Innovation in the Mobile Phone Industry


mobile phone industry innovations

It’s a buzzword that bounces around the industry, and comes at us, the consumer; full of promise and excitement; the word is innovation. It is a word that when spoken by designers, makes marketing executives prick their ears; making them get ready to find ways to sell new ideas to an eager public.

Mobile Phone Innovation

Within the mobile phone industry innovation is a very big deal. According to Booz & Company Incorporated, Samsung spent a whopping $9 billion on research and development in the computing and electronics industry in 2011; up $1.1 billion from the previous year. Nokia spent $7.9 billion; their figure staying the same from the previous year. Both firms devoted 6% and 14.5% of their sales respectively.

With figures like those, it is clear to see how seriously the major players value innovation, and when there is that much focus and effort, the consumer should expect great things. Thankfully electronics companies do give us what we expect, and mobile phone companies often get it right; with Apple being voted in at the top of the Most Innovative Companies list in 2011. (The 2012 Global Innovation 1000 Study Fact Pack – Booz.com)

Innovation – What is it?

What constitutes innovation is subjective, but most consumers recognise it when they see it. Here follows a list of features that are available on the most recent devices; judge for yourself.

Apple: Winner of the Innovation Award

It would be natural to sing the praises of the winner of the innovation award first and so we come to the iPhone 5 and its 4” Retina Display. Apple claim that the phone has “a pixel density so high your eye can’t distinguish individual pixels.” That’s from a normal viewing distance, and so conceivably, you won’t complain of watching a movie and being plagued by pesky pixels that ruin the entertainment. While Apple are very proud of the achievement; compression rates of video media can still lead to pixelation, and YouTube hosts many videos of low quality, so the chances are that you’re still going to see pixels popping up. The difference comes when viewing HD quality media.

Could the iPhone 5 be considered as mobile phone innovation?

There have been suggestions that Apple haven’t really done much innovating on the iPhone 5, but when you consider all of the features that transported over from previous incarnations, and which in some cases, have been updated, Apple are still doing just fine.
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Nokia Pure View Innovation

Nokia have created a very interesting piece of innovation in their Lumia handsets, with their Pure View feature. This amazing software uses several advances in technology and software; which allow the user to take blur free photos and to take vivid photos in low light. Now those bar shots that never seemed to come out well on previous camera phones, can fill your Facebook page in their entire original, true to life glory.

Nokia's city view along with its Pure View technology can be considered to be true mobile phone insudtry innovation.

With Nokia’s City Lens, you can also hold your phone up to your surroundings and have the screen suggest places to visit based upon what the camera lens can see. That could be considered as a pretty amazing feature in anybody’s estimations.
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Samsung Innovation

While Samsung may have been knocked by a recent court case in which they were found guilty of copying some of Apple’s designs; they still show innovation of their own.

Smart Stay is eye tracking technology and the first innovation of its kind in the mobile phone industry

The Samsung Galaxy SIII has a very interesting innovative feature. The front facing camera makes use of Samsung’s Smart Stay software and watches you watching it. It knows when you are looking at the screen and it automatically keeps the screen bright for the duration. Look away and the screen dims; only to be re-lit when you look back. It’s pretty neat.

Final Thoughts

While electronics companies fight amongst each other for the market share, research and development will drive innovation and give us, the consumers many new things to keep us entertained and amazed. Years ago we marvelled at the idea of being able to watch TV on a handheld device; while on the move. Now we can do that, and so much more. It’s the future and we’re living right in the middle of it.

Author: Laura is amazed by the way the mobile phone industry has changed over the last ten years.  Not only do mobiles now do many things that were unheard of ten years ago but the range of mobile phone deals is also much better!

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