When your lovely new phone becomes your own property, as soon as you have spent some time personalizing it, it can seem like it was something that has always been in your life and which simply popped into being from the factory! Of course, we all know that isn’t true, but giving some thought to the life your new phone had before it was the device you chose and bought can be quite interesting.
Here are some of the steps involved in the process from taking a new device from the drawing board to your pocket.
As you might imagine, designing a new phone that will sell well and be loved by its users is very much about features. New, innovative features will give a device a huge edge, as in the old days the first phones to incorporate cameras, surf the internet or have touch screens all had. In recent generations of phones, however, this hardware edge is gained by having the best camera, sound or screen technology, or by being able to provide decent technology in these areas at a low price. This means some efficient circuit board design as well as other carefully weighed up design decisions. Software specially designed for these kinds of projects like Altium‘s PCB software is used to make sure the electronics are not only well designed, but can also be manufactured efficiently.
We all want a phone that works well, but in a market where there are hundreds of devices that can give us what we need, a major factor in which we choose is cosmetic design. As much as some people may think they don’t really care what their phone looks like, as long as it works, most of us will admit that when functionality and price are equal, they’ll choose the model that appeals most visually. This means that the aesthetic side of handset design is actually quite important to making a phone a success, and can even lead to trends – as an example, consider how the rose gold shell came onto the market in 2016 and became a big seller, despite nobody having ever said they wanted a pinky-gold phone before!
Launch and Marketing
Once a phone has been designed from both a technical and physical perspective, launching it and making people want it is the next step. While not many brands get people queuing overnight for the latest model any more, launches are still newsworthy and can incentivize people to buy a new phone if it has a particular point, or there is major brand loyalty at play. However, normally a launch will be aimed more at the press, for instance tech blogs, who will cover the new device.
Getting a new phone to become a household name is harder since the technology involved in devices has caught up with itself – it’ll probably be a long time before something as game changing as the first gen iPhone comes along again. However with good design and marketing, manufacturers can still make a new phone exciting.