I attended a local Chamber of Commerce function in April 2004 and the guest speaker was Tom Potter. No, not some distant relative of Harry. Tom founded the Eagle Boys Pizza chain in 1987. During his presentation, Tom mentioned that they had expanded the chain through New Zealand and had a monopoly on certain aspects of the pizza business in that country. As a throwaway line, Tom noted that many people think competition is good in business but he was of the opinion that owning a monopoly business is so much better! Jump forward twelve years and I was attending another local Chamber of Commerce function and this time, Don Meij, the CEO of Domino’s, was speaking. Don believed that competition drove any business to greater heights and spoke at length about their innovative plans to stay ahead of the competition with various technology strategies including drone delivery; app ordering; voice assistants and artificial intelligence.
Within a few months of that function, it was no surprise to me that administrators were brought in to the Eagle Boys head office while Domino’s proved that drone delivery was no ‘pie in the sky’ concept with the world’s first drone delivery.
One aspect of our current technology banquet is that we have wonderful competition amongst three very strong players. I am sure Samsung; Apple and Huawei would all prefer to have a complete monopoly on the smartphone market but, as a consumer, I love the competition.
I was up in the early hours this week to watch Samsung Unpacked – their biannual event to announce their latest products. Every company is trying to emulate the presentation style of the late Steve Jobs standing in front of screaming Apple devotees but this event was particularly awkward. With no audience save the ‘Samsung Members’ who were attending virtually, it had a very stiff feel about it.
Ignore the presentation style though – what about the products? Samsung announced five new products. Samsung typically jostle for the number one position across the world in overall smartphone sales – but Apple still outsells them in the premium space. The Samsung Note 20, announced this week, is another step forward in that space. The Note 20 has the best camera ever in a smartphone and the S Pen is more responsive than ever before. The 240Hz screen is perfect for gaming – which is convenient because Samsung partnered with Microsoft Xbox Game Streaming. Samsung has had a bumpy start to the beginning of the foldable phone era but this week the Galaxy Z Fold 2 will hope to win more fans with a 6.2-inch outer screen folding out – hopefully with no issues – to 7.6-inches. My ultimate phone would be the physical size of a watch but, just like the TARDIS, be dimensionally transcendental so it is shown to be larger than it is. Given that there is a position open at Samsung at the moment for a transdimensional engineer, the flip phone is the closest we have. While Samsung sits around the top of the smartphone market, Apple owns the Tablet and Watch space with 38 per cent and 56 per cent market share respectively, Samsung released four new versions of these devices. With the Tablets boasting 5G and functionality matched to beauty, they will definitely convert some current iPad users. The two watches now match Apple for features, add on 1mm each in size and throw in blood pressure monitoring and an ECG for good measure.
I love being a consumer in these technology wars!
Tell me the killer feature you want to see in your next phone at firstname.lastname@example.org.