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Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Past Decade for Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola

The Past Decade for Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Motorola was full of ups and downs. By taking advantage of their early work in developing cellular network protocols, their knowledge in the technology and their relationships with wholesale and distribution channels; all three companies had their glory days. Tremendous growth lead to tremendous competitions. Their lack of ability in staying focused and staying ahead of the game caused all three mobile phones giants to fall, in one way or another.

The pride of Finland, Nokia, was and still is the No.1 mobile phone manufacturer in terms of volume of sales. Their products might not be the sexiest, but certainly gives an impression of being very reliable. Apart from manufacturing good quality phones, Nokia's relationships with wholesalers, distributors and network operators around the world is excellent. It is almost a known fact that Nokia pampers their business partners so well that their key clients keep smiling for three months after a Nokia "work" conference. By then, another conference is on its way!

With the fierce competition in the industry, the market share of Nokia handsets in many market has dropped. Although it is still the No.1 volume movers, Nokia is losing grounds in producing best selling smartphones (key APRU generators for network operators). Nokia's decision to stay with their own Symbian platform AND not to joint Google's Android platform might cost them dearly in the near future.

Sony Ericsson, or Ericsson when we first met them, had a steady decade. Ericsson was involved when cellphones just became popular. They have buildup a certain fan based over the year. The Sony factor has certainly added life to Sony Ericsson phones. The design of phone became more sexy, with enchantments in music and multi-media function. They were able to take advantage of the Sony brand and rode on the wave that other Sony digital product has produced.

In recent years, Sony Ericsson is also slowing losing their market share. They have continued to feed their fans with function packed device and perhaps lost focus in improving user experience. Their decision in being a leader in producing Android phones while keeping their their own OS is wise. However, they seemed to be one step (or even two steps) behind almost every Android manufacturer in rolling out devices with the (not so) latest Android OS. Hopefully we will see some advancement is Sony Ericsson Android handsets soon.

The US giant, Motorola, had a rough decade. They began the past decade with creative designs that did not generate enough sales, until the roll out of MOTO RAZR. One design that brought Motorola to sky high! The success in RAZR allowed Motorola to continue to design stylish and sexy phones. Television and movie placement of cool Motorola phones can easily been seen if you are a fan of US of America films and TV shows. Celebrities including David Beckham and RAZR2 launched everyone in Motorola into the space; then dropped to the center of the earth in a free fall.

This is one of the most interesting lessons in business management. The economic tsunami did not trigger the fall of Motorola. It has however deepen the effect. A new CEO led Motorola through its tough times, and after almost two years of not rolling out real new models, Motorola came back with an overwhelming range of Android phones. The stylish and sexy designs have almost gone. Nowadays, Motorola produce solid phones, so solid that might drive away fans in the teenage and young professional markets. It is also believed that Motorola's another big bet is in Window Mobile. The launch of Windows Phone 7 will be another key to Motorola's future.


Related blog posts:

The Past Decade of Mobile Phones

The Past Decade for Apple, HTC and RIM

(Read about other technologies that makes life simple under the Lifestyle tab.)