Are we headed for a bi-polar mobile world?

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bi·po·lar
Adjective: Having or relating to two poles or extremities.

Samsung and Apple

Let’s cut to the chase: at the moment, only two mobile manufacturers, Apple and Samsung, are doing very well in the market. They are strong, vibrant and raking in cash by the truckload.

The rest of the big names – Nokia, Sony, LG, Motorola, RIM, and HTC – are either running at a loss or are recording weak financial results.

We must not claim to understand all the factors involved in this trend, because the field is a complicated, convoluted one.

The one runs a radically different business model from the second.

Some think, for example, that RIM is in trouble because BlackBerry OS is obsolete. If it were OS alone, how come manufacturers like Sony, LG and Motorola – all running a more modern OS – are struggling too? How come that Nokia’s Symbian/Belle was still witnessing increased sales and selling profitably until after the “Burning Platform” speech last year? One thing is clear. The OS is not the only factor. There are other factors in the complex web of the mobile world.

But here is what is obvious – only two mobile manufacturers today are performing well. Two. Are we headed for a bi-polar world ruled by Apple and Samsung, and with others holding on to small pockets of territory? Anyone remember the bi-polar world split between the US and the USSR that we lived in decades ago?

Nokia’s CEO spoke of a third ecosystem. However that third ecosystem happens, it looks to me that we will end up in a bi-polar mobile world, and it won’t be about the eco-systems. It will be about two immensely powerful mobile giants ruling the roost.

Like all things, this bi-polar mobile world will not last for ever. But for now, that’s the direction that things are rolling. Your thoughts?

  1. The article noted clearly what is observable at the moment but I think the market will still accommodate some more players from Android and maybe from Windows Phone platform too. Unfortunately, the market is not settling fast enough new innovations in both software and hardware at such a fast pace even manufacturers making losses or not making much profit are finding it difficult giving up on the competition going on.

    I strongly believe Nokia will still be strong again and maybe one or two more strong players will come from the Android platform.

    Two truth is, apart from Apple that can afford to offer their mobile devices and still remain profitable because of their media and app store, high volume of sales is the only way other competitors could remain profitable and that’s what Samsung is doing very well, catering for all segments of the market.

  2. The only certainty is the uncertainty in the market. Some things cannot be totally explained. Even the experts can just speculate but one thing is sure, no one will be the champion forever.

  3. I won’t want to categorise HTC as one of those having such problems at the moment. They experienced decline in sales but enough to keep their head above water. I still believe Nokia will rise back again, give them like 3years. The other android OEMs should be able to strategies and produce ‘cool’ designs that will attract some of us in Samsung camp. Especially Sony. That Sony has been sleeping in every aspect of their business.

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