Mark Mitchinson, executive VP, Huawei Device UK & Ireland
In 2012, Huawei will make its mark on the consumer smartphone market in the UK. We will do this with cracking products that delight consumers. We will do this with the very best team in the business, bolstered in Q1. And we will do this with the very best partners, interested in co-prosperity and building business together.
The UK handset space will continue to contract, with certain shifts in the market –pressure on consumer income but also removal of prepay subsidies, advanced processing power of handsets, and extended relevance of hardware as OS upgrades become standard. And I suspect certain specialist and network retailers will look at their shop portfolios in 2012 and choose to consolidate, just as some may look to expand. It will come down to their strengths and their strategies in such a climate.
Even so, the smartphone sector will continue its astonishing growth over the past 18 months, and Google’s Android system in particular will offer remarkable service and functionality and really liberate the greater mass market. It’s notable that the Android Market has had three different ‘leaders’ since its inception, which demonstrates the Android consumer is by nature adventurous and receptive to new opportunities – in both software and hardware. We are very excited by what we’ve seen from Google for the year ahead, and believe we can cement our place in the market with Android in 2012.
Our product story will be embellished in the UK in 2012 with new propositions and distinguished and compelling marketing, which cuts through the wallpaper in the market now. In addition, Huawei’s new London Design Centre, which opens in the first quarter of 2012, is hugely important for us to start to explore new design language and to work more closely with partners on specific products. This will be a project that will build through the year and bring us closer to our partners and end users as a new and exciting consumer smartphone brand.
Conor Pierce, general manager, Western Europe, Nokia
As we approach the start of a new year, it's a great opportunity to reflect on 12 months that have revolutionised our industry. At Nokia it has been an incredibly exciting time. We have brought greater choice to consumers than ever before, and introduced amazing new devices like the Nokia Lumia 800, which offers an entirely new and vibrant mobile experience.
Smartphone adoption is set to explode over the next 12 months. Consumers are looking for more choice – premium features, but not necessarily at a premium price. Traditionally high-end features will become available on devices at mid- to low-end price points. This, in turn, opens up the smartphone experience to a much wider segment of UK consumers for the first time, giving people who may have been wary about moving to smartphones the confidence, and desire, to make that leap. Innovation will continue to be what defines success in our industry.
Innovation needs to be consumer-led, and be based on a deep understanding of both what people are looking for from a mobile experience as well as their interests, priorities and passions. Hardware design needs to remain cutting-edge, and we will continue to see more than the generic black boxes that currently dominate phone store shelves with new phones that bring both style and a premium build with advanced features. This will allow further device consolidation, so consumers don't have to carry a camera, a music player and a phone but have a smartphone with features that surpass what they had on other devices.
Services and apps will continue to evolve, and the potential to innovate is incredible – either from established brands or entrepreneurs with a great idea. We will continue to see new tools and services that entertain, inform and simplify people's professional and personal lives.
Whether it be location-based, commerce or cloud-based services, new tools will emerge that deliver increasingly relevant content in more digestible forms. We are now at the tipping point where the smartphone market is really opening up, and 2012 will be the year that new waves of consumers will enjoy smartphones for the first time. What an opportunity that presents for us all.