It was another year of surprises at the 2009 Mobile News Awards.
Victories were entirely deserved, even if the victors lacked serious competition in certain categories.
Thus, without taking anything away from The Carphone Warehouse’s 14th trophy for Best Retailer, one must regard its lack of competition in the category as reflective of an inferiority complex among certain of its rivals – principally, Phones 4U, Vodafone and O2. Orange and Fonehouse were clearly confident enough of their own retail offeringsto go toe-to-toe with Carphone in the category.
Phones 4U is doing something right as it won the prize for Best Online Retailer. A shame Phones 4U wasn’t as enthusiastic about its bricks and mortar stores.
LG led the field with Samsung for Best Manufacturer. Both Korean vendors beat Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HTC and RIM. There was a battleroyal between Data Select and 20:20 for the prize of Best Distributor (Handsets).
The judges split the prize into sub-categories and scored the leading pair on each. Data Select nailed it by one point on customer testimonials. There was some success for 20:20 when its Dextra division won Best Distributor (Accessories), against Kondor and GenuineSolution.
Hugh Symons won the Best Distributor (Networks) gong leaving Mainline and Avenir fighting it out for a Commended certificate.
In the Best Business To Business Retailer category, Northern Ireland firm Barclay Communications’s entry impressed the judges more than submissions from Wellcomm, Uplands, Excalibur, Pure Mobile, Vivio,Quore and Excell.
Social networking apps provider Nimbuzz took Best Converged Solution trophy from under the noses of Truphone, INQ, Nokia, Orange, 20:20,HTC, and MX Telecom.
LG’s lucky night continued as its Solar Bluetooth car kit took the Innovative Product category by ‘storm’ (sorry RIM) beating kit suchas the Samsung Tocco, Nokia E71, BlackBerry Storm, and Quore 3D eyewear.
Lebara won Innovative Service for its low-cost international SIM against competition from GoHello, TomTom, Vodafone, Carphone Warehouse, Orange GoHello, and Nokia.
Orange’s victory in the Best Adverting campaign category was nudged along by the inability of some other entrants to complete all theentry criteria (eg it’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of an ad campaign when you don’t tell us the budget).
GoHello’s virtual switchboard technology that combines mobile and fixed technologies won Industry Advance award.
Our online voting system saw Ronan Dunne take ‘Industry Personality of the year with 39 per cent of the 1,215 votes (we made the system as rig-proof as possible).
Other winners included Regenersis (Environmental Enterprise), Total (Customer Service), and A Novo (Service and Repair).
For pictures from the night, click here
Full list of award winners:
- Customer Service – Total Limited
- Innovative Service – Lebara Mobile (International SIM Card)
- Innovative Product – LG (Solar Bluetooth Car Kit)
- Converged Solution – Nimbuzz
- Online Retailer – Phones4U.co.uk
- Business To Business Retailer – Barclay Communications
- Large Retailer – The Carphone Warehouse
- Service and Repair – A Novo
- Environmental Enterprise – Regenersis
- Distributor (Accessories) – Dextra
- Distributor (Handsets) – Data Select
- Distributor (Networks) – Hugh Symons Communications
- Advertising/Marketing/PR Campaign – Orange (‘I am’)
- Manufacturer – LG
- Industry Advance – GoHello
- Industry Personalilty – Ronan Dunne (02)