History shows us how paradigm shifts have happened in the mobile phone industry over the last few decades. Froma predominatly European affair in the early 2000s, the pendulum swung towards North America, as American phone brands pushed their European counterparts into the shadows of history.
But that didn’t last for long. Asia was lurking in the corners and in the last eight years, the industry has witnessed an agressive push from China, Korea, India and Indonesia especially. The result? American phone brands are dropping like flies. It is really a sight to see.
Permit me to show you.
A List Of American Phone Brands
Here is a concise list of notable American cell phone brands over the years:
- Apple iPhone
- Google Pixel
- NUU Mobile
Palm was once one of the world’s most visible mobile phone brands. If you didn’t use a Palm, were you truly considered a mobile warrior? Palm went out of the game. We saw an attempt at a comeback, with the dimunitive Palm 2018, but that didn’t catch on.
Microsoft was the driving force behind the Pocket PC revolution. Companies like HP, HTC, and others rose to fame in the world of mobile devices in this revolution. Microsoft kept trying to stay in the game with different iterations of its mobile operating system but failed. This American company even tried its hands at hardware manufacturing. That failed too and the rest is history.
Microsoft Mobile is out of the game. HP? When was the last time we saw an HP smartphone? HP went out with Microsoft’s Windows 10 Mobile. Compaq and Dell dropped out even much earlier.
Essential Inc., was founded by ex-Android chief, Andy Rubin. The company gave us a stunning phone that we loved and hated. But that was it. Essential is now out of the game as well.
What of Motorola Mobility, a pioneer in mobile phones and once the world’s largest cell phone company? It is now Chinese, operating as a subsidiary of Lenovo.
The American Phone Brands Left Standing in 2020
So, which American phone brands are left standing? Google. BLU. CAT. NUU Mobile.
Google Pixel has remained a small-time player among American phone brands, and if recent trends are anything to go by, it will lose more grounds.
BLU has remained a small-time player as well. Not many people, even in the United States, have heard of the brand.
CAT Mobile Phones is American in origin, though licensed out to the UK’s Bullitt Group who do the actual manufacturing, so perhaps it counts? Still, CAT is a small player as well.
NUU Mobile launched in 2012 but is still a relatively small player as well on the global scene. Also, NUU Mobile is American-Chinese, so…
Essentially, the last American phone brand standing tall and blazing in glory is Apple. The iPhone is America’s last lone pride in the smartphone world.
BlackBerry Mobile (formerly Research In Motion) was Canadian. As a North American brand, it has some American DNA and was greatly loved by Americans. BlackBerry devices were once the toast of the smartphone world, but the company began to lose ground too.
Like Microsoft, it has its own mobile operating system, kept trying to keep up with new developments but lost out, and eventually ditched their own system for Android. Even at that, it was mostly a losing fight.
There are feelers that a new generation of 5G BlackBerry phones with QWERTY keyboard are on the way and will hit the market in 2021. So, BlackBerry may not be down and out yet. But it has lost so much ground over the years that it has been reduced to a small player as well.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.