Battery replacement will become more important as the market matures and people have less need to replace their devices every 24 months. If batteries aren't user replaceable the vendor should at least offer a 3-5 year warranty on the battery with labor.
And yes, phones north of $600 with failed batteries are going to hurt. Zenfone2 is in a meaningfully different situation starting at $199. It's not as good as user replaceable but it isn't nearly as painful either.
If S6/S6Edge sales have fallen far below expectations already, wait until the mass market learns they can get a phone with an Intel processor that matches many premium phone's features for half to one third the price.
The quote from IBT is peculiar.
They act like enabling a Windows smartphone to deliver a desktop while docked is a bad thing because it might cannibalize Microsoft tablet sales. That seems strange for several reasons; 1) the author seems to be unaware that Microsoft's Continuum is presently only continuous for Microsoft's Universal apps and isn't the real desktop with legacy Windows software, 2). it is always better to be the one cannibalizing one's products than someone else, 3). it is strategically more important for Microsoft to be successful in smartphones than tablets. Smartphones are anchor products, everyone carries one. Not everyone carries a tablet.
In the end, consumers will decide what set of devices they're willing to buy and carry for their own needs. Microsoft is squandering a great opportunity. Microsoft needs to make Continuum the full legacy desktop it should be. If they don't they will be overtaken by events because with smartphones like the Zenfone2 with 4GB RAM/64GB storage we will see someone implement virtualized full Windows as a guest OS under Android, so one way or another the consumer will get real desktop portability in a smartphone. And in fact, while they're at it the desktop that gets virtualized may not be Windows. Maybe it will be MAC OS, Ubuntu or something else. Microsoft should think about that.
When someone's new x86 smartphone has as much hardware resources as last year's laptop it will be difficult to explain why they can't run the OS of their choice while docked.
I would add that the "lower resolution" display of the Zenfone2 is still 1920x1080p. While manufacturers can cram higher resolution into a display that size, for a price, the benefit to the end-user on a 5+ inch display is debatable even when it can be done, particularly when the higher resolution displays consume more power. This is lot of phone for the money.
AMD's shelf-life expired a long time ago. Analyst's predictions of a forthcoming bankruptcy won't instill any confidence among customers either.
This would be a significant win considering Samsung has a history of avoiding Intel SoCs for any product where there's an indigenous Samsung part or any ARM alternative.
The quote from PC Mag sounds like it is implying that to use the Zenfone2 one has to use a discount sub-brand carrier. That's not the case, the Zenfone2 is compatible with AT&T & T-Mobile's LTE Networks plus their subs. What's significant about the Zenfone2 is that Asus & Intel have demonstrated they can make a high-quality phone that really gets people excited and that they've done it for such a reasonable price.
If you're a market leader in smartphones you have to be taking this seriously. But from this point forward it's only going to get better for Intel and its partners.
They had sold out of several 64GB versions by last evening. There's no question having such a high performing Intel-based LTE phone sold in the US with US warranty is a pivotal event. 4/19/15 may well be remembered as the turning point in Intel's mobile campaign.
Congratulations to Intel & Asus for producing a phone with so many high-end features yet priced for mainstream buyers.
Ordered a 64GB unit this afternoon. Amazon is going crazy on their site with lots of vendors bidding up the price and Newegg is already sold out in some models.
This is good news for Intel.
Put this on the very long list of grand product claims AMD has made but never delivered.
Intel's job #1 is to be the most successful technology company on the planet. Start from there and hire the people that make that happen. Anything else leads to mediocrity.
There are a lot of historical errors with this piece but basically Intel should remain an enabler of the supercomputer industry and not try to be the systems integrator. Intel should be able to accomplish all the technology innovation they need via their partnership with Cray, and maybe even others but not compete directly with them.
It is very difficult to imagine how the mass market could justify spending $600 for a smartphone when a device a third or fourth the price offers virtually the same features and build quality. The $200 phones coming on the market now are already overkill for most consumers.
There are a lot of smaller 7"-8" Windows 8.1 tablets in the hands of consumers that already have non Universal Windows Apps installed. Microsoft will cause a big uproar if they "upgrade" those tablets and simultaneously kill compatibility with legacy x86 applications. In fact, without legacy application support there's little reason to own those tablets.
You say sales of high-end smartphones are declining. This means the volume smartphone market is for mid and lower-tier. Asus just launched the mid-priced Intel-based Asus Zenfone 2 and it's reported to rival features and performance of last year's premiere phones but at 1/2 or 1/3rd the price. There's no reason for Intel to exit, they are well aware of the product trends and they've got the right products at the right price.
Skylake's arrival should make the collection of super thin Core-M based ultrabooks near perfect.