2006 Wrap Up. 2007 Predictions. (Part
29th December 2006
Many industry analysts say that 2007
will see the end of most second tier mobile phone manufacturers,
especially outside of the isolated North American and
of course, will be a major player in 2007.. but 2006
hasn't been plain sailing for the Finnish firm. Although
Nokia's product range has been extensive and impressive
(and largely delivered on time) there have been criticisms
about the reliability of many handsets, especially high-end
Symbian smartphones. Consequently, we feel that the
Symbian market could be vulnerable to competition from
Windows smartphones during 2007.
the manufacturer to watch during 2007, Sony Ericsson
have managed to leverage the Sony "Walkman"
and "Cyber-shot" brands to great effect, producing
a much smaller and more polished range of devices than
Sony Ericsson's range of handsets certainly
have consumer appear, and it's quite possible that they
may become the dominant midrange manufacturer in Europe
during 2007. Sony Ericsson are weak in the smartphone
market and don't really compete much in the low-end
market, which means that they're unlikely ever to be
number one in terms of volume.
have been a prolific manufacturer of handsets during
2006, but their range is a baffling collection of devices
with very similar looks and specifications overall.
This scatter gun approach has some advantages in covering
all the market niches, but there are very few midrange
phones in Samsung's range that are memorable in any
If Samsung ever introduced a clear strategy
to the marketplace, then the competition be in serious
trouble. Fortunately for them, Samsung is likely to
do more of the same during 2007.
few years ago, Motorola had a proper range of phones..
but these days it's all RAZR, RAZR and RAZR when it
comes to the product line. Pretty much every handset
is some sort of variant of the original RAZR, and the
signs are that the market has had enough. There are
reports that sales of the new KRZR have been quite sluggish,
which is very bad news indeed.
Overall, Motorola have only released
a very small number of handsets during 2006, but the
range is seriously muddled with no less than three
HSDPA RAZR-style clamshells. During 2006, the ROKR range
also vanished completely, the Motorola Q never made
it to the GSM market, and there have been no new smartphones
in Europe at all.
2007 is likely to be the year that Motorola
goes seriously out of fashion, and expect sales to plummet
as a result. We expect Motorola to have to make a significant
change of direction during 2007 in order to maintain
its position as one of the "big four" manufacturers.
fortunes in 2006 were completely revitalised by
the "Chocolate" slider, but the company has
found it hard to follow up on that success.
The stakes are extremely high for LG
in 2007. If they can repeat the success of the Chocolate
with other phones during 2007, then they have a change
to turn the current "big four" general manufacturers into
the "big five". Failure in this market sector
will probably lead to a slow, lingering death. Expect
to see LG fight very hard for market share during 2007..
but we're not at all sure what the outcome will be.
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