2007 Wrap Up. 2008 Predictions. (Part
28th December 2007
In Motion (BlackBerry)
The BlackBerry range has been much improved during
2007, and the excellent Pearl
handset has made some inroads into the consumer market.
The problem for RIM is that they are a niche manufacturer,
so they can never challenge a company such as Nokia
RIM's cash cow is the corporate market, where the
BlackBerry name is synonymous with push email. That's
a growing market, and although competition is fierce,
it should be enough to sustain RIM for now. The big
question we have is - "what's next?". How
can RIM continue to grow and develop into the future
when it competes in such a small niche market? Perhaps
a merger might be on the cards in the next couple of
If you're using Windows Mobile, then there's a good
chance that you're using it on an HTC device. That is
bound to continue during 2008, but HTC are also a member
of the Open Handset Alliance and their skills in making
high-end smartphones will make them a key partner in
this new venture.
Expect to see more of HTC in 2008, especially with
follow-ups to the Touch
in the consumer marketplace, and we think that the first
HTC Android handset will be out in late 2008.
Against all odds, Sagem survived 2007 and 2008 is
looking brighter with deals with both Sony Ericsson
and Vodafone to manufacture handsets.. we loved the
and Sagem show that they can make high-end devices with
flair too. Their reputation is certainly improving from
the "cheap and nasty" phones they made a few
After dithering with the Foleo,
which was finally cancelled, Palm have tried again with
Sadly, we can't see much of a future for the once-mighty
Palm, despite a range of pretty good smartphones. It
could be a candidate for a merger, perhaps with HP who
have also struggled to make an impact. Either way, we
don't expect to see Palm survive 2008.
Toshiba have made a couple of attempts at
the Windows smartphone market, and will make two new
announcements early in the New Year, there's a good
chance that Toshiba will be able to carve out a significant
niche in this market segment.
Sharp vanished without trace in Europe, a
case of a company that peaked too early and wasn't prepared
to stick with the sort of high-end 3G phones which are
now becoming popular. We've pretty much given up on
a revival of Sharp, which is a shame.
Two smartphone manufacturers who might make a bigger
impact in 2008 are Eten and ASUS. Eten
particularly look as though they could challenge HTC
in the Windows Mobile market.