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What Smartphone Makers Need To Do In 2014
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PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
12/27/2013 | 8:06:41 PM
3d printing
Wow... 3D printing to add modules on to your phone? Did I read that correctly?

Like any technology mobile devices need to advance and try new things. This is interesting.
moonwatcher
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moonwatcher,
User Rank: Strategist
12/28/2013 | 10:29:41 AM
I'm not so sure....
Why do you say they need to "innovate"? I'm not so sure they do. Phones might be rectangular plastic and glass "commodities"  but consumers LIKE them this way. The original corded telephone changed very little for 40 years for a reason: customer familiarity with how they worked. I'm not sure consumers will be thrilled having to learn all new button placements, worrying about "modules" that can be removed, or phones that don't look like phones. The rectangular plastic and glass phones continue to sell well and people upgrade on 24 month cycles just like the lemmings the industry wants, so why change a successful business model? Heck, people are loathe to change a known operating system once they are invested in it and instinctively know how to use it, hence the higher rankings of Android and iOS phones and Windows Phones coming in a distant third and the death of Blackberry...If anything, it is the CARRIERS that need to figure out ways to lower costs. The only "growth market" now would be enticing those of us who are not willing to fork over $1000 or more every year until we die just for the convenience of having a Smartphone to actually get one. And while the cost of the phone is part of that equation, it is the monthly or yearly charge from the carriers that we find insurmountable and simply not justifiable for the "bang for the buck". I'm one of those customers: Egads! One that does not have a Smartphone. Most people I know already do such as my niece who makes a bit more than minimum wage and at the end of the year wonders why she can't save any money, yet her "communication bill" is over $1000 - more if you count home internet, and her cable or dish TV (there goes another $1500 out of her potential savings every year). Anyway, back to the original article. Smartphones simply work because everyone knows how to use them to make calls. If in an emergency a poorly designed or differently designed one thwarted someone from making that 911 call in a timely manner, I would say the "standard" design needs to stay. Let them innovate in other ways...say 3-D HDTV photo and video capture, more voice activation, better displays, integration with Google Smartglass and other heads up displays, etc., and yes, Apple needs to make it easier for consumers to change their freaking batteries out,  any other way than by changing the form factor or button layouts. We'll see what manufacturers do, but the lesson learned by the one who strayed should be cautionary. I mean what exactly are YOU wanting to see?
wht
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wht,
User Rank: Strategist
12/28/2013 | 3:54:25 PM
Re: 3d printing
Interesting idea.  However, I would not be willing to pay for the technology required on the phone or for the 3D printer.  My phone and carrier costs are already ridiculous for what benefit I get from them.  If my family didn't insist I have a cell phone with me at all times, I wouldn't have one or maybe use a prepaid cheapie phone just to make emergency calls.  My cell and Internet charges are more than I spend annually on vacations to the beach, which are far more rewarding and enjoyable.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2013 | 9:00:41 PM
Re: 3d printing
Well this is interesting. I think it is also important to look in to the speed with integrated RAM which will result in bidding farewell.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/28/2013 | 9:01:30 PM
Re: 3d printing
Further bridging the gap between, Virtual and Physical is also another good concept where the mobile developer can pay more attention.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2013 | 10:37:51 PM
Re: I'm not so sure....
Thank you, Moonwatcher, for having the courage to say it. The basic design doesn't need to change. We shouldn't have to spend upwards of $1,000 a year on our communications "needs." We want it to stay familiar, just like the landline handset, so If we need to make a 911 call, we can do it evn if we super-stressed or even paniky. I don't own a smartphone either, even though I fairly live on the internet while I'm at home. I'm only going to buy one because: one of my bosses says I need to, there's a great free app available in my city thatsays when the bus is coming, and I want to know where I can find my friends on weekend nights. Even that will set me back $35/month - well, really only about $27 or $27 because I'll ditch my cheapie cell phone plan.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
12/29/2013 | 11:51:56 AM
Re: 3d printing
The idea that the smartphone is just a rectangular sqaure needs to be upended.

Sure, this form factor has worked well over the past few years. But innovation must take hold and give consumers something new. I like the idea of curved and modular phones, and I think that there is a big market for things like this. At least early adopters can get the ball rolling. 
J_Brandt
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J_Brandt,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 12:21:49 PM
Re: 3d printing
I think the traditional phone may dissolve into multiple parts.  The traditional rectangle, but augmented by and connected to a watch and/or glasses.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2013 | 4:24:40 PM
Re: 3d printing
@J_Brandt: "I think the traditional phone may dissolve into multiple parts.  The traditional rectangle, but augmented by and connected to a watch and/or glasses"

 

Well, I agree that this is the most logical step for the products to take, and we know that integration with watches, at least, is a hot topic for manufacturers right now. Sadly, from the things we've seen over the last year, it seems that flexible screens and curved screens are likely to appear, perhaps as more of a fashion statement than an actual technical need. Right now I'm struggling to think of what's actually wrong with my current rectangular phone, and how curves or flexing would fix that without introducing other problems at the same time.
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
1/2/2014 | 1:41:14 AM
Re: 3d printing
I have the same concern here. Although the mobile watch, etc. sounds really cool, the curve LCD is still a problem. The technology advancement is really amazing in the past few years but is the soft LCD display really robust enough? After bending, can it perform as usual? How about the durability? There are a lot of questions to be answered before we can put in a plug for it.
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