Sunday Debate: How Can OEMs Turn Around Their Flagships & Profits?

Sunday Debate: How Can OEMs Turn Around Their Flagships & Profits?

Join us in a fun Sunday Debate on OEMs' Future. Come with your opinions and feel free to read some of our thoughts, then pick your side or play devil’s advocate to get your voice heard and engage in friendly discussion. You can read our food-for-thought or jump straight into the fray below!

This year, we’ve seen plenty of flagships — in fact, most manufacturers decided to up their game and create multiples, splitting famous lines such as the Moto X and the Z line into two variants for a single release.

This deliberate flagship proliferation came at a time where enthusiasts feel increasingly disappointed with big releases, as most of them are compromised in some way or another. Considering that flagships of yesteryear are still exceptional in terms of performance, nabbing an upgrade from a stingy consumer is not as easy as it had been in previous years.

But the increase of flagship supply and the compromises have an interesting link to popular OEMs’ apparent inability to profit. HTC, for example, is making headlines week after week for all the wrong reasons, and investors and enthusiasts alike seem to be abandoning all hope in a triumphant return. Sony could not globalize its devices appropriately, and the Japanese giant is said to be in a make-or-break position. Motorola has had much of its staff slashed, and LG made just 1.2 cents of profit per phone sold in a particularly worrying 2015 quarter.

Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung continue to reap most of the profit share of the industry at large, with the former having most of the pie despite not bending to the affordable smartphone trends of the year. So we want to know,

  • What is your take on all of this?
  • What is the future of the big-name OEMs we grow to love and respect?How does this relate to the flagship decadence of 2015?
  • How will their models change to meet the new demand?
  • Which companies do you wish weren’t in such a big risk?

Join the discussion!

Make or Break

With emerging markets becoming the new battlefield as first-world countries reach smartphone saturation, the traditional flagship model looks less appealing to manufacturers. The true upgrades that we expected are often put behind a “premium” or “pro” variant, be it the Mi Note Pro, the Z5 Premium, or the Nexus 6P. The cheaper alternatives of each flagship remain well and solid, but without the pizzazz that 2014 flagship owners need to have an impulse-buy. The Snapdragon 805 devices, for example, can often outperform 2015 flagships with the 808, and even the 810 in sustained usage conditions and battery efficiency. Most 2015 flagships that opted for the 810, a majorly compromised chipset, attained similar or less battery life than their previous-year counterparts despite equal or better specifications across the board (Z4 and Z5, M9, OnePlus 2).

In some cases, it is clear that the emphasis on flagships that turned out to be flops had major effects on the companies — HTC’s stock began a steady and rapid decline shortly after the M9. Traditional OEMs may no longer be able to focus solely on the high-end, and we see them shift their efforts to affordability. The problem comes when you consider that manufacturers like Xiaomi and Huawei are already gaining ground in crucial markets, and the plethora of other Chinese OEMs also add to the fierce competition. Microsoft’s new Windows 10 Mobile and its excellent suite of devices, as well as new Apple releases, further strain the OEM battleground.

Debating

What will happen to our favorite OEMs? The market still desires high-end premium flagships, something Samsung managed to prove this year. But demand has seemingly lowered (and understandably so), and most manufacturers will have to find ways around the market. Can they turn their profits around and, most importantly, impress us with quality releases that have us actually want to upgrade our handsets?

  • What is your take on all of this?
  • What is the future of the big-name OEMs we grow to love and respect?How does this relate to the flagship decadence of 2015?
  • How will their models change to meet the new demand?
  • Which companies do you wish weren’t in such a big risk?

Want more posts like this delivered to your inbox? Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.

READ THIS NEXT