Re: No jack, Jack.
"How can that overshadow all the new tech squeezed into a new flagship phone?"
Because, quite literally, I do not care about all that new tech.
Faster processor. Cool. But my current phone isn't slow.
More RAM. Sure. But my current phone has never run out of memory.
More internal storage. But my current phone has a 128Gb microSD inside it... good luck beating that for the price of a cheap 128Gb card off Amazon.
More cameras. I literally use my phone to take a photo maybe a handful of times a year. When I do, it's usually to email the photo, and having a HUGE image file result of that just means I need to shrink it to email it. I honestly don't even need HD most of the time, even if I wanted (why?) to take a lovely photo of my daughter to print out at high quality. My current phone is so sufficient, I've never questioned its capabilities in taking a photo.
Voice recognition. My current phone has it in apps everywhere and it doesn't work for me anyway. I consider it the slowest form of command-issuing that there is, short of getting a machine-learning camera to interpret semaphore that I flag to it.
Biometric authentication. My current phone has a fingerprint reader. I've literally used it once. To demonstrate how useless it is in terms of security (the old gummy bear tricks).
My phone has 802.11n 5GHz wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, hotspotting, all the usual. I actually use some of them. NFC I use precisely to demonstrate to people how easy it is to read data off your credit cards in your pocket by just swiping a phone near you (and then explain that that just powers up the cards, and once powered up, I could read the radio signal from half a mile away with the right antenna). I use it to convince people to use RFID-blocking wallets, purses and card-sleeves.
All your fancy new tech literally means *nothing* to me. Same way that I could buy a laptop tomorrow that could run every one of my 1000 Steam games faster than I've ever been able to run them. But the fact is that my high-end laptop from 2014 can do exactly that, to the point that I can play through GTA V or any of the other most-demanding games that I have without noticing the performance even once anyway. So what would an upgrade gain me? A worse version of Windows, replicating years of my laptop setup, having to reinstall just about everything, finding none of my accessories in my laptop bag fit any more or need adaptors to work, so on a plane the new laptop looks like Jodrell Bank in order to sit and play a game without disturbing others if I dont' want to re-buy every accessory I already have.
This is what Samsung et al are discovering. I will not pay one penny extra to have a 4K rather than a HD camera. Or screen. I will not pay one penny extra to have edge-to-edge screens. I will not pay one penny extra for the AI chip, or 3D cameras, or any other junk.
But I *WOULD* pay a proportionate price increase over a base model for a headphone socket, a removable battery, NOT to have an edge-to-edge screen but a plain, flat bit of glass that I can replace for £20, a larger battery, a decent case built-in to the phone, hell I'd even accept it being three times as thick as the "slim" phones they want to sell me. I wouldn't even notice.
If you gave me a Dell-website-like customisation of a smartphone, I'd happily turn all those new features off. I'd happily PAY to remove some of them. And I'd happily pay to add back in the stuff I need. Hell, I'd pay just to have standard Android and an unlocked bootloader (which some smartphone companies now actually let you do!).
Just because "it's technically better" does not mean "it adds sufficient value to my purchase that I will automatically part with more money". I can get a ridiculous top-of-the-line graphics card today if I'm willing to part with several grand. But I'd much rather pay less, "only" get 60fps in every game available to me, and then spend the excess on something else that gets me more value.
Smartphone companies are slowly waking up to this. There will always be "But I must have 4K/8K/HDR/128Kbps FLAC/etc." guys. But they are niche. Most people just need a phone "good enough". Same way most people just need a laptop "good enough". Once you get past that point, people are loathe to pay extra, especially if they LOSE features they are accustomed to (e.g. find a cheap laptop that has an optical drive - and, no, I don't want to carry one round with me separately everywhere I go).
Companies found it out with PCs and laptops. A few years later, the bottom started to drop out of the market because people didn't WANT that extra rubbish, as the market had reached full penetration so nobody was buying something that they hadn't seen a million times before and learned that if they follow every possible upgrade, they cost themselves money for nothing and eventually lose functionality.
P.S. I also would not pay ANY extra to have, say, Samsung or Apple logos on my phone. It means nothing to me. I don't mind having the former on there. The latter is a big no-no to me because of what it means in terms of other features. But I wouldn't pay anything extra between two otherwise identical models to get the Samsung or the Apple model.