Today, I came across two advertisements by Apple, and the ads go like this…

These ads are simply bringing the correct message to mass consumers – the iPhone 5 is still king when it comes to music playing and taking pictures. Yes, it may not have an Ultrapixel and Pureview camera, nor does it have Beats Audio enhancement or 7.1 Dolby surround sound.

And why? This is because of Apple’s ecosystem that make their devices so successful. When you take a picture, you use iCloud to stream pictures to your other iOS devices or Mac computer; when you want music, you do not have to plug it into the computer to download songs (unless you have the time to), you simply purchase songs and albums from the iTunes store, and they’re not really expensive if you compare to CDs; but most importantly, you’re able to have your music on any Apple devices that you possess.

Back to basics…

So, the essentials of a smartphone nowadays is not just keeping up with your appointment or checking mails. Instead, it is more of a multimedia companion that helps you capture every moment of your life and keeping you up to date to the latest stuffs in the world.

Indeed, smartphones today have totally changed our lives, and you won’t deny that you can’t live without a smartphone fact. So what’s next OEMs? How are you going to improve what you’re already good in? And have you made consumers feel that the smartphones that you sell them have became their life companion?

The answer is No…

Why am I saying this? A typical user may say, I use my smartphone to replace my point and shoot or MP3 player, some even may say that a smartphone replaces their computers. And that could be a valid point, but to me, that it not. Because we’re using ‘smartphones’, we should expect music players and cameras on the phone to perform smarter, right? But actually, it isn’t that smart at all.

As I’ve mentioned at the start of this post, Apple is still king in taking pictures and music playing because of its ecosystem, and that ecosystem is what makes a smartphone taking pictures and playing music smarter.

Music Players

So, what’s next for smartphone OEMs? 1

Every smartphone has its own flavor of music players, they can be tied to 3rd party applications, or could have links to online music database to grab the correct artist data. But it is missing one important thing – a dedicated and unified music store.

You see, this is how Apple succeed in promoting iTunes store, imagine if you have a music store that allows you to purchase music and download them whenever you want, even when you upgrade your device, you’re still able to restore music on to them without much effort like plugging the phone into your computer. Smartphone OEMs seriously need to improve on this, they need to provide a platform that allows us to simply sync our music between devices.

I know you have Spotify or other music services for that, but don’t you need to pay subscription fees on them? And you’re just streaming music from it (rather than downloading them to your device), which kills your data plan easily. Windows Phone’s XboxMusic is providing a similar approach as iTunes, but boy, the price of an album or song can just burn your wallet.

Therefore, smartphone OEMs really need to make their music player smarter on smartphones.

Pictures

So, what’s next for smartphone OEMs? 2

iCloud that streams your photos to your tablet and computer after taking pictures on the iPhone

When you take pictures on a digital camera, you’ll need to transfer using a memory card reader, that’s not smart enough right? And when we talk about taking pictures with a smartphone, pictures should be taken in a smart way. While most smartphone offer a variety of camera filters and features, it is still not smart enough in one thing – making your pictures available everywhere.

Some of you may disagree on this point, but for me, I simply want my pictures to be available anywhere on my gadgets, be it on my laptop, tablet or even on my secondary smartphone device (any platforms). And with Apple’s photo stream, this dream comes true, and I’m not saying Apple is the best as it still doesn’t synchronize with other smartphone platforms.

You may have cloud storage such as Dropbox and Skydrive, but they’re just cloud storage, not photo albums. It would be great if smartphone OEMs manage to have a unified platform or a company that comes out with a platform for users to stream their photos to that service and having it to view on their other gadgets. And at the moment, it seems that only Google+ has done something similar to this. And this is only available for iOS and Android, which Windows Phone is left out of the game.

Your turn to tell us…

While this editorial may not make sense to most readers out there, tell us what you think that smartphone OEMs should come out with in their next flagship announcement, and seriously, I’m tired of hearing better multimedia performance on smartphones because to me, if these added multimedia features do not make the smartphone any smarter, then I might as well skip them. So readers, tell us what do you want from smartphone OEMs next!

Till next time…

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