9/5/2014 11:00:00 AM
Time to shine
This Monday we saw once again why the mobile industry has a reputation for being dynamic (if you are being positive) or turbulent (if you are being less kind). Vodafone’s decision to drop Phones 4u and extend its partnership with Dixons-Carphone came on the same morning as sources in the industry told Mobile that Rob Orr had changed his role at Samsung.
Following Monday’s drama both Samsung and Phones 4u now need to convince the industry that despite the changes they are still as strong as ever. Although the position that the two firms find themselves in couldn’t be more contrasting: Samsung has been very successful in the past few years, establishing itself as the dominant force in Android handsets and producing some of the most popular devices in the world. But such success can’t last forever and the challenge for the Korean manufacturer is now to maintain its position in a market where handset sales are falling across the board. Dealing with this will be the number one priority for the new head of mobile as soon as they are appointed. The strategy the brand adopts once the role is filled will certainly be a point of interest.
Phones 4u also needs to send a clear message of stability to the industry but the retailer finds itself in a very different scenario to Samsung. Having lost the majority of the ‘big four’ networks from its roster, the retailer must quickly demonstrate strength. The firm has repeatedly stated that it is in talks with a number of partners, but the clock is now ticking for it to announce some of these deals. Phones 4u really needs to counteract the flow of negative news that has been coming its way recently. A good start would be to get another major network back on side, but whether this is achievable remains to be seen. What is undisputable is that the retailer needs to add actions to words when it comes to showing that it is up for the fight.
As we approach what has traditionally been one of the most profitable months for the mobile industry the impact of these changes will become clearer and we will be able to see what the effect will be. If it leads to more dramatic mornings like Monday 1 September then it’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.