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The End Of The Flagship Era

MWC heralds the coming of mid-range smartphones
The End Of The Flagship Era

Last month, Sony announced that it was changing its investment policy in regards to their high-end flagships.

Last month, Sony announced that it was changing its investment policy in regards to their high-end flagships. The CEO, Kazuo Hirai, also seemed to suggest that the company would also eventually depart from the mobile phone market altogether, but not in a hurry.

Instead of a second flagship, Sony will release the Xperia M4 Aqua, which will have great specs at a great price, while avoiding the brand new technologies developed after the recent release of their latest flagship, the Z3 in September 2014. In an attempt to cut down on the budget, Sony has seen fit to go from releasing two flagships a year to only one, which means we are not likely to see the Z4 until the summer.

Instead of a second flagship, Sony will release the Xperia M4 Aqua, which will have great specs at a great price, while avoiding the brand new technologies developed after the recent release of their latest flagship, the Z3 in September 2014.

The Aqua, however, has still some very distinguished features including a large, 2,400 mAh battery that can last up to two days with a single charge, waterproof up the depths of 1.5m, and a 13 megapixel camera coupled with a 5 megapixel front camera. It is likely that the newest Xperia from Sony will cost about $300.

But Sony is not alone. Also attempting their best at mid-range smartphones is Microsoft, who announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that the company would wait until the release of Windows 10 before their announced their newest flagship, even though the Lumia 930 was released in April 2014. Instead, Microsoft offers the Lumia 640, which provides 4G data connectivity, and availability for two SIM cards, a 5-inch screen (which is larger and has a higher resolution than the Lumia 635), NFC chip, and it has a higher quality 8 megapixel camera. Also introduced was the Lumia 640 XL, which boasts a 5.7-inch screen, and a 13 megapixel camera. Both will operate Windows 8.1 out of the box, but it will be upgraded to Windows 10 when the newest operating system is finally released later this year. Additionally they will come with a 1 year subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365, and they cost between $155 and $245.

These companies are not alone.The mid-range market is growing at much faster rate than the flagship market.

These companies are not alone. LG also released four brand new mid-range smartphones prior to MWC, as well as Motorola. The mid-range market is growing at much faster rate than the flagship market, because customers are not as eager to replace a flagship every year, or even every two years. Additionally, those that haven’t spent the most money on their phone are also less loyal to brand, which means its more likely that Samsung will lose a customer, and LG will gain four, based on the price and model. It seems that with the help of emerging markets, mid-range smartphones will soon dominate the profit margin. 

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