2012 predictions: Huawei UK executive VP Mark Mitchinson


Huawei UK executive VP Mark Mitchinson reckons Android will continue to develop and gain market share in 2012, while the handset market will slightly contract

Google’s Android system has enabled the smartphone market to grow at an astonishing rate in the past 18 months. It’s notable that the Android market has had three different leaders since its inception, however, which demonstrates that Android consumers are by nature adventurous and receptive to new opportunities with regard to both software and hardware.

We are very excited by what we’ve seen from Google in 2012. Android will continue to gain share this year as smartphones take hold across all price points. The service and functionality that Android makes possible is mind blowing, and it will be really liberating for the mass market as well in 2012.

At the same time, the market is running out of ideas. Innovation in hardware and product design is unremarkable. There is also little brand loyalty beyond a few obvious exceptions and the promotion of devices has regressed to anaemic lifestyle marketing.

The handset market in the UK appears to have been unscathed so far by the economic downturn, but I expect it to contract marginally in 2012.

This is in part because of pressure on consumer income and the removal of prepay subsidies. As a result, manufacturers will have to work harder than ever before on design, value for money and innovation to inspire consumers to change their handsets.