News Analysis: Smartphones continue to gain popularity. But only certain devices attain the highest level of popularity and profitability. Read on to find out why feature set matters so much in smartphones.
Apple's iPhone has been a downright blockbuster hit since its release in
2007. But it has also been flanked by several other devices-including the
Motorola Droid X, the HTC Evo 4G and RIM's
many BlackBerry models-that have enjoyed similar success over the past couple
At the same time, there have been countless products released that have
failed miserably. In one way or another, the devices didn't live up to consumer
or enterprise desire, and they sat on store shelves. Exactly what caused those
failures isn't always easy to pinpoint. But there is undoubtedly a formula
nowadays that helps determine the success or failure of a smartphone.
Read on to find out the 10 factors that
help determine a smartphone's chances of success
in today's rapidly
changing mobile landscape.
1. Hardware design
If the iPhone has taught the mobile market anything, it's that hardware
design means everything. If a device lacks a compelling design, consumers won't
pay any attention to it. Hardware design changed rapidly after Apple started
selling the iPhone. Almost immediately, more large-screen, slim devices hit
store shelves. Along the way, those companies that failed to offer compelling
designs were left behind.
2. The operating system
and enterprise customers want to know that the operating system
be using is reliable. That's precisely why iOS and Android continue to be some
of the top picks for customers around the world. And it's also why RIM's
BlackBerry operating system is tops in the enterprise. Vendors need to keep in
mind that the operating system is what users will interact with most. If a
smartphone is running an outdated OS or the software just doesn't work as well
as it could, customers will go elsewhere.
3. Application availability
When Apple launched the App Store in 2008, the company forever changed the
mobile market. Now, consumers and even some enterprise customers expect to see
a growing applications marketplace available on all the devices they own. That's
precisely why Google continues to woo developers and why Microsoft is so
concerned about getting more programs into its applications marketplace on
Windows Phone 7 devices. Apple's App Store, which has over 350,000 apps right
now, demonstrates that you can never have too many applications if you want to
build a successful smartphone platform.
4. The vendor
When it's all said and done, customers need to know that they can trust a
respective company. That's why unknown firms have trouble gaining traction in
the mobile space, while well-known companies easily attract customers. Of
course, building a reputable brand that consumers can trust is difficult. But
as firms like RIM, Apple, Samsung and Motorola Mobility have shown that the
company that's well-known and trusted will win out.