2013 is the year where we may see further consolidation as manufacturers fight for an ever-decreasing market share circle. And there’s a strong possibility that not all will survive the year unless there’s a dramatic shift in the landscape – for many, consolidation would make sense from both a strategic and a volume perspective.There’s already a heightened level of speculation, particularly among the delegates attending the CES show in Las Vegas. Although some of it may just be talk, experts have warned us not to dismiss it too readily.
Some of the results being released give further backing to the dangers facing some of the smaller manufacturers, making them attractive to those with bigger financial muscles.So, who are the ones in particular danger? Pundits say HTC, RIM and Nokia are all vulnerable, although it’s probably Nokia that is facing the biggest threat.
Why Nokia, in particular? Well, employment laws in the countries where it operates have been prohibitive, plus it has an inability to scale down. Also, it has been outgunned on its Windows Phone 8 launch by HTC, which is stepping up to meet demand for its widely praised Windows’ offerings. It will also be interesting to see if Nokia Corporation’s CEO Stephen Elop survives 2013, if the downward spiral of results continue. One analyst said that if success doesn’t arrive quickly in the course Nokia is charting then there may be problems. Does Nokia have a plan B?
Despite the poor results posted by HTC, it’s unlikely that it will be targeted for a takeover – although it would still prove to be a tempting target for anyone looking to give their brand a greater prominence.
RIM’s future is very much in its own hands, say experts, pointing to the imminent launch of its BlackBerry 10, which has already received widespread acclaim from the industry.
Of the other manufacturers, LG and Sony have received a clean bill of health, with some saying LG’s Nexus 4 was one of the best phones launched in 2012, if not the best.And Sony’s performance continues to be praised as it carries on with its upward climb in the handset chart, having already secured the number two Android spot.