How to break the Samsung-iPhone duaploy in the US market?

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Since the Chinese brands (Huawei, ZTE) seems to be out for a carrier deal in the US market. It would be a option for some other players to step in. Som non Chinese brands.

1: Sony going in the right direction. Sony Xperia XA2 and the other models showed in CES have a working fingerprintsensor in USA now. Slightly new design with smaller bezels to. According to most rumours they will show of new models in MWC 2018 also. A XZ Pro with Snapdragon 845. Probably with “bezel less” design and a dual camera setup.

2: HMD Global (Nokia) from Finland have a stock android approach, and they will show up some new models to. Probably several models in the MWC Spain event. I guess including a Nokia 9 with Zeiss cameras that are more advanced than on those in Nokia 8.

3: Micromax from India or some other brand from there. Would be a opportunity for them to step in to the US market to.

4. Motorola could try harder to get a footprint in USA to, but they are of course owned by Lenovo from China.

I think Samsung and Apple still will be the biggest brands in the US phone market in any event. But consumer would have some another option to buy. Any thoughts?

Comments (22)

22 responses to “How to break the Samsung-iPhone duaploy in the US market?”

  1. johnh3

    Should be spelled "Duapoly" of course. And I mean specific carrier deals since the unlocked market in USA are only about 10% of the total sales of new phones.

  2. Martin Pelletier

    There is also Essentials if they survive.

  3. Paul Thurrott

    Also, it occurs that the best thing we could do as consumers is to buy our phones ourselves and skip the big carriers and their choices.

    • johnh3

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      A good point. But will the carrier support Wi-fi calling, VoLTE etc..with unlocked phones bought at other retailers?


    • Lauren Glenn

      In reply to paul-thurrott:


      Carriers do have other phones though. I bought my LG V30+ from TMobile because I wanted the improved Quad-DAC and my Samsung was having performance issues as well. I think everyone probably needs to stop playing catchup with all their phones and maybe try something like LG did with their phone. Sure it has issues, but no other phone I heard of had a DAC as good as this phone did and it shows when I play music in my car. It's actually very good... even on 256kbps audio from iTunes. Hires FLAC tracks do best though.


      For me, I don't want some cheap Chinese company I've never heard of selling me a phone mainly because of support and just past experiences with Chinese hardware that has some cheap flaw or never gets updates to fix any flaw. Face it though, Samsung and Apple have the market and are convenient for people since they can go to a Best Buy and get either (or an Apple Store to get an iPhone).


      But if all phone manufacturers didn't just follow the same mold for making phones with the only difference being the camera or a screen, maybe people would by something else.

      • Chris_Kez

        In reply to alissa914g:

        "But if all phone manufacturers didn't just follow the same mold for making phones with the only difference being the camera or a screen, maybe people would buy something else."

        I'd like to think so but it seems like companies are ridiculed by the tech press and enthusiasts when they try something "different". If you're talking about smaller changes or niceties, I'm just not sure that the average consumer is invested enough to bother learning about them. If you're talking about bigger changes, you risk alienating the average people who just want a proven design that they know will be good for the next two years.

        Personally, I wish people would strike the word "useless" from their lexicon and try not to be so hyper-critical, dismissive and closed-minded about anything that doesn't perfectly align with the way they work.

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Agreed 100%, but support remains a potential issue. You're fine if you buy Apple; there are stores seemingly everywhere, and they are committed to great support. I also had a great experience with Google when my Nexus 5X went into a boot loop, though it obviously meant working through the mail. I've also purchased directly from Samsung and Motorola, and support was definitely an unpleasant experience; the sense in both cases was that they were doing everything possible to make it difficult. I've also gone the import route, buying a Lumia 930 from Expansys; that was a total disaster from a support standpoint and scared me off of imported phones forever.

    • Alexander Rothacker

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      As long as carriers are the de-facto store front for premium cell phone sales, besides of Apple stores, this will not really change. Most consumers don't understand carrier unlocked phones at this point, or don't care enough about the difference.

      And of course, carriers give big discounts if you open a new line, or suck you in with 24 month 0% payment plans that lock you to the carrier.

  4. Paul Thurrott

    I'd love to see Huawei, in particular, in the US but I'm not sure we "need" a strong third player per se. Motorola, LG, and a few others are reasonable alternatives already.

  5. sprewell

    It's basically impossible at this point. The mobile market has settled, Google/Samsung and Apple are the Microsoft/Intel and Apple this time around. All you can hope for is the next platform, whether smart speakers or wearables or whatever, to have more creators.


    I say this as someone who greatly values choice, has never bought an Apple iOS device, and only a couple Samsung devices. My next phone is an LG. But Apple and Samsung are so entrenched, have such a huge hardware and software lead, and spend so many billions on engineering, fabs, marketing, etc. that nobody can catch them now.


    The contenders behind them, HTC, LG, Moto, Nokia, Blackberry, Sony, have been falling back rather than gaining share, losing out to cheap, cutthroat Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei, ZTE, who could never challenge Samsung or Apple. Only Huawei is trying now and has some semblance of a shot, but if they get shut out of western markets, there goes that.


    It would take both a particularly inspired new entrant and catastrophic fuckups by SamApple. I don't see that happening.

    • johnh3

      In reply to sprewell:

      Yes I suppose it are almost impossible at this point to break the duapoly in the US-market. But who knows, if the Google are able to fix the Pixel quality problems in time for Pixel 3 and get in a carrier beside Verizon. AT&T or T-Mobile. They got over 2000 people from HTC to work with the new phones so they seems serious with to stay in hardware.


      But I am not sure how hard Google will try and how much money they will spend on marketing.

      • Winner

        In reply to johnh3:

        As an fyi, I have a Pixel 2 XL. IMHO the problems were way overblown. Yes there's a blue shift on the screen at angles you normally don't use, but it exists on my wife's Note as well as the iPhone X as well, just a bit less pronounced. No other issues at all. And the phone is fluid, the camera is outstanding, and I just recieved the Android 8.1.0 update already.

  6. rameshthanikodi

    American carriers seem to be stubborn and generally kinda shitty. Plus for some reason there is some kind of anti-china hysteria going on and so the US is lagging behind in choice. I hate to be blunt but if you don't get with China, you really lose. In my region (asia pacific), carriers sell ASUS, Huawei, Google Pixel, Sony Xperia, Oppo, Xiaomi, LG, HTC, and even Razer, all in addition to iPhones and Samsungs. I suspect it's the same for Europe and the rest of the world. It's just America that struggles with this.


    Also, China makes the iPhone and Samsungs anyway. What gives? The only difference now is ex-copycats like Xiaomi are putting out genuinely differentiated and original designs now.

  7. skane2600

    Last time I checked it was rather easy to buy a phone that wasn't made by Samsung or Apple. We've never bought a phone made by either of them.


  8. hrlngrv

    My family is doing its part with 2 LGs. OTOH and FWLIW, Samsung makes the only decent flip phones these days.

    • Bats

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Samsung? Samsung practically makes everything. The iPhone even has Samsung DNA. Also Samsung TVs are the best in the business. That's not surprising being that they make the best screens, that other manufactureres want.

  9. Winner

    I think Google/Pixel have the best chance.

    Sony isn't going the right way. A recent review I saw on YT showed that even though their regular cameras are innovative/class-leading, their phone camera kind of sucks.

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