Biggest smartphone market failures in 2021

Based on materials Android Authority

We all entered the year 2021 with hope, you can’t argue with that. Almost everything had to be better than in 2020, right? However, it didn’t get any easier. The pandemic continues its victorious march, despite the variety of vaccines, but we are not talking about it now. In the field of technology, a number of companies have managed to epic screw up with hardware, software and other components of their business. So let’s take a look at the top losers in 2021.

LG mobile business. Life is no longer beautiful

The more companies sell smartphones, the more pleasant it is for us, the users. And that is why it is very offensive when some of the companies declares: “We are tired, we are leaving.” But that’s exactly what LG, a true veteran of the industry, did.

Citing years of financial losses from the mobile division ($ 4.5 billion!), LG announced on April 5, 2021 that it would finally exit the smartphone business by July 31. The solution has been asking for a long time, but LG has been harnessed for a long time. The company clarified that it will focus on its remaining businesses, including home appliances, televisions, smart home equipment and other industries.

LG’s mobile ambitions date back to the 1990s. The company gained attention with popular phone models such as the ENv and Chocolate, and then took its share of the smartphone market with devices such as the G-series and Nexus 4 models.

If there is anything worth remembering the company for, it is a risk. LG has always strived to go its own way, despite fierce competition from fellow countryman Samsung. Just look at the modular LG G5, the dual-screen V20, or the LG Wing’s swivel display to see the company’s ambition.

Despite her best efforts, we are sadly saying goodbye to LG and this is one of the biggest flops of 2021.

Microsoft Duo – double fail

Microsoft’s first foldable dual-screen Duo phone was a flop. The hardware lacked basic functionality, and the software was even worse. In fact, by December 2021, the device still hadn’t received Android 11, despite the fact that the phone and software had already been on the market for over a year!

The company tried to fix its mistakes in Microsoft Duo 2, but still couldn’t do it. Microsoft has been able to successfully update the hardware with notable improvements across the board. There are no serious complaints here. But what determines the uniqueness of the device is the implementation of two screens. Two 5.3 “panels combine to create a larger 8.3” screen for an extended workspace. The problem is that this workspace is crumbling due to the large gap between the two halves of the phone. Few applications have received updates with real support for larger display sizes. Moreover, if you are working with separate screens, you become uncomfortable with their smaller size. In other words, the Duo 2 doesn’t have a convincing use case yet.

The downsides add up to the hefty $ 1,499 price tag and the extra $ 129 you have to spend to get a compatible stylus from Microsoft. The Duo 2, despite its improvements, simply cannot be considered a competitor to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Samsung rolls up Note

The Galaxy Note series has become one of Samsung’s most popular creations year after year. Hordes of stylus-obsessed owners have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to update their under-tablets with each iteration. And then in 2021 everything ends.

To tell the truth, Samsung prepared us. The company has hinted for almost a year that it might ditch the Galaxy Note series. The device, which is usually announced in August or September, hasn’t arrived this year, and we know exactly why: Samsung has shifted its investment to its foldable device line instead.

Last summer, Samsung announced with great fanfare the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. With the third generation, the Fold and Flip smartphones have matured noticeably. Even more important than the updated specs and performance of the 2021 models, however, is the support of the S Pen stylus and the standard feature set of the Note line in the Z Fold 3. For example, Samsung brought Air Command from Note, note templates, and drawing tools. This makes the Z Fold 3, with its large internal screen, a natural replacement for the Note – despite not having room for the built-in S Pen.

It is unknown how Samsung sees the future of the Fold and Note lines. Will Note appear again? Or was he completely nailed, making Fold his rightful heir? Either way, the absence of the Note 21 in 2021 is one of our biggest disappointments.

Nokia has lost its course

HMD Global, a manufacturer of Nokia-branded phones, recently upset its fans with bad news, and at the same time took a place in our hit parade of losers in the smartphone world. The company said it could not upgrade its early 2019 flagship, the Nokia 9 PureView, to Android 11 as promised. As a result, the device gets stuck on Android 10, but even worse, the buyer’s confidence in HMD Global has been severely eroded.

What happened? HMD Global has generally retained the loyalty of fans of the Nokia brand since 2016. The company offered a range of low-end, mid-range and high-end Android devices that have won widespread acclaim around the world. In addition, HMD Global was able to meet the challenge of timely software updates. However, it seems that now everything has changed, and not for the better.

Android 11 seems to have knocked out HMD Global. The company was in no rush to release an update for its flagship Nokia 8.3 5G and was even slower to implement new software for its more budget phones, which lowered them deeper in user confidence ratings.

In particular, on the Nokia 9 PureView, HMD Global stated that “incompatibility between camera and software could result in a perception degradation that does not meet our high standards.” The company angered PureView owners by stating that they could get a 50% discount on the new XR20 smartphone if they wanted to. The XR20 is a great rugged machine, but it doesn’t belong in the same premium category as the 9 PureView.

In general, HMD Global has made a big mistake. Now she has to think about what to enter into 2022 in order to fix this.

Google: charge dried up

It’s frustrating to see Google in the 2021 fail list, but that’s just what happened. What led the almighty search giant astray? Including the charging speed of the flagship Pixel 6 phones. Let’s see what happened.

When Google announced the Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6, it was eager to announce its adoption of the USB Power Delivery PPS charging standard. In addition, the company encouraged consumers to use its latest 30W USB-C adapter (sold separately, of course) to achieve peak charging speeds. Based on what Google said, it was logical to assume that the Pixel 6 family charges at 30W. Unfortunately, it did not happen. Testing has shown that the maximum power is 22W and the average power is only 13W.

Technically, Google was not lying, because in fact, no one ever said that smartphones would charge at 30W, although it was claimed that higher speeds are supported. The company later admitted that no, the Pixel 6 series does not charge at 30W even when using a 30W charger.

It doesn’t matter if Google’s representatives lied from a formal point of view. As they say, the sediment remains, and the company is sent to its rightful place on the list of failures in 2021.

OnePlus: the mountain gave birth to … a mole?

OnePlus is an ever-changing brand. Metamorphoses are embedded in the very DNA of the company, just not the fact that a beautiful butterfly will eventually emerge from the caterpillar. Instead, the company will likely end up with a pale moth. Not that moths are horrible, but OnePlus has the potential to come up with something interesting, and instead it seems to have to settle for a mediocre result.

OnePlus started out as an enthusiast brand. She had a smart marketing department that she could rely on every time a new phone came out. The result was a company that built a solid fan base and was perceived as separate from its owner, Oppo, under the big BBK umbrella. By the end of 2021, however, it became clear that the time for OnePlus’ success was drawing to a close.

In July, for example, the company announced that OnePlus and Oppo will merge their hardware development teams. The end result will be OnePlus and Oppo smartphones that look more alike. In addition, the company has combined its software development efforts. While OnePlus Oxygen OS will continue to appear on OnePlus phones sold outside of China, OnePlus phones sold in China will run Oppo Color OS. The code base will be the same for the two platforms, leaving less room for OnePlus to stand out in software.

Moreover, OnePlus’ hardware strategy has changed. Previously, the company released one flagship every year. However, in 2020 and 2021, it diluted its portfolio with more affordable BBK devices under a different brand. This further undermined OnePlus’ reputation among longtime fans.

The OnePlus 2022 flagship should arrive relatively soon. And then we will find out who the recent caterpillar has become, a butterfly or, after all, a moth.

What do you think is the main failure of the smartphone market in 2021? Share your options.


Source: Mobile-review.com — Все о мобильной технике и технологиях by mobile-review.com.

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