The Two-Party System That is Smartphone Production

By Michael Yon 6 Min Read

Capitalism has a funny way making the market competitive between just a few big companies. This does not leave out tech companies of course. More specifically, phone companies. It’s obvious to anyone that most people either have an android or an iphone.

It seems to me like they’re playing a game that the rest of us can’t help but buy into. Similar to U.S. political parties, similar to consoles, the ths dispute between phone companies is more or less a competition to one-up each other and get the upperhand in some fashion.

This has subjected all of us to amazing products but ultimately products with little variety. Not to mention the fact that every time they come out with a new phone there are very little changes in contrast to the cost changes. Sure, compare an iphone 4 to an iphone 8 and there are going to be some obvious differences, but if you compare one model to the next the differences are nill.

Let’s take a step back a monitor the benefits of this system. Some of the benefits are that we get companies that are actively trying to make their products the best, we have system that are integrated and if your friends are on the same side as you are you can share things within those integrated systems within those phone companies, we also know exactly what we’re going to get because we’ve bought the same product many times before (forget about buyer’s remorse), and we a large variety of apps that operate on the system we use because the creators of those apps know the majority of people use those systems.

That’s a lot of pros and I certainly take advantage of them just like everyone else. These companies deserve at least some praise because they were in fact able to rise to the top of the producer food chain due to their amazing products.

Now, let’s talk some of the cons of this system. A big con is the variety. Sure, there are plenty of applications that you can find on your smartphone that do thousands of different things, but certainly there is no variety in your choice of operating systems. The con of this is that the operating systems hardly ever change in terms of general design.

It feels like you’re stuck using a Game Boy Color while attempting to play the newest Nintendo games. I want them to give us more variety in how their platform works. We’re not children so why are we using the same format on our phones as adults as the ones on the phones we used as kids.

Another con is simply this: some people want their phone to phone to perform exceedingly well in one area. These big companies are so busy competing with each on other on who can produce an all-around high performing phone that they don’t make specialty phones. For instance, some people don’t want a phone capable of offering tons of apps and integrated systems with other websites like Facebook and Youtube.

Some people just might want a phone that is able of taking high quality pictures than your average phone. Or maybe some people want a phone capable of getting signal anywhere in the world because they travel to exotic places. Where’s the variety in products?

So far this has all been logical speculation. I don’t believe in making arguments based purely off of logical speculation so here are some facts. There are two primary phones on the market in the United States: Android and iPhone.

Sure, there are other phones you can buy but the vast majority owns one or the other. You can still choose a from multiple service plans like T-mobile, Verizon, Sprint, etc. (these too are monopolized in a way).

The newest iPhone cost $1000 dollars to buy, but why. What makes it so different from the last model that makes it so expensive (or relatively expensive depending on your economic standing). Firstly, there is the OLED screen which it uses. Samsung has a monopoly on the production of OLED screens and kicks up the prices for buyer because they know that they can since buyers are in an all out war of one-upmanship with each other and will do anything to keep up.

The lesson to be learned here is simply this: there is a monopoly on phone production and the very system of capitalism causes there to be relatively unavoidable consequences, which we, the consumer, must face. And if we want change we ought to be vocal about it.

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