Placeholder products precede the revolution to come

Note: This is the second in a series of 2018 highlights stories from the Dec. 10 print edition of TWICE (“The Lists Issue”), and part of our annual end-of-the-year Newsmakers feature. Think we missed someone or something? Let us know in the comments. 

For a new generation of consumers, mobile phones have crowded out cameras, TVs and sound systems as the centerpieces of their tech assortment.

Even so, global sales are slowing as saturation and sameness take a toll, forcing manufacturers to up their games ever further. To that end, 2018 largely proved a holding place for phone makers, who bided their time with incremental product improvements while focusing on next year’s revolution in 5G and foldable phones.

Still, 2018 was far from dull, as mergers, geo-political machinations and market share shifts made mobile industry news.

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