Samsung cemented its position as the UK’s leading manufacturer after clinching a hat-trick of accolades at the Mobile Industry Awards, which saw Phones 4u win best high street retailer and Three crowned best consumer network.
The ceremony, which was held at The Brewery in central London, was attended by more than 400 executives from across the mobile industry. The crowd saw Samsung christened best manufacturer and best field marketing team. Its Galaxy SIII, which has sold more than 50 million units since it went on sale last year, was phone of the year. The judges said: ‘Samsung is leading the way in choice, ease of use and how its products sit within the device ecosystem.’ Samsung has now won the best manufacturer and phone of the year prizes two years in a row.
Phones 4u’s ability to innovate in a challenging high street market was seen as the main reason why it stood out as best high street retailer. Judges lauded the chain for its continued investment in retail estate and staff, innovative products and services and well targeted marketing.
Three was christened best consumer network with judges dazzled by how the hungry challenger has now firmly become part of the mobile mainstream. The panel was impressed at how it made unlimited data work, had a strong retail proposition and worked hard on improving its customer service.
Best business network was won by EE, with the operator seen as a pioneer in showing how mobile can work for the enterprise sector. One in 10 of its corporate customers are using or trialling 4G, whether it is for flexible working and video conferencing. It was the second award picked up by EE during the evening, with CEO Olaf Swantee walking away with the coveted, and keenly contested, person of the year award.
Carphone Warehouse Stirling’s Martin Haig won the panel over in the Shop Idol competition because of his consistency of product knowledge, dedication to customer service and enthusiasm about his company.
Mobile created several new categories to recognise the innovation and change within the b2b sector during the past 12 months. Daisy Distribution won the best b2b distributor prize, thanks to a year of impressive financial growth and smart products. Alternative Networks’ dedication to its customers saw it walk away with the best unified comms dealer prize. Micro-P was voted best accessories distributor after impressing with its mix of diverse products, innovation and growth.
The Mobile Industry Awards were judged by panels of industry experts from across the trade. Mobile editor in chief David Nunn said: ‘The quality of this year’s entries and the liveliness of the judging shows that the mobile industry is in rude health, despite the wider economic problems. Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to those who took part – you made judging particularly difficult!’
The winners in full:
Best manufacturer – Samsung
Best consumer network – Three
Best business network – EE
Phone of the year – Samsung Galaxy SIII
Person of the year - Olaf Swantee, EE
Shop Idol – Martin Haig, Carphone Warehouse
Best high street retailer – Phones 4u
Best unified comms dealer – Alternative Networks
Best accessories distributor – Micro-P
Best B2B distributor – Daisy Distribution
Hottest new phone for 2013 – HTC One
Hottest tablet device for 2013 – Sony Xperia Tablet Z
Best manufacturer field marketing team – Samsung
Best MVNO – Lebara
Best franchisee – Talk Direct
Best support service - Metricell