Both the vibrancy and the vulnerability of the mobile industry have been evident recently.Whether it’s skydiving (HTC One X) or seeing things through the eyes of a child (Sony Xperia S), manufacturers have used some extremely imaginative ploys to connect with consumers as they launch their latest high-end devices. These multimillion-pound marketing campaigns underline the confidence and innovation that drives the industry.
However, we shouldn’t get too carried away. During the same period there have been some stark reminders of the fragile economic situation and the susceptibility of some of the major players in our industry to shifting market trends.
The harsh reality of job cuts and profit warnings is just around the corner and threatens to burst the creative and confidence bubble that surrounds the industry.
Electronics giant Sony has announced that it will be cutting 10,000 jobs, though so far its UK Mobile arm has been tightlipped about whether it will be affected by the cuts. However, Sony’s CEO Kazuo Hirai made a point of saying mobile would be at the heart of the company’s fightback, so there’s hope yet.
And talking of fightbacks, Nokia has vowed to continue to invest in its smartphone business, despite sounding a profit warning to its shareholders and credit agency Moody’s decision to cut its rating to one level above junk.
Everything Everywhere is also cutting roles in its retail stores and head office as it looks to expand its number of own-brand shops. A total of 95 jobs will be affected but the operator will only lose 45 employees. Staff at international MVNO Lebara are also under threat, after a consultation period pointed to deep job cuts. Lebara has so far refused to comment on exactly how many jobs are at risk.
So let’s hope the companies in question continue with the ‘emotional engagement’ theme once the official redundancy notices are handed out.