Micro-P managing director Gerry O’Keeffe sees the spotlight being on B2B dealers this year, with manufacturers and networks using their sector more as demand in the consumer channel falls
“2012 will be a year when B2B dealers take centre stage again. Waning consumer demand and falling prepay volumes will see the various ecosystems focus more than ever on the dealer community. Most manufacturers will create or expand their B2B channel teams and establish B2B channel programmes.
“Networks will also seek to use the channel more as they look to take direct cost out of their structures.
“Microsoft Windows Phone will consistently grow market share and, on the back of its manufacturer alliances, become a very compelling ecosystem. This will accelerate with the launch of Windows 8 in the second half of the year, when the same OS operates across smartphone, tablet, PC and Xbox.
“This year should be a fascinating year from a manufacturer perspective. Samsung will continue to drive the market and remain the leading challenger to Apple in the tablet world. Apple’s growth may well start to plateau, while HTC and BlackBerry will find 2012 more challenging than recent years.
“We expect to see a lot of ODM activity at the value end of the market, with MVNOs taking more share of a declining prepay market.
“Convergence, both within the channel and with distributors, will accelerate this year as dealers become more au fait with selling off premise solutions both from Vodafone, O2 and other providers.”