In recent years, handset manufacturers have been focusing on software and services as the key ways to differentiate their devices.
For Ronan de Renesse, Lead Analyst, Consumer Technology, Ovum, this remains a central aspect of the consumer experience, but product launches from Samsung, LG, and HTC at Mobile World Congress 2015 have shown a refocus on design and specifications.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge features a double-edged, curved quad HD super AMOLED display, in-house developed Exynos processor, and UFS internal memory.
Samsung has also reduced the number of Android add-ons and simplified core native applications while LG brought the curviness of its G Flex range to its mid- and entry-level smartphone line-up (i.e., the LG Magna, LG Spirit, LG Leon, and LG Joy).
Meanwhile, HTC has retained its award winning design, adding a gold feeling to it with a new dual anodisation process.
“With the S6 and S6 Edge, Samsung is directly attempting to win back iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users – and looks likely to succeed,” Renesse says.
“However, its sales will be affected by the fact that Apple captured most of the high-end market in 2014; Samsung may have to wait for those users to upgrade, hindering its 2015 prospects.
“To some extent the lack of flagship device launches from Microsoft, Sony, and LG shows a more cautious approach from smartphone makers in a maturing high-end market, where any small mistake can turn into a very long nightmare.”