Michael Coombes Kazam’s CEO thinks that 2016 needs to be the time when the industry addresses big questions about margins, demand and business model.
Predicting how the industry will look in the new year Coombes also said that he was expecting a period of consolidation across the board, he said: ‘2016 is likely to be period of consolidation for the mobile industry, in relation to both operators and handset manufacturers.
'With new technologies gaining consumer attention, from wearables to the internet of things, the industry needs to address some major questions. What do consumers actually want? As margins are being squeezed – where can operators and manufacturers actually make money? Where should brands be investing? In such a fast moving industry, taking time to reflect and consider, is not just preferential, it’s necessary.’
Coombes also gave his views on the emergence of new brands and the continued development of the wearables market, he said: ‘There’s been plenty of chat about wearables and there’s no doubt the idea and potential is strong. However, wearable technology has continued to be expensive and from a consumer perspective, a trendy toy for the early adopters.
'But as more and more manufacturers develop technology and the internet of things begins to penetrate the mainstream, 2016 could see wearables becoming a reality.
‘As consumers become savvier and more price conscious, new mobile brands will have the opportunity to really make their mark, winning market share from the big brands. Similarly, operators will look to offer a wider range of brands, with challenger brands potentially delivering higher margins and better value.
‘Expectations are high – consumers demand excellent quality from their phones at increasingly compelling price points. Brands will need to become ever more cognisent of this, ensuring lower price points don’t equal shoddy handsets.’