Cell Phones: Every day new models of mobile phones appear, but of course, it is impossible to know them all. At the same time, sometimes you have to choose a new phone, and you want to better understand the changes that have taken place over the past few years.
This review contains a retrospective look at the history of cell phones.
In short, the information I was able to find:
CSV file, 12.1 MB in size
In my review there will be little text and lots of pictures. So I decided not to dwell on the phone models I already had.
Let’s start with general information.
Cell Phones: 2014 was the peak year for launching new phone models, when 913 models were announced. In recent years, around 600 models have been released annually. That is, there were about three new models a day, now there are two.
The number of manufacturers has also grown over time. The maximum value (61 plants) was recorded in the same year, 2014. Since then, the variety has slightly decreased.
The largest number of models in historical perspective has been released by Samsung. Next are LG, Nokia and Motorola.
The first period (1994-2001). It was Ericsson
Historically, I’ve divided the phone’s production timeline into three periods.
In the first phase, only cell phones appeared. The first manufacturer was Ericsson in 1994. This manufacturer finished announcing its new models in 2001.
In addition to Ericsson, Nokia, Bosch, Philips, Samsung and Motorola dominated phone production in the first four years.
Manufacturers such as NEC, Mitsubushi, Kyocera and many others tried to enter the same market. But not everyone has managed to continue producing phones to this day.
The image below contains the number of new products released by different manufacturers in a given period of time.
The second period (2002-2009). Samsung Domain Cell Phones
In this “pre-smartphone” period, many new manufacturers entered the mobile phone market to survive until today. This is LG, Huawei and Apple.
But most manufacturers managed to gain a foothold in the market only for a short period of time before falling by the wayside. Among them are Acer, Asus, Blackberry, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Gigabyte, Sharp, Toshiba, Vertu, BenQ.
Many of the big players in the early period also exited the mobile phone market. These were, for example, Philips, Sagem, Siemens, NEC, Panasonic and Mitsubishi.
During this period, it was noticed that Samsung became the market leader in launching new models. In hindsight, it seems obvious that you need to produce at least 30-50 models a year to compete with Samsung.
At the same time, in the next observation period, Apple and Google will be able to do this with only 5-10 models per year.
The third period (2010-2022). The age of Smartphones
So we come to the current “build the phone” period. Smartphones have arrived.
You can see LG, alcatel, Blackberry, HTC, Motorola and Nokia phones disappear. As well as the “second wind” that opened for the last two.
We can notice the sharp start of Xiaomi, Oppo and vivo.
Samsung is reducing the number of models produced annually from 120 to 40.
Some companies (Yota, Amazon, Prestigio and others) “are” in the market for a short time. And they did not have time to “please” us with a huge number of new products.
In this “smartphone period”, Android did not immediately take the lead. Symbian and Microsoft had about five years to share the market. But, as you can see in the chart below, it “didn’t grow together”.
We witnessed how phones “got out” of the Internet after receiving GPRS technology. In my opinion, this happened in 2002, when most phones (64%) started to be equipped with this technology.
EDGE became popular (>50% of new models) in 2009. Since 2009, the number of mobile Internet users has only increased, and I think the chart is less informative from now on.
The battery is no longer removable. Buying a new phone with a removable battery has become a separate and rather complicated task. As of 2022, only 4.7% of phones had a removable battery, down from 2021 (4.8%) and 2020 (6.1%).
In 2011, most phones began to be equipped with a global positioning system (GPS). Also, reception of GLONASS (2017) and BDS (2018) signals was added later. At the same time, the European GALILEO system appears “not to be doing well”. Unlike GALILEO, Japan’s Local Positioning Systems (QZSS) and India’s NavIC are moving in the right direction so far.
In 2013, most models received a slot for a second SIM card. As you can see in the enlarged image (on the right), there was also a time when triple SIM phones were released. And even chetyrehsimochnyh (LG A395 and LG C299). But these options seem to have lost their relevance for the time being.
The evolution of the USB connector has seen a transition from miniUSB first to microUSB and then to USB Type-C connector. Its dominance lately seems to me undeniable.
There was a kind of evolution in the types of screens. But personally, it seems to me that the implementation of AMOLED is proceeding at a slow pace.
Phones have grown in size in recent years. This also applies to battery capacity. As well as screen size and product weight.
Both phones stand out in terms of battery capacity. He She:
Philips Spark (1997) – 4000 mAh
Energizer Power Max P18K Pop (2019) – 18,000 mAh
It would be possible to construct a graph of the transition from nickel to lithium batteries, but it seems to me that at the moment this information is no longer up to date. In the graph of screen sizes and weights of phones, it is worth noting that tablets appeared around 2010.
I had to delete the Vertu (the black dots in the first graph) and scale it up (in the third graph) to better see the averages (the second graph). As a result, my suspicion that phones have gotten more expensive lately (inflation barring) has been confirmed.
The database contains information on head SAR values. Classified as SAR and SAR_EU. I don’t know how they differ. But it seemed to me that this is a useless indicator.
Conclusions, limitations and recommendations
I’ll start with the vulgar. Samsung has released the latest phone models ever and continues to do so to this day.
New phone models are becoming heavier and more expensive. The average price of the mobile phone is now 239 euros, weighs 193 grams, has a 6-inch screen and a 5000mAh battery. The operating system will obviously be Android.
The removable battery has become awkward. As well as the lack of built-in “basic” technologies (GPS, data transfer, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi).
Support for one or two SIM cards has become standard. Support for three or four SIM cards has not yet gained popularity.
The transition to USB Type-C charging is almost complete. But the introduction of AMOLED screens is slow.
Analysis Limitations. It is worth noting that the “new model” indicator does not characterize its sales success. Since a company that has released several new phone models will not necessarily be the leader in sales at the same time. vice versa.
Recommendations. After doing my analysis, the biggest discovery for me was the lack of removable battery in 95.3% of new cell phone models.
After knowing this fact, I continued looking for a new phone on GSMarena.com. They have a nice phone lookup section on their website that allows you to select a phone based on the criteria you are looking for.
My prediction would be simple. In January 2023, manufacturers will have the same characteristics as in December 2022. That is, they will be 6-inch “shells” on Android weighing 200 grams. Phones with 4 SIM cards, most likely, should not be expected.
Two SIM cards – the maximum that I expected from new phones. Removable batteries will still be rare.
The number of new models will likely be reduced. For two new models announced daily, in my personal opinion, mostly with similar design, it’s more than what a user needs in my face.