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Have smartphones reached their peak?

In the space of two months, two of the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturers in Samsung and Huawei released their flagship devices for the year – the Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 respectively, along with their model variants. The two have been met with worldwide acclaim, with critics praising the Galaxy S10 for being a near-perfect device and the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro pushing the boundaries when it comes to smartphone photography.

While Huawei is surging ahead in sales – achieving a year on year increase of over 50% while becoming the #2 smartphone in the world - Samsung and Apple, along with most other smartphone brands have fallen victim to stagnating uptake on some of their devices. In its quarterly report for the end of last year, Samsung argued that an incredibly competitive mid- and low-end range is the reason for slowing sales. Apple has reported a surge in revenue from services including iTunes and iCloud, but also reported that hardware sales were sharply down.

With most products, whether they’re smartphones or even photocopiers, there is a certain lifespan on technology. We know the benefits that come with Apple iPhones and the incredible ecosystem that allows for a seamless transition from work to play;  Android devices have an unmatched level of customization whether you have a Samsung, Huawei, Sony, LG or a Nokia. But looking at smartphones today, in the grand scheme of things, they’re all pretty much the same, aren’t they? Flagship devices such as the Huawei P30 and Samsung S10 offer very little difference, and it all comes down to brand preference and of course, the price.

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is set to retail locally at around R45,000.

Just how much is too much for a smartphone? With flagship devices pushing the R18,000 mark – and niche devices like the foldable Galaxy Fold coming in at R45,000 - mid-range smartphones at almost a third of the price are becoming increasingly attractive. Huawei’s Lite and Y-series along with Samsung’s refreshed A-series offer a powerful, near-flagship-level experience starting from around R5,000. Is it the drive consumers have to want to own the absolute best and newest smartphone on the market and do we value that status over value for money?

The biggest question is - what’s next for smartphones? Or have they plateaued? We’ve seen the incredible amount of technology that goes into key features like iPhone’s FaceID or Huawei’s 50x zoom lens on the P30 Pro. But how much further can we take things? Foldable smartphones, like the one recently launched by Samsung, seem to be the next chapter in the industry with more brands including Vivo, Motorola and Huawei getting ready to launch their very own in the near future.

One thing is for sure; the future of smartphones is going to be interesting but no matter what, weFix will be there - whether you’ve picked up the next and greatest flagship or you’ve gone for something a little more simple - with repairs to Apple, Samsung, Huawei and selected LG and FNB devices. You can find your nearest store here.