Column: Samsung and Apple Vs. the commoditization of the smartphone
"Commoditization" is a long word but a simple concept.
You know you've encountered it when you walk down the cereal isle, and discover four different brands of corn flakes.
Or when you're shopping for a new television at Best Buy, and find yourself staring at 50 indistinguishable black sets, all playing the same Pixar film.
It's when there ceases to be any noticeable difference between competing products, except perhaps the price tag.
The smartphone industry is commoditizing.
Innovation made kings out of Apple and Samsung Electronics, but these days the creative well is getting a little drier.
Visit any AT&T or Verizon store and you'll see a row of 5-inch Android smartphones, a shorter row of current and previous-generation iPhones, and few differences between any of them.
LTE data is now standard, along with high-resolution displays. Screen sizes have converged in the 4- to 5-inch range, and faster hardware means that any of these devices will fly through normal tasks.
Android has regularly "adopted" the better features of iOS, and Apple has returned the favor; with the introduction of iOS 7 this fall, these two operating systems will look and feel more similar than ever.