Smartphones are the new featurephones
A couple of thoughts strike me about the article.
- A phone is a commodity. Welcome to 2007. Companies were making money then, they will now have to learn how to do it again
- Some people will pay more for certain kinds of hardware: huge screen, screen types and resolutions, SD-card, waterproof, battery life, etc.
- Who says the Chinese will do any better? Production is increasingly automated. What advantages do the Chinese have?
- How long can Apple defy gravity? Yes, it makes great products and has fantastic margins but as the recent sales in tablets have shown it's not immune to general trends in the market. And, as the 5c has shown, it sometimes gets things wrong. I'm personally not convinced that the Apple upgrade cycle won't start to look a lot like the Android (extended and increasingly focussed on value). Of course, there is a certain amount of lock-in but that might just encourage people to stick with what they've got.
So, in a nutshell, I don't agree with this black and white analysis.