With Chinese giants Huawei, ZTE and China Telecom set to become big hitters in the UK, the CES conference in Las Vegas showcasing some innovative ideas and the industry continuing to buck the retail trend – the year ahead promises to be a cracker.
Indeed, the ‘fast-paced’ and ‘ever changing’ nature of the mobile industry is even more apparent this year, as our 2012 predictions feature reveals on page 14 (Mobile). Convergence, cloud data, voice recognition technology and the demand for speedier networks continue to grow.
And, of course, a lot of the promised changes are dependent on the spectrum auction sell-off later this year, which is sure to create waves throughout the industry.
Dealer Extra on page 12 (Mobile) this week looks at French telecoms distributor Groupe Avenir’s move into the accessories market. Having spoken to some retailers prior to Christmas, most said the accessories side of their business had been particularly strong.
Avenir’s ‘phenomenal growth’ last year prompted the distributor to set up a separate subsidiary. It will be interesting to see if other companies follow suit.
My suspicions of a Chinese takeover are growing, with both Huawei and ZTE looking to become major players in the UK mobile sphere. I wouldn’t be surprised if they turn out to be the main challengers to Apple and Samsung in the smartphone arena, as both companies continue to benefit from the rise of Google’s Android operating system.
Android is rapidly gaining in popularity, and a significant factor in its success is the fact that, unlike Apple’s iOS platform, it addresses many sectors of the smartphone market.
This ranges from the low- to mid-end, occupied by ZTE and Huawei, to the high-end of the market currently dominated by the likes of Apple, HTC and Samsung.
Furthermore, the recently announced MVNO partnership between Everything Everywhere and China Telecom could prove significant in the future, even if the two companies are merely targeting Chinese residents in the UK. Yes, 2012 could be the year of the dragon.