With a downturn in the Chinese economy, Chinese OEMs successfully attacked the mid market with smartphones that offered great designs, bigger batteries and prices that challenged Apple's iPhone models in Q4, especially the iPhone XR model.
Now Samsung is about to launch a war against Chinese OEMs that will bring new phones that are branded "M" for Millennials with iPhone XR-like features to market with a 5,000mAh battery for between US$135 and US$250.
This year many OEMs like Samsung and Huawei will introduce 5G ready smartphones which is wise. Customers worldwide living in cities that will offer 5G services in 2019 will be in luck if they happen to own one of these next-gen 5G ready Android phones.
Considering that consumers are now holding onto their smartphones for longer periods of time, like 3-5 years, it's wise that many Android phones will be including Qualcomm's 5G modems so that customers will be ready to tap into 5G speeds and services as they become available over the life-cycle of the phone.
Buying a 2019 iPhone means that over the lifetime of the phone, Apple customers will miss out on 5G services as they unfold. It's been rumored that Apple will only introduce 5G in 2020 models. That will just open the door for their competitors to win over first-time smartphone customers with a real advantage in major markets offering 5G.
This week we learned that Apple's supplier AMS announced a breakthrough in allowing cameras and sensors to work under a smartphone's face display. That would eliminate the iPhone's nasty notch and be seen as a nice upgrade feature. Whether Apple could take advantage of this by Q4 this year is unknown at this time. Yet this is what iPhone fans want to hear about. Real innovation coming to iPhones for this year to shake things up and get iPhone fans really excited again.
In late December Patently Apple reported that Apple could introduce in-air gesturing in an updated version of their 3D Depth camera. That could be new and exciting to see unfold in 2019 iPhones. Huawei will reportedly have this feature coming to market this year. Will Apple be on cue or behind?
Today, the bored Wall Street Journal decided to throw mud at the wall about Apple's 2019 iPhones and throw in a few famous "sources said" to make it sound official. They know that Apple sites are hungry for news and would eat this up, and they did.
How useless and boring a report it is. According to the report, Apple will adopt a triple camera set up for the higher end iPhones and a dual lens camera for the XR Successor. Many Android phones already offer this at less than half the price. Some even have a four camera set up as we have shown in our cover graphic. Will introducing 3 cameras in an iPhone this late in the game be considered innovation worthy of a premium price? No. Will it be slightly different, of course.
Apple introduced three iPhones this year, two with OLED displays and one with LCD. The Wall Street Journal "reveals" that Apple will do the same next year. How do they pass this stuff as news worthy of the WSJ brand?
With Sony and Chinese OEMs determined to up their game with new features while continuing their lower pricing strategy, I think iPhone fans want to see Apple step up to the plate and deliver some home run first-to-market features along with new services like their media content service, if not 5G. Adding a triple camera as the big feature of the year will be a real snore-fest. Apple needs to move iPhones en-mass and adding a triple camera will be new, but it won't move the needle one iota.
Our cover graphic and story on the Samsung A9 smartphone could be found here.