Saturday, April 16, 2011

5 trends for 2011 smartphone

Back in 2001, when Nokia and Symbian has grouped together in design a smartphone, the new phenomena has exploded. nonetheless they seem to have been badly beaten by the newcomers, Android, and also Apple unique ambition on Iphone. The smartphone is seem to the most popular gadget in the recent year, where industry have fight each other to produce more and more advance smartphone to the users. So, what will be the 'hots' for smartphone in the year 2011?


1. Android rules
Google made one of its best acquisitions when it purchased Andy Rubin's Android software. The timing, business model and features of Android please major phone manufacturers, like Samsung, Motorola, HTC, and LG, and users are happy with their smartphones that are well integrated with Google's online services. In the third quarter 2010, Gartner estimated 25.5% market share in the smartphone market for Android globally.

Android's growth has been phenomenal during 2010. Samsung Galaxy series was acclaimed everywhere. Google has frequently released new versions and some growth pains have been identified. Fragmentation (application developers have to make extra work to get their apps run on different Android versions), however, is real. Android's market share won't grow as fast in 2011 as it did in 2010, but it is possible that Android could catch Symbian (36.6% market share) and become the number one smartphone operating system.

2. New Apple iPhone models
Apple has been able to resist the temptation to introduce cheaper iPhone models, because the iPhone has been selling so well. Its share from global smartphone market is 16.7%. This is an exception in Apple's product range. Fairly quickly after the high-end iPod player was introduced, Apple launced cheaper and smaller iPod Nano and iPod shuffle products to ensure more people could afford an iPod. Apple is offering laptops for different user and price segments: the Macbook, the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro.

The day will come when Apple introduces a cheaper and smaller iPhone, and it could be in 2011. Android has already eaten iPhone's market share, mind share and application market, and Apple will respond.

3. Symbian won't go away
Symbian and Nokia started to create the smartphone concept and market in 2001, when they introduced Nokia's first cameraphone where you could develop new applications and let other users download the apps to their phones. For many years Symbian's smartphone market share was around 60 and 80 percent, largely because at the time, Nokia had an innovative and extensive smartphone product range. Now Symbian operating system is running in 36.6% of new smartphones. Although Nokia can market Symbian smartphones for under $100 (and make profit), Symbian's transition to touch screen software hasn't been a success.

Nonetheless, Symbian will survive in Nokia's low-end and mid-range smartphones. Customers who don't care about the operating system or don't intend to download extra apps, but only need navigation or unlimited music downloads, make safe choices and get another Nokia phone that can deliver the vital functionality.

4. MeeGo will be hyped by Nokia's new management
Nokia has an image problem for two reasons. First, it has not succeeded in the US and second, it hasn't introduced credible high-end smartphones recently. Nokia's new management, driven by the new CEO Stephen Elop, will use MeeGo as a tool to fix these problems.

We should see high-end smartphones and a tablet powered by MeeGo in 2011. Otherwise, Nokia can forget about the whole MeeGo business.

5. A perfect combination: BlackBerry and Windows Phone
Both Blackberry and Windows Phone have suffered in competition against Android and the iPhone. Blackberry's market share has declined to 14.8% in 3Q2010, whereas Microsoft's Windows Phone market share had fallen to 2.8%. It is almost impossible to see why Nokia would license Microsoft's operating system for smartphones, because Nokia is capable and has the resources to develop its own software. It is and has been more successful than Microsoft as well.

In contrast, it is easy to see why RIM would license Windows Phone software for its Blackberry smartphones. Blackberry's transition to touch screen software has been critized. Now, Microsoft has brand new touch screen operating system. More importantly, Blackberry customers are businesses who can afford to deploy RIM's messaging backbone for smartphones. Corporate CIOs who are running Microsoft Exchange systems would be more than happy to purchase Blackberry smartphones running on Windows Phone software that integrate seamlessly to Exchange and Blackberry messaging systems.

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