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2011 Wrap-up. 2012 Predictions, Part IV.

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19th December 2011

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The shine went off HTC a little this year as its competitors started to outpace them in several  HTC Sensation XE technological areas.

After making (in our view) the best handset of 2010 with the HTC Desire, HTC haven't quite managed to come up with a stand-out device this year, although the HTC Sensation XE is close.

HTC also had a pretty disastrous foray into the tablet market, and we don't think they will try that again.. at least not for a while.

Despite a tougher market, we still expect HTC to be competitive during 2012 even if the impressive sales growth we have seen recently drops off.

 Microsoft Microsoft / Windows Phone

Nokia's new partnership with Microsoft is a huge boost to the Windows Phone 7.5 platform, although realistically it can only hope to achieve a third place slot in 2012 at best.

Microsoft also seems to be developing a long term strategy that takes a coherent approach to smartphones, PCs and tablets,  Windows Phone 7.5 and Microsoft software also powers things like web servers and even cars. The next few years could be very interesting for Microsoft watchers.

But Microsoft have one other trick up their sleeves - although manufacturers have to pay for a Windows Phone licence with each handset they ship, using Windows Phone will protect them (to a large extent) from the ever-present threat of a lawsuit from Apple, who have been pursuing Android users relentlessly.

 Google Google / Android

2012 will be the year of Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich", a more polished offering than before which will certainly help to keep sales at their current high levels.

 Android Google is also acquiring patents and developing a plan for dealing the Apple's continual lawsuits against manufacturers using Android. Hopefully this will be cleared up during 2012.

Android has been a huge success, but recently Google and its partners have come under fire for the lack of software updates for some devices, even ones that are only a few months old. Major rivals show more commitment to customers and their handsets, and this is something that Google must start to address during 2012.

Android will continue to be the top-selling smartphone operating system during 2012, but Google will also be working hard to add new features to keep it competitive.


Other companies to watch

HP's capable but failed webOS platform still refuses to die quietly, and HP will attempt to pass it on the open source community where it will linger for a while more. Dell is largely pulling out of the tablet and smartphone market, at least for now. Toshiba finally exited the mobile phone market worldwide after withdrawing from a joint venture with Fujitsu.

Japan's Sharp and Panasonic might make a limited comeback in Europe in 2012. ZTE and Huawei from China will continue to grow and gain market share, especially with carrier-branded devices.

Acer, INQ and Sonim remain promising and we are sure we will see some interesting devices during 2012 for these manufacturers too.


A big thank you to all our readers and YouTube viewers during 2011, and we wish you a happy and prosperous 2012.

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