Smartphone volume growth is slowing down sharply right about now. Average sales prices for even high-end handsets are tumbling and sub-$200 smartphones without subsidies are becoming a major product category. That has not prevented a number of entrants from trying to find new angles that will bring them success in the phone market. Jolla is offering a new operating system. YotaPhone has a dual-screen model with an E-Ink display on the backside for desperate Twitter addicts. And now Danish company Lumigon is entering the fray with a €750 (USD$1031) model that offers a decadent treat for selfie fanatics.
Of course, the Danish phone is going to have Bang & Olufsen audio technology but the real draw of the Lumigon is the LED flash on the 2.4 megapixel front-facing camera of the phone. The technology has been branded FrontFlash and it enables people to take selfies in the dark with a new level of ease, comfort and self-monitoring abilities. It is not clear why the front-facing camera has a 2.4-megapixel quality on a $1,000 phone, but Danes need to eat too.
All of this can be interpreted in a couple of ways. Either the smartphone market is maturing and new, exciting niches are being carved out. Or an industry being squeezed by Apple and Samsung is desperately clawing at ridiculous gimmicks to gain a morsel of relevance for smaller companies.