Home » Electronic News » Technological advantages are again biased towards Apple, domestic mobile phones, and stop at high-end

Technological advantages are again biased towards Apple, domestic mobile phones, and stop at high-end

Posted by: Yoyokuo 2022-01-10 Comments Off on Technological advantages are again biased towards Apple, domestic mobile phones, and stop at high-end

Every domestic mobile phone brand had the dream of entering the high-end market and rivaling Apple.

As early as in the era of China Coollink, Coolpad took the lead and launched the Coolpad Grand 4 Dual SIM Premium Edition in 2014. This phone is equipped with a Full HD 5.9-inch screen on the front and uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor. The main frequency is 2.3GHz, and the RAM is up to 3GB. At that time, this was an extremely rare configuration specification in the domestic 4G mobile phone product lineup, which obviously pointed to Apple and Samsung.

Not to be outdone, ZTE and Huawei have expressed their intention to subtract and develop into boutique mobile phones and high-end mobile phones. However, this challenge to Apple, before it hurt Apple, was disrupted by “my own people” such as Xiaomi and OV.

In 2020, domestic mobile phones once again launched a battle to explore the high-end market. At that time, Huawei was sanctioned and aroused anger in the public, and the voice of Apple was endless, which seemed to create an excellent opportunity for domestic mobile phones. However, Apple cut prices with one move, and once again hit domestic mobile phones in the high-end market with almost no fight back.

According to the latest report released by Counterpoint Research, in October, Apple surpassed vivo and became the largest smartphone manufacturer in my country with a market share of 22%. In contrast, none of the domestic mobile phones have successfully made a name in the high-end market.

Domestic mobile phones are no longer what they used to be. We have also lost expectations for Apple’s innovative innovations. However, Apple still defeated all domestic mobile phones by relying on high-end phones. This fact cruelly shattered the high-end dreams of many domestic brands. ?

Technological advantage again favors Apple

Competing technology with technology is the main strategy in the high-end machine market. Before Huawei was sanctioned, according to IDC’s statistics of China’s smartphone market share in the first half of 2020 at a price range of more than US$600, Huawei’s market share was 44.1%, and the sum of its share with Apple accounted for 88.1%. This is the first time that domestic mobile phones have had the opportunity to restrict Apple in the high-end market. In addition to geographical advantages, the core is naturally that Huawei’s self-developed chip capabilities have been recognized by consumers.

Huawei’s self-developed Kirin chip has maintained a steady performance improvement in each generation since the Kirin 960. By 2019, the performance of the Kirin 990 is reported to be at the same level as the performance of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855/865 chips in the same period.

However, Huawei’s high-end road has come to an end, and other domestic mobile phone brands have also collectively lost in the high-end market this year.

From a technical perspective, the reasons can also be explained simply and clearly. On the one hand, when consumers realize that domestic mobile phone hardware configuration upgrades are just a stack of components without independent technology, it is difficult to arouse their need for replacement; on the other hand, domestic mobile phones are pitted by Qualcomm. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip frequently causes the mobile phone to become hot and the battery is not durable, so that the user experience of domestic high-end mobile phones has been criticized by users.

This indirectly explains a problem. The key to breaking Apple’s technical barriers has never been in the hands of domestic mobile phone manufacturers, but relying on Qualcomm, MediaTek, TSMC and other upstream giants in the supply chain. Especially Qualcomm, domestic mobile phone brands are vying for the first launch of Qualcomm chips, hoping that high-performance chips can drive their flagship phones or high-end phones.

But the bad news now is that the chip gap between Qualcomm and Apple may be further widened.

Recently, it has been reported that Apple has signed a contract with TSMC to produce customized 5G modems for its 2023 iPhone series. With the deepening of the cooperation between the two parties, Apple is expected to obtain “priority” in TSMC’s 3nm process. For TSMC, the impact of the loss of Huawei, a major customer, is being filled by Apple. Therefore, TSMC’s current 5nm, 7nm and next year’s 3nm production capacity are priority guarantees for Apple, and chips from other manufacturers have to line up.

As the second largest customer, Qualcomm, once the product progress is delayed at the 3nm node, it is likely that it will not be able to keep up with the iteration speed of Apple’s chips. Extending downstream, the technological gap between domestic mobile phone brands and Apple will not only be unable to be reduced, but may be widened.

Especially in the current environment of chip shortage, Apple’s growth in the downstream market can allow Apple to obtain better resources in the upstream supply chain, while domestic mobile phones such as Xiaomi and OV have to bear the negative impact of insufficient production capacity. . On November 23, Xiaomi’s third-quarter financial report showed that smartphone shipments were 43.9 million units, a decrease of 5.8% from 46.6 million units in the same period last year.

As early as 2014, some people in the media suggested that domestic mobile phone manufacturers want to enter the high-end market, the first thing to do is to change the concept of blindly pursuing hardware configuration parameters, and to make products that truly have a good user experience. After many years, the status quo has never changed.

The failure of the high-end market is essentially the failure of Internet marketing

If you carefully observe the mobile phone market in the past two or three years, it is obvious that there is less excitement and more silence. Especially this year, major mobile phone manufacturers are desperately trying to enter the high-end market, but there are no overwhelming brainwashing advertisements, dazzling celebrity endorsements, and no spitting wars between friends and businessmen. And after the “Yu Dazui” disappeared, he even seemed a little boring to say harsh words to Apple.

Has the “marketing era” of domestic mobile phones really passed?

In the long battle of domestic mobile phones chasing Apple, the value of marketing is actually very important. Xiaomi has contributed to the transition of the smartphone market from copycats to domestic ones, and the rise of Xiaomi is attributed to the innovation of Internet marketing. Even when Huawei relies on self-developed chips to enter the high-end market, it cannot be denied that its marketing has played a positive role in competing for Apple mobile phone users.

But this year, the failure of marketing may also be an important reason for the failure of domestic mobile phones to attack the high-end market. This means that in the future, domestic mobile phones will lose a key advantage when competing with Apple, and it will be more difficult to explore the high-end market.

The failure of domestic mobile phone marketing stems from two points. One, as the smartphone market has reached the ceiling in the past two years, Internet marketing innovation has gradually become mediocre and unable to attract consumers; second, after Huawei is sanctioned, the desire to become a technological powerhouse Under the change of national sentiment, consumers seem to be reluctant to pay for software and hardware upgrades other than independent technology. At least in the short term, it is difficult to arouse their demand for replacement.

According to the “2020 Second Phase of 5G Terminal Consumption Trend Report” published by China Mobile Terminal Laboratory, the average replacement cycle of consumers today is further longer than in previous years, and the average replacement cycle has reached 25.3 months. Former Huawei Vice President Li Kaixin also stated that the replacement cycle of consumers is much longer than before, basically twice as long.

Why don’t consumers want to change phones? An Apple mobile phone user said: “Now the domestic (new model) concepts are well packaged, but there is enough in hand. Wait a minute,” while another Android mobile phone user said that domestic mobile phones are more Emphasizing the configuration parameters, the more you feel that you are piling up the hardware, especially now that you are still competing for the first Qualcomm chip, no matter which one is the first, isn’t it all Qualcomm chips?

These two statements represent the psychology of many consumers. Excessive performance has led to users who have the concept of “as long as it is not broken, they will not be replaced”, using mobile phones for longer periods of time, and insufficient selling points of new phones, revealing the state of domestic mobile phone manufacturers taking their roots. , And let users “hate iron but not steel”, this sentiment has soared especially after Huawei was sanctioned.

Reflected in the high-end market, consumers will not pay for the high-profile domestic mobile phones, which has also led to the failure of marketing and promotion around high-profile.

In the high-end market, users pay for the high premium of the product and need to let users perceive the unique selling point of the product. For domestic mobile phones, this selling point will not be the hardware configuration in the short term, unless the hardware achieves technological independence.

Domestic mobile phones “missed” the folding screen

In the high-end market, although Apple dominates, Samsung has always had a place, even after completely losing the domestic market.

According to a report by Strategy Analytics, in the global market, 25% of revenue in the first quarter of this year came from ultra-high-end smartphones with a wholesale price of more than US$900. Apple and Samsung dominate these lucrative market segments. Data from Counterpoint, another agency, also shows that in the second quarter of this year, Apple and Samsung accounted for 74% of the global mobile phone market over US$400, 57% and 17% respectively.

And in the third quarter, Apple released a new phone, which caused sales to surge. At this time, although Samsung’s market share in the global market fell by 1.9% year-on-year, Samsung’s high-end smartphones still achieved growth.

This is thanks to the folding screen. At the time when Rouyu Technology, a “unicorn company” that makes domestic folding screen technology, was making a lot of trouble due to large-scale wage arrears, Samsung folding screens had already begun to sweep the global high-end market.

The well-known overseas technology digital media ZDNET has published a “2021 Best Mobile Phone TOP10 List”. The top five models are iPhone 13 Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G, iPhone 13, Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G. From the ranking point of view, the product power of Samsung’s folding screen mobile phone is even higher than other models.

In the high-end phones, Samsung used the folding screen to forcibly take a differentiated route, and this is precisely what domestic mobile phones lack in high-end phones.

Onlookers mobile phone manufacturers released this year vivo X60, OPPO FindX3, OnePlus 9, Xiaomi 11Ultra, three of which are flagship phones with standard Snapdragon 888, the performance selling points are the same, the appearance and feel are not much different, and the fast charging above 60w, PTZ anti-shake has also become standard. Apart from the difference in image performance, there are almost no other obvious differences.

When the folding screen turned out, domestic mobile phones were on the same starting line as Apple and Samsung, but obviously they did not seize this opportunity. This year, domestic mobile phones such as Xiaomi and OPPO are betting on folding screens again, but they have some hindsight.

On the one hand, Samsung has now “monopolized” the folding screen mobile phone market; research data from DSCC, an authoritative consulting organization in the global Display field, shows that the total shipments of folding screen mobile phones in the Q3 quarter of 2021 reached 2.6 million units, an increase of 215% from the previous quarter and year-on-year. It has skyrocketed by 480%. Among them, Samsung accounted for 93% of foldable smartphone shipments.

On the other hand, Samsung’s folding screen technology is relatively advanced, which has built a certain technical barrier. Such as screens, the inner screen protective film in the early industry was basically made of plastic, with low hardness and easy to leave creases and scratches. When Samsung’s second-generation folding screen product came out, it developed an ultra-thin flexible glass (UTG) material that improved the hardness, scratch resistance, and texture and touch.

Samsung, which originally had a technological advantage on the screen, will inevitably become the biggest beneficiary once the folding screen becomes a major trend in the development of the smartphone market in the future, and this also means that the high-end road of domestic mobile phones will be more difficult to go.

Will domestic mobile phones eventually stop at high-end? In the current technological constraints and market environment, the answer may be pessimistic.

Dao is always reasonable, once the name is crooked Dao, the Internet and the new media of the technology circle. WeChat public account of the same name: Daotmt. This article is an original article, any reprinting without retaining the author’s relevant information is declined.

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