“A few years ago, around the middle of the last decade, the mobile phone market was characterized by the rivalry between a few established vendors. These were Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson. These incumbent companies had a broad portfolio of devices including smartphones and feature phones and basic phones. Many also sold networking equipment and were deeply engaged with their customers, network operators,” Horace Dediu writes for Asymco.
“There was also a set of entrants who offered only smartphones. They were quirky. HTC was a a prominent ‘ODM’ or original design manufacturer who built phones for companies who added their brands and sold and supported the product. HTC made phones and PDAs for operator brands and for some large PC companies. It also began to sell phones under its own brand,” Dediu writes. “RIM was also offering products that had evolved from pagers into email appliances with added voice capabilities. But RIM’s products were not very good as phones. Voice was so poorly integrated that many people carried both a BlackBerry and a voice phone. Then there was Palm with something called a Treo which promised many things but did not quite deliver.”
“In 2007 something happened which changed the industry. It took a few years to even realize it was happening but by the time it was obvious, it had changed to such a degree that huge companies found themselves in financial distress,” Deidu writes. “Motorola is now being absorbed by a search company. Sony Ericsson is being absorbed into a consumer electronics company. Nokia is going through a potentially existential crisis and even abandoned its platform. Acquisition talk surrounds LG’s phone efforts. Samsung is prosperous but sill at the mercy of its software suppliers. Even the entrants are starting to feel beleaguered. RIM, the oldest pure play smartphone company is trading below book value and has regressed in value to 2004 levels. Palm evaporated.”
Deidu asks, “How did large, powerful, smart companies let this happen?”
And, now, with Apple’s Siri, “it looks like things are about to change all over again,” Deidu writes.
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: And now, an iCal blast from the past:
The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry. – Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, January 15, 2007
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “warbux” for the heads up.]
Apple iPhone release will be watershed; will change pretty much everything in mobile industry – May 18, 2007
Why Apple’s iPhone is a radical, disruptive product – March 1, 2007
RealMoney: Apple just blew up the whole damn mobile-phone supply chain with its new iPhone – January 11, 2007