Smartphone manufacturers aren’t strangers to sly business tricks, as they aim to draw absorption to their articles and accumulate added sales in the process. Some of the added arresting access we’ve covered afore accommodate photo fakery, criterion cheating, and ambiguous renders.
These aren’t the alone examples of coarse business we’ve apparent afore though, and actuality are seven added eyebrow-raising smartphone business access we’ve encountered in years gone by. You can analysis out our antecedent account of adumbral smartphone business tricks at the link.
There’s annihilation inherently amiss with advertisement trade-in appraisement — smartphone brands beating the amount off a new accessory if you barter in your old buzz all the time. But the botheration arises back companies like Samsung automatically account trade-in appraisement as the absence advantage back you appointment their online stores, complete with the RRP beyond out to accord the consequence of a added acceptable banknote saving. Analysis out the screenshot aloft to see what we mean.
This feels appealing gross, as brands try to accomplish their phones attending like they appear with a accepted banknote discount. It would be abundant bigger if both trade-in and abounding appraisement were listed, or if companies absolutely labeled the trade-in amount as such in the aforementioned breadth for absolute clarity.
Another business ambush we see is for companies to action promo appraisement and again accomplish the able amount beneath arresting or hidden altogether in marketing/press materials. Again, there’s annihilation amiss with promo appraisement itself, but companies could be added cellophane about absolute pricing.
Another affair we’ve apparent is companies announcement smartphone models that you can’t absolutely buy. The best arresting archetype we’ve apparent in 2021 is OnePlus announcement the 128GB OnePlus 9 Pro for $969 in North America.
Unfortunately, the aggregation delayed and again canceled the absolution of this variant, blaming chipset accumulation issues. This meant users had to absorb $1,069 for the 256GB OnePlus 9 Pro option, consistent in a $100 amount hike. OnePlus additionally did the aforementioned for the Nord 2 in India, announcement a 6GB/128GB alternative for the bazaar but alone absolutely alms an 8GB/128GB alternative or higher.
We do accept some accord if dent curtailment issues are absolutely the cause, but it’s still a black about-face of events. After all, OEMs accretion acceptable PR for announcement a low abject price, but what’s the point back you can’t absolutely buy a accessory at that amount to activate with?
Another business ambush acclimated by smartphone brands is to focus on abortive metrics in adjustment to angle out from the pack. For example, 2020 saw Samsung footfall up in this attention by alms 100x “Space Zoom” on its Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Samsung isn’t the alone buzz architect to action antic but low-quality zoom levels, as we’ve apparent the cast of Xiaomi up the ante with 120x agenda zoom on the Mi 10 Ultra. Again, this is a nigh-on abortive affection that feels like it was tacked on so the close could say it exhausted Samsung (and for the business synergy with a 120Hz awning and 120W charging).
We’ve additionally apparent companies like Oppo and Xiaomi focus on appearance like 120W or 100W charging speeds. This isn’t absolutely pointless, as you’re absolutely accepting the adeptness to top up in beneath than 20 account in some cases. But these speeds generally aftereffect in a abundant college amount of array degradation. Alike 50W to 65W charging still delivers super-fast top-up times after putting as abundant ache on the array over time.
A tactic that has been about for years has been the addiction for companies to affirmation able firsts/bests. That is, the cast claims a actual specific aboriginal or best for business purposes.
Sony was one of the best arresting proponents of this tactic in ancient years, as it claimed that the Xperia Z2 had “the world’s best camera and camcorder in a waterproof smartphone.” On the one hand, water-resistant phones weren’t accepted at the time, but it still acquainted like the aggregation was clawing for a “world’s best” title.
Check out: Android Authority‘s big book of (almost) every smartphone first!
We additionally see some brands acclaim able firsts, like Realme boasting of the aboriginal buzz in India with a specific account SoC. Again, Realme ability not be the aboriginal to absolutely action a buzz with this chipset globally, but the admiration for a aggregation to say they’re aboriginal to do article — alike if it doesn’t beggarly abundant in a added ambience — does get old.
5. AI everywhere
One of the added annoying business practices these canicule is to add “AI” to the name of every feature. Abounding manufacturers are accusable of this behavior, accoutrement aggregate from accouterments appearance to software capabilities.
We’ve apparent several brands do this for their “AI camera” modes, which about boils bottomward to smarter arena and article recognition. Sure, apparatus acquirements is acclimated here, but arena acceptance has been about for years anyway. Still, that doesn’t stop companies from alms “AI” modes or “AI camera” branding.
We’ve apparent abounding brands add AI to the name of appearance with actual affirmation of any AI accuracy at play.
We’ve additionally apparent companies like Asus action “AI charging” which adjusts a phone’s charging amount based on antecedent charging habits. Meanwhile, added buzz brands artlessly alarm it acute charging or optimized array charging. The aggregation arguably accomplished its “peak” in this attention with 2018’s Zenfone 5Z. That buzz offered AI charging, AI Boost (a blazon of achievement feature), AI Arena (scene recognition), AI Ringtone (adjusting ringtone aggregate based on ambient noise), and AI Photo Acquirements (suggested edits). Sigh.
The cast of Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, LG, and others additionally acclaim appearance like “AI face unlock” and “AI portrait” modes back they absolutely aloof beggarly they’re application software algorithms. Perhaps the cerebration is that slapping “AI” on the name will accomplish bodies balloon that these aren’t hardware-driven appearance (like 3D face unlock).
We ahead covered criterion cheating in our aboriginal briefing of ambiguous smartphone business tricks, but this access focuses on achievement issues of a altered kind. Added specifically, we’ve apparent some companies action cutting-edge silicon in their flagship phones but burke these accessories aggressively for array life.
Probably the bigger archetype of all time was Apple’s Batterygate, which saw the iPhone maker agilely throttling beforehand iPhones with base batteries. In this way, the aggregation could eke out bigger ability on phones with beforehand batteries.
Again, there’s annihilation amiss with this in principle, abnormally back you don’t apprehension any performance-related problems. But the affair is that these companies aren’t consistently cellophane about this approach, which about confined consumers from application all the ability at their disposal. The OnePlus case was decidedly interesting, as you ability ask what’s the point of affairs a brand-new, able buzz back the heavy-lifting CPU cores aren’t alike actuality acclimated in abounding apps.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Outside of Google, Samsung is the baron of updates on Android appropriate now, alms four years of aegis patches and three years of OS updates. The charge applies to flagships appear from 2019 onwards, foldable devices, tablets, and alike the aftermost two ancestors of baddest Galaxy A-series models (e.g. Galaxy A51 onwards, Galaxy A71 and higher, Galaxy A90 onwards).
There’s no agnosticism that Samsung is accomplishment the business allowances of this move, and several added manufacturers accept appear revised amend behavior too. Unfortunately, there are brands like Oppo, Vivo, and alike OnePlus are all falling abbreviate of Samsung in agreement of their implementations — so abundant so that they feel a little like a bargain PR move.
In Oppo’s case, the Find X3 alternation will accretion three years of OS updates, but aftermost year’s Find X2 ambit or any mid-range accessories will absence out. Meanwhile, Vivo appear that the accessible X70 alternation would accretion three years of OS upgrades, but the X60 ancestors launched beforehand this year or its mid-range offerings wouldn’t be so lucky. OnePlus — commonly a baton on software promises — afresh went on almanac that the OnePlus 8 alternation and college will accretion three years of OS updates and four years of aegis patches, but the aforementioned doesn’t administer to its Nord alternation and added account phones.
As black as it is, we can accept to an admeasurement why brands would bind three OS updates to flagship phones accustomed the amount of these devices. On the added hand, it’s boxy to see Oppo’s and Vivo’s approaches as annihilation added than a way to account accessible acclaim for their accessible releases while apathy their less-than-year-old flagships.
That’s it for our attending at seven added ambiguous business tricks from smartphone manufacturers. Are there any added you’d add to the list? Let us apperceive below.
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