The Next Major Shake-up?

Hi all,

I read with interest the following article on smartphone.  After every major invention, there are enhancements and then some fine tuning.  After some time, things begin to look more or less the same.  And a major shake-up is required before a new lease of life and innovativeness is injected into the industry and something noble is produced again.  It reminds me of the time where pocket watches gave way to wrist watches and the era of quartz almost wiping out the mechanical watches (thankfully, not!).  And then the very informative article by Alex, "2000 - 2012: The Years that Changed Watchmaking", showing the enhancements in watchmaking, the demand for bigger watches (much like the smart phones' screens are getting bigger by squeezing every millimetre of space available).  I'm thinking what would be the next shake-up for the luxury (mechanical) watch industry (The threat from smartwatches? Or the back to the future with wrist watches?)  In the meantime, as the author of the article said, we are still buy for our watches ;p


 "This year has been a big bummer for gadget nerds hoping the next big thing would arrive soon.
It hasn't.
That's not to say there haven't been some great new devices. There have been plenty: The HTC One. The BlackBerry Z10. The Samsung Galaxy S4. The Moto X. They're all really good phones, and you'd probably be happy buying any of them.
But despite all the marketing hype surrounding each phone, despite all the glitzy events, despite the months of executives openly teasing their next product, none of the devices launched this year have been the revolution they claimed to be. They're all on parity with each other. Apple may have leapfrogged the competition with the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007, but since then, everyone else has caught up.
For most people, all of these devices do pretty much the same things. They let you run apps, browse the Web, watch video, check your email, and play endless rounds of Candy Crush. It doesn't matter how much you paid or what kind of special features your phone's manufacturer touts. It's all the same these days. The concept of a "smartphone" is dead.
As someone who watches the mobile industry so closely, it's frustrating to see companies still try to do for phones what Apple did six years ago. It's almost gotten absurd.
Last week, LG introduced its new flagship phone called the G2. Its distinguishing feature? The volume controls are on the back of the device, right below the camera.
Nokia introduced a phone last month called the Lumia 1020 that had a 41 megapixel camera, an over-the-top feature that most people will never need, let alone care to spend an extra $100 for.
Samsung was probably the worst offender with its Galaxy S4 phone. It packed in so many useless gimmicks like touchless gestures and eye tracking that it actually made the device more complex and frustrating to use, not better. 
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. Simply put, the "wow" factor in today's smartphones doesn't exist. They're all just ... phones. It's going to take more than a handful of gimmicks to convince the public that a new era in mobile computing has arrived.
Meanwhile, it's worth taking a look at the overall smartphone market. The high-end of the market is nearing saturation, meaning just about everyone who wants a new top-tier device like the iPhone 5 or HTC One already has one. It'll be nearly impossible for another player to come in and whisk away the market share Apple and Samsung have already scooped up.
That's why we're seeing some companies like Nokia making bigger bets on the low-end of the smartphone market by producing phones that only cost a few hundred dollars (without a contract from your carrier), yet still offer the full suite of features in Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system. It's also why Apple will reportedly release a low-cost iPhone later this year and why Samsung churns out several cheaper variants of its Galaxy phones.
To be clear: I'm not saying people are going to stop buying phones. (They won't.) I'm not saying the phones companies release are bad. (They're not.) I'm saying we've reached the point where all devices are pretty much the same, and it's silly for them to try and differentiate themselves with useless gimmicks. 
Mobile devices aren't going away, but the concept of a "smartphone" is dead."

anything which will enhance accuracy and service periods. There will
08/13/2013 - 12:19
be no revolutions but rather evolutions as the Swiss watchmaking industry, at leas the haute horlogerie move in a very slow manner. However I think that the next big developments will be in accuracy, long power reserves and any thing which will lengthen service intervals and as such lubrication free calibers, silicon or other similar types of components etc...
And it is interesting to see brands already tinker with such
08/13/2013 - 13:37
Developments. Several brands have done or tried do do interesting things with accuracy, lubricant free, long power reserves, long service interval, etc. last year, one brand even went supersonic !
"the haute horlogerie move in a very slow manner."
08/15/2013 - 01:06
I know what you mean, but in a way your recent article would suggest otherwise...wink I think that so much has happened in the last decade that one could say that the revolution has already happened. In terms of next big change, I'm not saying it will happen, but I think that it would be nice to see the emergence of another watchmaking center of excellence, outside of Switzerland/ Europe. It was nice to see Lange bring a 'new' perspective to the industry, and Seiko is doing good things in Japan... There are alreaydy probably too many watch brands around these days, but it would be good to see the emergence of new leaders in China, for example, to drive further competition at the high end and bring something new to the industry. 
Chinese manufacturers are starting to do a good job, very recently Sea
08/15/2013 - 16:45
Gull and another maker (I forget the name) presented a double axis tourbillon (abviously not cheap) which shows that they are starting to master the techniques. The big question is will they manage to oust the Swiss as premium watch makers?
Still waiting for this one...
08/13/2013 - 18:33
Nice weapon launcher on DIck Tracy's watch. Wonder if any
08/13/2013 - 22:57
Major brand would consider a one off timepiece which could shoot flares ! :-)
Actually Alex & myself know a watch collector
08/15/2013 - 18:40
whom actually makes weapons of various calibre & types. Maybe a partnership between VC & this gentleman to produce a timepiece you suggested ;p Melvin
Re: The Next Major Shake-up?
08/13/2013 - 21:53
Its all about asthetics. My atomic Casio keeps better time and has more functions than the most expensive mechanicals. Clear dials and backs. More hand engraving. Differentiate from the battery watch as far as possible.