It’s good to see three of the major players in the mobile industry pledging to reassert their position in the market after acknowledging they had lost focus over the last year or so.
BlackBerry manufacturer RIM has reshuffled its top management team in a bid to bounce back from revenue losses and the bad publicity it has endured in recent months, while HTC has vowed to refocus on its core products and regain some lost ground in the smartphone market. Meanwhile, Sony Ericsson will attempt to recover from the stunning losses of €247m before tax globally, with Western Europe performing particularly badly. Sony is poised to snap up Ericsson’s 50% share of the business for €1.5bn.
To have so many strong players in the market is not only a good thing for the industry but also for consumers. It also provides some checks and balances against dominant players like Apple and Samsung. As we went to press, Apple was expected to post a 38% increase in revenue in its first quarter results.
It is also offers a stark reminder that none of the big companies can rest on their laurels if they’re to survive the wind of change swirling around them.
Indeed, this was the message from delegates at a round table meeting I recently attended, where operators were warned against complacency if they were to stand up to the increasing competition in the mobile space.
The delegates insisted that new players – whether there’s room for them or not – were entering the market and were poised to ruthlessly undercut costs, as has been seen in France.
Of course, the introduction of 4G technology and the conclusion of the spectrum auction at the end of the year will enable operators to meet consumer demand and allow innovation to flourish. A recent Ofcom report disclosed the course the spectrum auction is set to follow, which has led to an uneasy peace between the networks. However, license pricing still needs to be sorted out without too much delay.