (livelihoods, social attitudes, lifestyles, environment), and they're worth pausing for just to make sure they aren't being trampled.

(As for whether it's Meizu, Motorola or Google that crumbles in the end... it's pretty meaningless.)

Edited 2015-08-14 11:26 UTC

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