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2007 Wrap Up. 2008 Predictions. (Part 3)

28th December 2007

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 BlackBerry Research 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 for range.

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 years.


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.

 Sagem Sagem

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 ultra-cheap my150X 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 years ago.

 Palm Palm

After dithering with the Foleo, which was finally cancelled, Palm have tried again with the Centro and Treo 500 devices.

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.

Other Manufacturers

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.

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