We witnessed the glory of Nokia, witnessed the emergence of the iPhone, saw the blossoming of the Google rule, also experienced the three countries between ios, android, windows phone fight. After the background of the big era, the face of the current smartphone market calm and slowdown in our view seems a bit tasteless. Perhaps for now the cell phone innovation has entered a bottleneck, but we still need to have more expectations for the future.
Lei Jun is embarrassed
In late May at the Shenzhen Universiade Center stadium, Xiaomi released the crystallization since its 8th anniversary.
When Lei Jun went on stage and discreetly released the actual picture of Xiaomi 8, the originally noisy venue began to become quiet, the moment the PPT on the screen turned from the back of the body to the front, similar to the previous cheers and applause did not appear, you can see that the hands of the rice fans on the stage were raised slowly put down, the smile hanging on the face also gradually disappeared.
Yes, after 9 months, Xiaomi released an "iPhone X" with MIUI on its 8th anniversary.
Lei Jun also noticed the change in the atmosphere of the venue, he smiled awkwardly and explained, "I know many people say the bangs screen is ugly, but Xiaomi has added a lot of features on it, in addition to Xiaomi's bangs screen can also be turned off, so that the top shows as a complete bar."
Lei Jun also said that the bangs screen is not so ugly after seeing more.
I don't know when it started, copying Apple has become a practice within the cell phone industry.
Since March this year, Vivo released the first domestic bangs screen x21, followed by the appearance of Huawei's P20, OPPO r15, a plus 6 and Xiaomi 8 ......
Even in this "Apple" trend, Redmi, Vivo, Lenovo and other manufacturers even pulled the bangs screen to the price of a thousand yuan machine, respectively launched the Redmi 6, z1 and z5.
Under the gradual convergence of ID design, from now on, domestic cell phones have truly abandoned the separation of brand and price point to achieve a harmonious and harmonious grand unification, at least in terms of appearance.
Even the so-called "revolutionary product" nut R1, using the "beauty tip" shaped design does not mean innovation. Mr. Luo also shouted before the release of the "lost soul of Apple crazy copy", for him instead of copying Apple, it is better to copy the father of Android Essential Phone.
The similarity in appearance is only the second, in the phone internal components and functional UI, the domestic manufacturers are gradually converging.
A person who has been studying the cell phone industry since 2003 told Pinto that since the release of iPhone 4 in 2010, it feels like the industry has "died".
"From the outside, there are only iPhone and iPhone Like; from the experience, what performance Qualcomm can give, what Sensor Sony can give, and what lens Sunwoo Optical can make, determine what products we can make, and this feeling is very boring."
In a live broadcast not long ago, Mr. Luo also confessed that the so-called "black technology" promoted by major manufacturers is almost all suppliers, manufacturers are program integrators. The application of technology depends entirely on the product positioning and cost of selling price of such a comprehensive consideration of business practices.
At this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, where hundreds of technology companies showed off their latest and greatest products, Ben Wood, director of market research firm CCS Insight, said, "There were a whole bunch of bland, mid-range Android phones that made the show a real 'showcase'. A veritable 'crapfest'."
In 2017, smartphone sales declined for the first time since 2004, according to Gartner. Consumers are holding on to their phones longer, Gartner said, adding that "users have high expectations for new phones, but these devices have no obvious highlights, which has weakened smartphone sales."
Cell phone software and hardware bottleneck
We see now the smart terminal or see the new product release has long been no surprise in the past, in addition to the expected faster SOC, larger and clearer screen, higher and higher pixels, smart phones are tending to continue the old path of the PC era.
What is the reason for all the embarrassing situation in the industry now?
First of all, it must be mentioned that in the framework of the current mobile smart terminal, hardware + software combination of imagination has entered a bottleneck.
The functionality of smartphones depends on the combination of internal sensors and processors and software systems to achieve, but at present, there is no revolutionary breakthrough in the arithmetic power of cell phone processors and limited innovation in the field of sensors, making the overall lack of innovation as a set of finished smartphones.
In addition, as Mr. Luo said above, the technology monopoly between the upstream supply chain has also caused a lack of innovation, making it difficult to popularize the technology.
For example, after the end of the soc war, the current mainstream can provide manufacturers with mobile processors only Qualcomm and MediaTek, which led to the processor on the integration of what function manufacturers can only use what function.
Although the integration scheme between the various components of the phone greatly reduces the late development of a product for manufacturers, but to a certain extent also hinders cell phone innovation.
For example, Samsung has been mass production of dual-curved screen in 2015, but to this day in other brands of products the technology is still difficult to reproduce, but also Samsung's monopoly on the supply side.
Apple in the 5s on the application of the press fingerprint recognition function, once acquired to provide the technology manufacturers AuthenTec, resulting in the Android camp in the implementation of the press fingerprint lag up to a year.
Another reason that cannot be left out is that with the development of media, information and communication, the vendors who previously only supplied to the B-end also gained a certain amount of voice and media exposure.
Similar to Vivo to provide under-screen fingerprint recognition technology manufacturers Huidian Technology, its as early as 2014 after conquering the press fingerprint recognition technology has publicly indicated that the next technological breakthrough will be in the under-screen fingerprint; for Huawei Kirin 970 to provide AI chips Cambuji has also previously announced its AI chip plans ......
Can wearable replace cell phones?
Of course, not all manufacturers are willing to submit to the Apple after picking up the wisdom of others, which has to mention Google's amazing Project Ara project.
Project Ara "split" the traditional smartphone into a number of relatively independent modules, users can buy the corresponding modules according to their own needs, so as to meet more personalized needs.
When the performance of the phone is not enough to meet the demand, users can replace the module corresponding to the performance of the phone separately, thus extending the life cycle of the phone and reducing electronic waste.
In the original Project Ara vision, core components such as SoC and memory were removable, allowing users to freely replace the hardware in the future when it failed to meet their needs.
But then as the development team realized that the difficulty was too great, and later in the Project Ara prototype, core components such as SoC, memory, and screen became non-removable designs, Google shifted its focus to providing differentiated features through modular design.
Google did not continue the glory of modularity, and with the acquisition of Motorola, which was responsible for the program in 2014, the burden fell to Lenovo.
In mid-2016, Lenovo's Motorola released the Moto Z, a modular phone, along with several modules including battery, projection, audio, photography and more.
However, Lenovo's modular journey was not successful due to the high pricing of the modules themselves and the lack of practicality.
In addition to the modular idea, Google and Microsoft have also fantasized about changing the current smart terminal form through MR technology, the most prestigious of which is Google Glass and Microsoft Holoens.
Google Glass is similar in appearance to glasses, but is actually a combination of a miniature projector + camera + sensors + storage transmission + control device. The small lens of the right eye includes a mini projector and a camera, the projector is used to display data, the camera is used to capture video and images, the storage and transmission module is used to store and output data, and the control device can be controlled by voice, touch and automatic three modes.
It has the functions of a smartphone, users can surf the Internet or handle text messages and e-mail without hands, and can use voice control to take pictures, video calls and identify directions.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said while attending the TED conference, "Current smartphones are neutered machines, Google Glass is the future."
Microsoft Hololens holographic glasses are special glasses that integrate CPU, GPU and holographic processor, which allow users to enter the holographic world at home through picture images and sound, and use the surrounding environment as a carrier for holographic experience.
Users can add all kinds of virtual information to the images through HoloLens using the actual surroundings as a carrier. Users can play games, communicate and more on it.
Wearable devices smart devices give people a wonderful fantasy, but limited by the current technical development, cost considerations and public safety and other aspects of the reasons, Google glass project was suspended by Google, Microsoft's Holoens also in the release of two years after the temporary update.
Perhaps they can replace the smartphone, but obviously not now.
Breakthrough in artificial intelligence
In the large framework for the time being can not break through, there are manufacturers in this framework to do their best to complement.
For example, OPPO and Vivo in the recent release of the true full-screen Find X and NEX, in one fell swoop to tear off the label of the past no technology relying on marketing-driven.
In the view of Pinto, OV's innovation is to take the lead in using the lift-up camera to reduce the front sensor footprint and increase the screen-to-body ratio.
But it is not easy to achieve, this technology requires the cooperation of micro stepping motor, independent drive IC, precision control algorithm to accurately control the lift stroke.
Among them, the hardware device responsible for the mechanical drive consists of stepper motor, gearbox and drive screw. Each lift, relying on the twisting of the stepper motor to generate force, through the precision reduction box to amplify the torque, drive the screw rotation, providing sufficient transmission force to drive the front camera to complete tens of thousands of lifting and landing recovery action.
OV's innovation has also set a benchmark for the industry, and it is understood that a wave of full-screen phones with elevated cameras are ready to be launched from the second half of this year.
So apart from the true full-screen, what other technological innovations can we expect?
Flexible display technology or is one of them. By exploring new soft display materials, display devices such as displays can be folded or curled at will, greatly breaking the application scenario and user experience of display products. At present, the most widely known flexible display technology is being used in the full-curved + full-screen smartphones.
There is already news that Samsung, Microsoft and some other major international manufacturers have been in the research and development of the screen can really be folded devices, so in the future to break the "thousand machine one" embarrassing situation of the task may be completed by the flexible screen.
AI and intelligent terminal hardware and software integration is also the future can look forward to the main event.
The concept of artificial intelligence in the field of smart phones usually refers to the neural engine co-processor that we often mention. More and more of our smartphones have tasks that are monitored by machine learning algorithms, but how much of a boost is the advent of AI for the average consumer?
First, in terms of improving performance, AI processors can analyze the user's daily interactions with the smartphone and count the difference between the user interface and the performance limit, so that memory can be better allocated. The system can know what the user needs to do next and be ready for it.
The AI platform can provide powerful computing power to help ensure that performance balance is achieved and prevent performance degradation caused by unbalanced resources respectively.
Secondly, in terms of adaptive photography, AI's computation helps to improve the effect of portrait mode, automatically choosing which area should be blurred and how to achieve the most artistic depth-of-field effect, emphasize the subject of the picture, and auto-focus.
Finally, AI is also learning and adaptive to the habits and logic of user operations. As the AI system learns more and more about the smartphone, it can better improve and enhance the user's experience.
These functions are now gradually applied by cell phone manufacturers, but it will take time to make users perceive them at the operation level.
We have witnessed the glory of Nokia, witnessed the emergence of the iPhone, seen the blossoming of the Google rule, and also experienced the three countries between ios, android and windows phone.
After the background of the big era, the face of the current smartphone market calm and slowdown in our view seems a bit tasteless.
Perhaps for now, cell phone innovation has entered a bottleneck, but we still need to have more expectations for the future.