Re: The last chance saloon
It's not been helped by the lack of imagination in the market place. There's a lot of things that they've done that are technically excellent. Trouble is all the market can see is that Samsung, Google and Apple must be the best, and doesn't care a jot for anything else that has got good ideas.
A good example of how the status quo is so entrenched is that no-one these days even stops to wonder why it is that Android app permissions are not changeable by the handset owner. Well, apparently on BlackBerry's take of Android you can change the permissions, yet no-one really cares.
Apple achieved a similar trick with battery life. Back before the iPhone battery lives of 7 days were completely normal. Apple comes along with a phone that won't last a day, and sells millions of them based purely on the shininess of the product. And now that everyone considers it perfectly normal to have to charge up during the day, or at least once a day, there's now no longer a market justification for manufacturing phones that last longer than that.
Unfortunately this means that we'll end up with the lowest common denominator; Android phones that go without updates (Samsung and everybody else), Google phones that are feature poor and hideously expensive (the new Google phone is hugely overpriced for what you actually get), and expensive iPhones that are now just so annoyingly nothing other than fragile design vanity projects for Apple instead of being stylish yet workman-like devices that Apple laptops used to be [Apple's laptops are now pretty useless too].
The same happened with Betamax and VHS; Betamax was better, VHS won.
So, dead from the neck down? Perhaps they are, for believing that adding technical superiority is worth the bother any more. It's a draw to perhaps 1% of the market at best; you know, the 1% that once upon a time used to be the only people who'd by anything other than a feature phone in the old days.
The same effect causes the market for decent food to be depressed. What was the name of that Stallone film where the only restaurant in the whole world was a Tacobell, them having won the global franchise wars? We're heading that way...