Is Smartphone Innovation All Tapped Out?

A panel session probing the perennial heads or tails of mobile device commoditization vs mobile device innovation here at MWC 2016 earlier today heard an interesting range of views. Speakers ran the gamut of mobile makers big and small (Samsung, Motorola/Lenovo and Wileyfox), through to chipset maker Qualcomm, alternative open Android flavor Cyanogen, and mobile operator Telefonica.

Each had their own spin on what ‘innovation’ means in the smartphone space now, in the context of mature Western markets — and inevitably aligning with their respective business imperatives. And no one was quite willing to pronounce smartphones too boring to be bought in the sought for quantities to sustain the mobile growth engine. Although there were various takes on what being innovative in…

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