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Why phone-makers are stuck in the fast lane

Why phone-makers are stuck in the fast lane

You might think HTC and Samsung would quiet down for a while, now they’ve launched their flagship smartphones for this year. But you couldn’t be more wrong.

Because rumours this week say both are working on premium versions of their flagship models. That’s right, even more high-specced.

So what’s left to improve?

HTC is reportedly working on a device called the S5 Prime.

Details are scarce, but considering the One M8 is already one of the best devices money can buy, we can only speculate on what will improve.

The screen could be upped to a 2K resolution.

Maybe it could be a bit bigger than the current 5-incher, but only by a fraction of an inch.

htc one m8 vs samsung galaxy s5

And that’s about it. Start messing with the innards too much and it’ll be a whole new phone, rather than a tweaked version of an existing one.

Samsung is at it too.

It’s reportedly working on a new S5, which has also been dubbed the ‘Prime’ version.

Again, a 2K screen is mooted, along with a new all-metal body. This would be significantly more luscious than the current S5’s plastic one.

The rate of progress in the mobile world is already staggering.

We used to have to wait a year between flagships, but that gap is becoming shorter all the time. The Xperia Z2 launched just seven months after the Z1.

And the Z1 came just six months after the Xperia Z.

How annoyed would you be, if you’d just shelled out hundreds on a new mobile only for it to be usurped a few weeks later?

Especially if you’re stuck in a two-year contract.

sony xperia z2 review 5

No doubt these phone makers would claim they’re giving us punters more choice. But it smacks of a rush job.

Rumours say that the S5 was originally going to have a 2K screen, but the parts weren’t ready in time. Why not wait a few months until it was ready?

Instead, Samsung rushed out an inferior product. And why? So it wasn’t seen to be lagging behind the competition.

Because once one company ups their release rate, everyone has to join in or look out of step.

That’s the thinking, at least.

It shouldn’t be this way, of course. They should focus on what’s best for their customers. But as with any industry, appearance is paramount.

Tim Cook at Apple keynote

Tim Cook nailed it in a recent interview. He said Apple’s philosophy was to take the time to get it right.

“Our objective has never been to be first,” Cook told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s to be the best. To do things really well, it takes time.

“You see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn’t really deep and, as a consequence, these things don’t do very well.”

Sound familiar?

You can criticise Apple for lots of things – the price, its cultish following, its arrogance – but you can’t accuse it of releasing devices before they’re ready.

So come on phone-makers. Take a deep breath, and maybe have a cup of herbal tea. We all want the best devices we can get, even if that means we have to wait.

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