The Samsung Galaxy S4 was announced this week to much Apple-esque fanfare. Expectations were through the roof, and the rumor mill churned in overtime for the weeks and months leading up to the unveiling. But when the dust had settled, many of the Geeks that had salivated over the announcement were left feeling a bit let down. But why? Why are a list of eye popping specs and futuristic features no longer enough to satisfy our geeky appetites?
Because like it or not, we’ve officially reached the point of diminishing returns with mobile devices, that’s why.
So what exactly does that mean? It means that the huge leaps forward that new mobile devices like the original iPhone and SIII brought are a thing of the past, replaced instead by less dramatic incremental evolutions of simple speeds and feeds. Yes, the S4’s quad core processor, 1080p screen, and 13MP camera look impressive on paper, but will those specs really translate into a better user experience? Not really, at least not until those specs become standard and software developers catch up to the hardware. And though slick features like Air Gestures and Smart Pause may entice some to make the leap to the S4, how many of those features will actually be used on a daily basis? (Quick poll, SIII owners – how many files have you actually transferred via S Beam? Yeah, me neither.)
Reaching this point of diminished returns is hardly a death knell for a technology, and frankly, may not even be a bad thing at all. In recent years, we’ve seen others bump up against it, (desktops a few years ago and what they are now becoming for example) and continue on. Often reaching this point is a precursor for a major revolution in the technology, vs. the series of evolutions that we’re starting to see. So the question then is what will be mobile’s revolution and who will be the one to bring it market? Will it be the iPhone 6? The S5? Or a different player entirely?
Do you think mobile is due for a revolution soon or will we continue to see the evolution of the current technology and increasingly diminished returns?