Are phones hitting a plateau?


macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 12, 2011
I remember back in 2005, Nintendo CEO said that technology was hitting a plateau (At least for video games) to where technology is slowing down to where the diminishing returns is entering full force. Thus the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii (essentially a repackaged GCN) were created.

I have a feeling where are there with smartphones. Plateau is almost opposite to Moore's law. But really Moore's law just talks about raw power, but not usable power.

The new iPhones are just 'right'. HD screens, great sizes, powerful hardware. The iPhones were initally ''limited'' because of the cost of technology at the time. Took a bit for 3G to enter the fray. And decent cameras. And sharper screens. But when you look at it, I don't see the next iPhones doing much more (hope I'm wrong). Half of the features are largely on Android, but now refined. Apple Pay could have been done in 2010. So have bigger screen sizes.

But I mean, even as Apple ''catches up'', the competition is not that far advanced. Sure there's 4k, but most content isn't made for it. Battery life is at a standstill (perhaps that's the bottleneck). Speed aside, there's not a massively massive difference between the 4 and 6 Plus.

Usually I'm the kind of guy to say, ''no, you get the latest version or you will regret it''.

But I don't see that with today's mobile devices. I mean, look at the iPad 2. It's STILL chugging along, but I think that's what DEFINED tablets for today. It's still usable...especially if you've never updated it. That's probably why tablet sales have slowed.

Android and iOS overall are the same feature wise, so Android is no longer a poor man's iPhone. Heck, Samsung is transferring engineers from their mobile departments.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm waiting for that ''next big thing''. Phones today are become like the feature phone of yesteryear. Remember the RAZR, LG Rumor, Envy and other such devices? Or how desktops because virtually all the same since they hit that ''one'' level.

Anybody else feel the same. Do you think that iPhones can get significantly better? Or are we just doing yearly upgrades for that ''one thing''.


Jul 11, 2006
I think we won't see huge advances, but they will continue to steadily improve. At some point I'd imagine that companies will decide that phones are thin enough and start focusing on improving battery life also.


macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2005
Northern Ireland
Absolutely, the next generations of smartphone will be evolutionary steps until some new innovation comes along which kickstarts the industry again


Apr 12, 2011
The improvements in smart phone technology is slowing down. It's becoming more of a gimmick now. You really can't make the camera much better, or the screen much better. We are probably seeing about as thin as a phone can get. Sure using NFC will become more common now, HD voice being rolled out by the carriers, but other than that, what real advancements will we see? It's all incremental now.
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