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Friday, 29 June 2012 10:46

Handset makers dying a slow death

Written by Nick Farrell



Weaker players ready to buy the farm


While the Tame Apple Press has been claiming that the world is now mobile and the PC is dying, very few companies have been able to make any dosh out of the Mobile boom.

This week RIM announced its sales figures were going down the loo and most of the world just thought it was because RIM has been a pants company for years, and its karma has finally caught up with it. But it is not the only one, HTC shocked many by announcing it is pulling out from Brazil, by far the most important market in Latin America, Nokia pulled out of certain smaller markets, stopping Meltemi development and closing its Salo production facilities.

While these three are known to be in trouble but it could be a symptom of a bigger problem namely that the mobile revolution is overstated and players like Apple and Samsung have it more or less to themselves.

The problem is Europe. Retail sales volume in markets from Spain to Netherlands have started collapsing at a more than eight percent. With the European debt crisis really started spiraling out of control it looks like people are not buying smartphones.

While this happened before, in 2000, the phone industry was blindsided by a sudden volume decline. There were warnings from weaker players like Siemens, Philips, Ericsson and Alcatel and then the industry suddenly went tits up. That time there was a wider tech meltdown; this time, the problems come from the European debt crisis.

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