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Appliances and Electronics Our insights capture shifts in consumer lifestyles and themes impacting the global consumer appliances, electronics, and toys and games markets. Themes include new business models, sustainability, innovation and the future home.

Moto X: Smartphones Innovation Hits a Plateau

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Motorola Inc showed its new Moto X smartphone on August 1 in New York for the US market. Moto X is Motorola’s first product after being bought by Google Inc., but the product itself is rather disappointing. Hardware prowess was not high on Motorola’s list when developing the Moto X. The ability to customise a wide range of colors and finishing would be Moto X’s key selling point, in addition to voice commands.

The pace of smartphones innovations, especially in terms of hardware, had been so relentless since 2009 that manufacturers can only look towards software enhancements as differentiators. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was panned for being “merely” a larger screened version of the already impressive Galaxy S3. The problem is that not all users will use voice or gestures commands or other software enhancements and that the stock software had improved leaps and bounds even without any software customisations by manufacturers.

Global sales of smartphones will overtake feature phones this year. As we move into 2014, manufacturers will have an even harder task to satisfy and impress the consumers. Smartphones are becoming almost like computers where everything is more of the same just six years after Apple’s changed the global mobile landscape with the iPhone.

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