2011: Year in Review

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From the fall and “new dawn” of Nokia to the death of Steve Jobs, we look back at the stories that have defined the past 12 months

Q1 2011
Mark Mitchinson joins Carphone Warehouse to take charge of its indirect B2B activity and Brightstar Europe marketing director Tanny Cordingley joins distributor Shebang as managing director of its new B2B division. Anglia Telecom Centres and Fone Logistics rebrand as Daisy Distribution. 20:20 Mobile sells its Irish business. O2 announces plans to axe 400 staff and 40 stores in restructure. Orange enters the UC market with its Pocket Landline product.

Sony Ericsson announces its return to profitability while Nokia’s profits slide. Huawei prepares major UK brand push. Nokia partners with Microsoft to use Windows Phone OS on future handsets. World Congress is dominated by tablet devices with the Motorola Xoom, HTC Flyer and HP TouchPad. LG launches the first 3D mobile phones and tablet devices.

Yes Telecom founder Keith Curran returns with mobile forms company WorkMobile. Brightstar acquires accessories specialist Battrex. Carphone Warehouse’s Andrew Harrison and Graham Stapleton to lead Best Buy Europe team. Everything Everywhere to launch split-retail stores to help establish its brand strategy. Ofcom says operators will pay up to £1 billion for spectrum in 2012.

Brightstar declares itself the global leader in telecoms distribution while Data Select reveals plans to distribute its exclusive JCB handset range across five continents. Data Select chairman George McPherson criticises handset manufacturers for the lack of device releases in Q1.

Vodafone claims its share of the SME market is equal to O2’s; its SME director Rob Shardlow leaves the company, replaced by director of wholesale Tim Stone. O2 launches its Joined Up Communications Wholesale Partner Channel programme. Ofcom cuts MTRs from 4p per minute to 0.69p by 2015. Japanese earthquake affects Nokia and Sony Ericsson stock. Apple launches the iPad 2. Five men jailed for 40 years for £140 million mobile VAT fraud. Daisy Group buys Outsourcery’s Vodafone business for £12 million.

Q2 2011
Sources claim Brightstar Europe is close to acquiring Data Select. Everything Everywhere (EE) pledges to be the SME market leader by 2015 after a 500 per cent increase in year-on-year SME connections. Vodafone closes its Trowbridge contact centre, taking redundancy numbers close to 1,000 in the past year.

Nokia appoints its head of Turkish operations Conor Pierce as UK and Ireland general manager and completes its deal with Microsoft. HTC UK, Ireland and South Africa executive director Jon French is promoted to vice president of sales and operations in EMEA. Mark Mitchinson joins Huawei as UK executive vice president.

Daisy Group continues spending spree as it acquires trading assets of Telinet and Ipitomi for £15.4 million. 20:20 Mobile to open offices in Warsaw and Budapest as part of plans to expand business into Central and Eastern Europe. O2 and EE remove subsidies from prepay handsets in the wake of lost revenues from MTRs. O2 CEO Ronan Dunne accuses rival operators of connecting unprofitable business. RIM finally announces June 16 as UK launch date for the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Box breakers are claiming £60,000 earnings in two weeks. O2 signs multimillion-pound contract with security firm G4S Secure Solutions. High Court orders HMRC to pay back £1.5 million in VAT returns to mobile phone trader Brayfal. Orange dealer Geko Direct shuts after being unable to pay staff.

Mobile News investigation exposes retail staff on box breaking. Phones 4U and Three launch urgent investigations into store breaches with a number of staff reportedly suspended. Brightstar’s proposed purchase of Data Select falls through. Three UK CEO Kevin Russell quits to be replaced by COO David Dyson. EE announces plans to open 30 branded stores this year following initial trials. EE, O2 and Vodafone form standalone m-commerce JV.

RIM downgrades Q2 forecasts and announces plans to cut jobs in Q1. 20:20 Mobile partners with Huawei for UK distribution of handsets and tablets.

Full article in Mobile News issue 504 (December 19, 2011).

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