year will see a shift in operator strategy and an emphasis on new technology
and services, according to top mobile industry executives.
has predicted a ‘redressing of the balance’ between indirect and direct retail,
with more business going back to indirect channels.
vice president for sales and loyalty, Jean-Pascal Van Overbeke, said: ‘The
dream of putting everything through direct channels will disappear in light of
the shift in thinking towards customer experience. Operators will make more
rational decisions about return on investment rather than simply shift business
away from indirect retailers.’
Meanwhile, Carphone Warehouse chief, Andrew Harrison, has predicted that
services will dominate the market in the face of the economic downturn. He
said: ‘There is a path and way forward with services. We’ve all got to look at
how we can make money from more things.’
He added: ‘It is opening up new categories within mobile such as gaming. To
illustrate the point I think the iPhone is a better gaming device than, say,
the Nintendo DS in terms of pricing and usability.’
Handset manufacturer Inq,
which makes the 3 ‘Facebook phone’, has predicted that other manufacturers will
flow its lead in 2009 by integrating communication services such as email,
social networking and IM.
Inq co-founder and ceo,
Frank Meehan, said this will result in internet companies working more closely
with the mobile industry. He added: ‘Mobile
companies will start to compete for 'exclusives' from internet companies and
pay for it’
For more 2009 predictions,
see this week’s Mobile
on January 9.