The smartphone business was collapsing like many other businesses from the beginning of 2020 when the pandemic started and there were lockdowns almost all over the world. As general guidelines were defined to cope with the pandemic and online sales were activated, mobile phones were one of those important commodities that buyers searched for. As a new environment around business and lifestyle started to evolve, we figured out that the smartphone business is staying, but it needs reform to keep up its progress in terms of sales and innovation. At the core of the reform, there should be a sustainable long-term vision.
Because of the situation of pandemic, the tech dependency of people increased worldwide. But it doesn’t mean people need to buy a new phone or need upgraded features. They mostly need the internet. So, the usage of services that are built around the internet increased. A smartphone is a primary tool to access those services. There are also computer users but smartphones are way ahead in terms of worldwide users. The vast majority of the new generation is also more comfortable with their phones rather than a computer.
However, as many people lost their jobs and businesses and the lifestyle became more home-centered, people don’t need to or can’t afford to show off their new phones to friends and colleagues. This is one big reason, if not the main reason why smartphone sales decreased despite the highly increased internet traffic. Another reason is that the manufacturers became more defensive with new production. Many new releases come with downgraded features than the previous phones. In other words, the price has increased and there is not much excitement and upgrades. If this continues for a longer period, consumers may lose interest in new phones and trends around them.
We have been successfully involved in the smartphone industry for the last eight years. To keep the business and high progress alive we recommend the manufacturers to primarily focus on the following:
- Quality over Quantity
- Responsible Marketing
- Building Strong Local Relationships and Entity
- Invest in or Build an Ecosystem of Useful Internet Services
- Invest in innovation Through Accessories
“First impression counts”. This will always remain as it is. When a consumer looks at a phone, they get a perception of what value it can bring to their life. When it comes to design, there are endless possibilities. The phone makers should come up with completely new kinds of diverse and futuristic designs. It doesn’t always have to be something too fancy or complex such as a foldable or rollable phone. Think about an affordable version of Tesla Cybertruck or Mercedes AMG Vision GT. That’s what I am talking about.
Plastic doesn’t belong to the future. The company that realizes it first and takes a bold step to stop producing phones with conventional plastic backs and frames can very well make a big difference. Now, as a businessman, you always have to keep the cost in mind and yes the cost will go a bit high if you use natural material such as glass or aluminum. Most consumers want to live in a good environment but not many are ready to pay the price. So, it’s a risk for businesses to move from plastic to natural material if consumers don’t go along. There should at least be some steps or movements towards that goal because, at the end of the day, we need a sustainable environment for sustainable growth. There can be campaigns to increase public awareness for the protection of the environment for example to get started with.
Quality over Quantity
The moment was building and now the time has finally arrived when we are officially experiencing information overload. The online world is packed and jammed with information. Also, everywhere you go, there are more and more products and competitions. This is the perfect time for a 360º move to stand out in the crowd. Stop bombarding people with the mass production of various models every few days. Introduce something every few months, once every quarter or every half a year which people will truly value. The closest example is Apple and their iPhones. Last year we saw four extraordinary iPhones for different budget groups in one single event and they do it only once a year. These are the kind of brands that will lead the future.
Don’t become cheap by keep posting an ad of the same phone every single day on all social media platforms to all of your fans. Instead, focus on the value of your products and the appropriate target groups. What good will it do to a flagship phone consumer to see your newest hot mid-range release or vice-versa every single day? Rather post more about what kind of excellent services and facilities one can have access to using their phone. Find ways to get subscribers to specific phone models by creating groups and forums for example and then post updates there. The consumers and fans should feel a sense of great value by becoming a part of your business and products.
Building Strong Local Relationships and Entity
This will be important in the near future as we observe how the geopolitical scenario is evolving. Multiple trade wars are going on already and this weapon seems to be used more and more in case of conflicts between governments and their policies. Businesses may suffer if they pick a side and abandon the other or if they fail to build a strong strategy altogether. Recently, we have removed Huawei Mobile from our site after finding evidence that they are working with the Chinese Government on a technology that discriminates and spies on the Uighur minors over there. Huawei was also banned in many of their important business destinations including the USA over data privacy concern and their close ties with the Chinese Government. Just from this example, we recommend businesses to stay as neutral and transparent as possible, have strong local relationships and build fully local entities for leading the next generation, global business models.
Invest in or Build an Ecosystem of Useful Internet Services
Many leading businesses are already doing it. They are creating subscription-based business models where you have more guarantee of returning capital. Just to give you an example, if you buy an iPhone, you can have access to Apple Music which is a subscription-based service over the internet. You pay a regular amount to have access to their Apple Music Library which you can access via your iPhone or other Apple devices. This is just one example. Apple has many other services just like this which can be accessed via iPhones, Macbooks, iPods and so on. This way, they create an ecosystem of products and services to meet the extended needs of the users.
Invest in innovation Through Accessories
A smartphone is a whole different thing when you connect it with a VR (Virtual Reality) Glass. Smartwatches are also getting more and more popular these days that works via connecting to a smartphone. These are just the beginning. The possibilities are endless here as well.
In conclusion, we can say that the phone makers need a few steps and adjustments to have sustainable growth and development in the coming years. These steps might be quite different than it has been till now but they will be necessary for the industry to flourish in the new times.