A well developed trend in the smartphone market is companies releasing a phone along side a counterpart; an S, Plus, Pro, Mini, or more recently a T version of it. Sometimes it’s a size difference, sometimes a spec difference, and sometimes it’s as simple as adding a curved display. This begs the question: what do people think about these phones with multiple variants? We posted a pole which asked that question and the results are as follows: around 30% said that there should only be one version of phones that are released, and about 70% like the idea of multiple variants. So, more people like the concept, but what’s the big deal?
Different companies launch different types of additional variants, but they do it for one reason; to appeal to multiple markets. Some companies will launch a device, and then a “Plus” version in order to appeal to the phablet market, of an “S” variant of it to appeal to the premium market. This makes sense from a business standpoint; case and point, the iPhone 7 Plus proved to be more popular than the original iPhone 7. But we care more about this from a consumer standpoint; what do users think about this?
On one side, some users like the thought. More variants mean more opportunity for sales. Ronald T Nyandoro commented, “Helps to have a cheaper option with less ‘premium’ features for casual users.” The very large casual user population is a majority, and lunching a product that appeals to that market is a smart move. What’s more is this: Take the ZTE Axon 7 and the Axon 7 Mini. The Axon 7 has a unique design that’s stunning (my opinion of course). If a person wants that phone because they love the design, but don’t quite have the money to buy the original version, there’s the Mini with an almost identical design. This is another sale for ZTE that other wise wouldn’t have occurred. So, reaching out to more than one market is obviously a good method
There is, however, a down side to this. Alexandra Pedro commented, ” I’m against it for the naming scheme alone, which gets somewhat confusing.” And that’s true, especially for those who aren’t following devices. Nowadays, it’s hard enough for a lot of people to tell one phone from another. Many of phones launch that look similar, and they are all from different companies. Now, we have two or three devices that look virtually the same, launching under virtually the same name, with no direct indication as to what’s different about them. Sure, for the tech savvy, it’s a no-brainer, but think about this from the common user’s point of view. Every time you turn around, there’s a new device out there; a new Galaxy, a new iPhone. To those who aren’t in the know, it’ll be an enigma why they are seeing a billboard with two iPhones next to each other. If not handled right, multiple variants could be more confusing than they should be.
So, there are upsides and down sides to launching multiple versions of phones. revisiting the mini example, launching a watered down version of a premium phone may not sit well with the tech savvy among us. Avsay Review stated “Usually mini variants lose a lot of the awesome specs of the full versions.” But on the other hand, “I just think the screen resolution is the most important thing to change. It helps with battery life.” Zachary Batten. Different people have different reactions to the multiple variant method. It shows that you can’t please everyone, but launching more than one version of the same phone may be OEMs’ way of trying. What do you guys think of multiple variants of devices? Let me know in the comments.