"The big budget, winner-takes-all flagship model looks broken, and only Apple and Samsung continue to make profits."
Clearly when one of the two biggest handset manufacturers is the world's highest cap company the model looks broken !
No the only thing that is broken, is race to the bottom, razor thin margin handset supply where the business of creating new handsets is commoditised. We've had it for years with laptops. All the oxygen is sucked out of the market and the quality will take a dive into the handset equivalent of a plastic HP branded widescreen piece of electronic breeze-block with a ton of crapwhare like Form added for good measure. Which company is competing with a business model that has prevented the market taking a dive along precisely those lines? Hint: it isn't Samsung. And you think China commoditising handsets even further and pumping them out at ever lower prices (but more crucially with ever lower margins) will help the consumer? This is one of the greatest fallacies and conceits of current tech popular opinion. It *only* helps when you are considering your purchase in relation to a single axis. Price.