On Flagship Devices



I’ve hookep up to Path for the last couple weeks and during the ups and downs using the app I discovered some interesting stuffs. And what I just recently figured out is….. you can do blogging on Path.

So Brama and I engaged in a rather unintended discussion last night—I posted a picture, he commented on that and then we exchanged thoughts along with some other commenters. I posted three lengthy responses and Brama screen-captured it. Some random guy shouted, “That could be one post on blog!”. Whoaaa, he made a point I never thought of.

Okay, here’s the copy of discussion with some editing and proofreads.

Brama: HTC device is always stunning but and then it gets boring, no?

My response:

If by ‘and then’ you meant ‘the next models, coming in the same year’, I need to clarify this.

There is flagship device (usually one model per year, or two if you’re powerhouse in term of resources and marketing) and nonflagship devices (the lesser models, aimed at wider market, usually priced lower than the flagship). Flagship is the epitome of aspirations—it should bring something really new to the market. Some innovations that never seen or existed before, e.g: photos that comes to life on HTC One, Exmor RS and all-glass omnibalance design on Xperia Z, Retina Display on iPhone 4, 13245 new sensors on Galaxy S4, etc). The keyword is NEWNESS. Something to change the game, if you will (Retina Display is a good example).

Thus, you dedicate more time and resources to build the flagship: premium materials (unless you have fetishism on plastics), high precision and craftmanship, 150,000 man hours, and so on. Imagine you’re making a dress for Lady Gaga or Jennifer Lawrence.

Then, nonflagship models. The don’t need to be premium, they just need to look good and feel great on the hands of your consumers. They are not manufactured in thousand man hours, they just need good built quality and mass amount. They should generate profit so you sell them as many as you can, in term of models and number. To sell such amount, you need to put reasonable pricetags so mass consumers can afford them. It’s like making a decent shirt to sell for about $30 so mortals like me and you can buy it. (mortals = any creature that makes money much less than Lady Gaga or JLaw do)

Let’s take a look at last year’s HTC One X and Desire VC. Compare them side by side, sheet by sheet, and relate to explanation above. FYI, Desire VC was bestseller here.

Of course, there are cases where gorgeous looking, full-features flagship do not sell really well. Sales number is not just about features and design, it’s highly dependent on marketing. No matter how awesome the devices, poor marketing efforts rarely generate high sales number.


Brama and I are good friends both online and offline. He blogs on culinary, gadgets, and some other things. Check him out.

Photo credit: masova



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