With the switch to ultra-powerful touchscreen smartphones, we’ve seen old market leaders such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson and RIM fall behind the companies who “got” how to build touchscreen phones in this new age of the smartphone industry. It looks like their product cycles are considerably slower than companies like HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and lately even LG.
Samsung became a big player in the Android ecosystem with the release of the Galaxy S, which was the most powerful smartphone on the market at launch, and maintained the crown for the whole 2nd half of the year 2010. LG came a little late to the party, but when they did they also tried to do it in a big way, releasing the first dual core in the world before anyone else (LG Optimus 2X).
Sony Ericsson, in the meantime, hasn’t announced any dual core phone for 2011, even though everyone else has at least 1-2 of them out there. I was quite surprised they didn’t at least announce one with the launch of the Arc, Neo and Xperia Play this spring, and I thought they would surely release one late summer or this fall. But it’s already fall and we haven’t heard anything from them about any dual core phone that will be released this year.
Rumors say they have a phone called Nozomi in the pipes, which has a dual core 1.5 Ghz Snapdragon chip, a 4.3″ 1280×720 HD display (would’ve preferred 1280×800 for the extra width, like the Galaxy Note), 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a 1750 mAh battery.
The phone is nothing to scoff at, but ultimately that is all relative to the competition at the launch time. I just wish they weren’t always 3-6 months behind everyone else. If they want strong sales like the Galaxy S II has garnered, then they really need to become competitive with these companies and if they can’t release phones with similar tech before everyone else, they should at least do it days after them, not months. That’s how they will win everyone’s love, not just from the fans, but also from the tech media who are much more excited when they review the first “next-gen” device of the year, compared to when they review the 10th same type of “next-gen” phone.
We will see phones as powerful as that this fall, and by March 2012 we’ll probably see the Galaxy S III which should have either a quad core 1.5 Ghz Tegra 3, or a dual core 2-2.5 Ghz Exynos chip. And that’s just from Samsung. I assume HTC will be getting ready to launch a dual-core 2.5 Ghz Krait phone by then, and LG and Motorola should launch some Tegra 3 and OMAP 4470 1.8 Ghz ones, too. So the Nozomi may sound nice now, but by then it will probably feel like it’s behind everyone else.
I expected Sony Ericsson to learn their lesson by now, but at least they did it with the software, where they now try to release their new devices with the latest Android version. I’m hoping in 2012 they’ll become a lot more competitive, and also hoping they’ll try to make all their phones a lot thinner, like the Arc.