The world has lit up with breaking news from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Journalists scramble to report on the latest announcements from this juggernaut of an event - celebrating the new generation of smartphone technology.
So what fruits of these companies’ labours are we talking about this year? A disappointing throwback phone to the year 2000, a whole bunch of lifeless slabs and a new data standard that will no doubt become another metaphorical money-disappearing magic trick amongst your contract data charges.
There are no two ways to say this - smartphones are boring and especially after the weird and wonderful world of CES 2017, this just shows that companies have no discernible reason to compete through innovation.
What matters most is the dick-measuring contests of screen size, processing power and camera - to the point that HMD Global (the corporation who owns the ‘Nokia’ brand) can make the biggest headline by taking one of their generic feature phones, put a terrible version of snake on it and call it the “3310.”
And to be frank, that’s as much our fault as it is the companies… The general consumer does not look for new and interesting form factors (shout-out to the Moto Kickflip) - they just don’t need the extra usability.
All we care about is a good camera, a steady internet connection and whether the ever-growing emoji library will embrace racial/gender equality. But that puts we, the consumer, on the back foot as companies rest on their laurels.
In an ideal world, we would challenge this. The notion a technology company doesn’t innovate for the betterment of the human race in any other industry would be vilified. It’s just in an ironically less mobile industry like mobile phones where we turn a blind eye to the motionlessness.
So I beckon you, dear reader, to look closely at that phone you’re probably reading this on and ask yourself one question - “do I care about this thing?” Sure, you implant your own personality through a crammed photo gallery, social connections and your progress on the latest game, but all of that is saved on the cloud.
Look at your phone for what it is - a piece of hardware, usually made from “premium materials” that is a mobile connection to the world. If the software becomes a form of self-expression, shouldn’t the hardware express personality?
It’s hard to care about a phone, when it’s clear the people behind it don’t care about you. Ask for more and this will stop.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.