Just over a week ago, I bought my Verizon Galaxy Tab. I get home from class Friday morning and what am I greeted with? Rumors of the second iteration of the Galaxy Tab flooding the headlines. I know I shouldn't be complaining about business a-boomin', but it's getting a little too fast for anyone to keep up with, even for a tech-savvy nerd that eats computer chips for breakfast.
I thought phones were being released fast about two years ago, but that was well before the current, hyperactive market. The norm was for a device to be out for eight or nine months, and a few months before the one-year mark, you would start hearing rumors of the next generation of that device. Over the past year, things have changed quite a bit. Take the Galaxy S for instance, the successor to it was rumored and had its specifications leaked before any of the first generation Galaxy S phones had even reached consumer hands in the US. It's cool to hear about future phones with drool-inducing specs, but before the original device even hits the market? It's a buzz-kill that diminishes everyone's excitement over the devices that are currently out, which are still great devices.
The most adverse effect of these devices getting leaked so soon is it causes apprehension when it comes to buying a new phone or tablet. By nature, most of us want the latest and greatest, but phones aren't cheap, and at the rate the manufacturers are pumping out new devices, their release dates are just before they hit obsolete status. You can't play the waiting game forever, but spending $500 or more on a device only for it to become outdated about the time you buy it is extremely aggravating.
Manufacturers need to throttle down. Companies like HTC and Samsung have released countless devices this year and diluted the market. Launched back-to-back, they have ranged from low to high-end smartphones and feature phones, and they're not done yet. New devices are released almost weekly or bi-weekly, which is mind-blowing. A side effect of this is a noticeable decline in build quality or more problems at release. Look at the iPhone 4, there was a major design flaw overlooked with this device. Even some BlackBerrys have hit the market with design issues (trackball and speakers). Some Galaxy S devices were released with a GPS lock issue. Also, the Samsung Focus had microSD card issues at launch. Whether it be software or hardware, the manufacturers are letting more and more errors slip by unnoticed. They need to take a step back, focus, and slow way down.
The good thing is there is no shortage of devices to choose from, and there are a number of form factors to accommodate everyone's wants and needs. The bad? The market is so diluted that it's hard for most people to make a decision on their next phone, many of those people are too busy playing the endless waiting game to worry about what's currently out, and the build quality of the current devices compared to past devices is slipping. Something needs to be done, but I'm betting it will be quite a while before we see a change of pace.
Image via BingeGamer