22nd December 2003
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Apple's products made the usual incremental improvements
during 2013, but where the iPhone
a success, the iPhone
5C stands out as a bit of a failure. New
iPads have helped to keep Apple's line-up fresh
and Apple still dominate the tablet market.
2014 should see the launch of the next-generation
iPhone, but unless Apple can find ways of attracting
Android users it will continue to be squeezed in terms
of market share. As we said last year, Apple in 2013
looked rather like Nokia in 2007 and must find strategies
to keep its products fresh and innovative.
Apple is a long way from a crisis, but unless they
want to go the same way as BlackBerry and Nokia they
will have to come up with something a bit more radical
than their current offerings.
Android is the biggest selling OS by far, and Samsung
dominate the Android market with devices such
as the Galaxy
S4. Although theoretically Samsung also make Windows
phones and Tizen / Bada devices we haven't seen much
in the way of activity here.
Samsung's products fill every available market niche,
but perhaps consumers are beginning to think that their
products are rather boring. The Galaxy range of smartphones
are mostly pretty much identical and are almost impossible
to tell apart, leading to a range that is comprehensive
but rather bland at the same time.
Samsung will probably continue to do the same sort
of thing in 2014 that they did in 2013, but the key
question is how will competitors differentiate themselves?
Nokia showed signs of recovery in 2013 with some
excellent high-end Lumia products and some very
good value cheaper Lumias and Asha phones which sold
well. And of course the big news in that the Nokia handset
business will become part of Microsoft which is either
a blessing or a curse depending on your point of view.
1020 caused a stir with its awesome 41 megapixel
camera, something that seemed to be two generations
ahead of the competition when it was launched.
We expect Nokia to do well in the corporate market
during 2014, taking market share from BlackBerry, and
it will continue to claw back market share in the consumer
market, especially with the high-end PureView camera
2013 was an awful year for the company formerly known
as RIM with a massive sales slump, stock
write-offs and sliding sales. Can things get any worse?
Well, yes.. they probably can.
It had taken over five years for BlackBerry to come
up with a device that could actually challenge the iPhone
Z10 hit retailers it was irrelevant.
BlackBerry looks increasingly doomed, and the stench
of death is likely to precipitate an even quicker
decline in sales. We don't think that BlackBerry will
survive as an independent company past the end of 2014
unless it pulls out of the handset business completely.
Perhaps a Nokia-style spinoff of the smartphone business
might help, but buyers are likely to be difficult to
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