2013 predictions: Micro-P MD Gerry O'Keeffe

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O’Keeffe says Samsung will continue its momentum through its Galaxy portfolio and Windows 8 will benefit through broad adoption of the Nokia Lumia range, while we are also likely to see consolidation amongst vendors

2013 will pass a lot slower for many of us than 2012. However that is not a bad thing as I believe it will allow businesses to focus on the delivery of plans and initiatives that many began in the last year. I remain very upbeat that the economy in general and the technology industry in particular will exceed current forecasts in 2013.

The velocity of change that has accelerated hugely in the last year will continue to increase at a pace which whilst frightening at times will create lots of opportunity for those nimble enough to adjust to changing patterns.

2012 saw a change in

market dynamics with the entrance of Google and Amazon into the smartphone tablet world. This drive to get control of content delivery will generate considerable disruption in the market as Google continues on their push into the smartphone world with Amazon potentially also partnering with a smartphone manufacturer to secure their route to the

consumer.

Samsung’s Galaxy momentum will accelerate as they seek to overtake the Apple installed base, leveraging their significant advantage in converging technologies. Windows phone will gradually but consistently gain share during the year as Windows 8 gets broader adoption and Nokia’s Lumia range will be one of the clear successes in 2013. From an OS perspective, 2013 will see Tizen gain more adoption as networks push vendors into collaboration to provide an alternative to IOS and Android.

The need for scale and complete portfolio to ensure survival in the converged world will drive consolidation amongst vendors. 2012 has seen this happen from a distributor perspective with Ingram Micro’s acquisition of BrightPoint and Tech Data’s acquisition of Brightstar Europe. We may well see mobile and IT vendors join together in 2013.

Dell and HP need an established player such as BlackBerry to complement their strength in the B2B sector. Microsoft has entered the device market with the introduction of the Surface tablet and could well extend this trend to smartphones this year. Geopolitical logic would say a tie up between Asus, HTC and Acer would strengthen Taiwan’s place in the market, although historical rivalries may preclude this and of course Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE could see the value in acquiring another brand to increase market share in the western world.

Service and engagement with the customer will remain the fundamental drivers in distribution in 2013. Broadening services and solutions we deliver to our customers, growing their revenue streams and increasing profitability, is the job of distribution and increasing adoption of off premise solutions will make this easier in as businesses, schools and colleges get more familiar with user pay’s billing mechanisms. Mobile and UC dealers who are now well used to revenue share models are perfectly placed to capitalise on the continued evolution of this model.

Accessorisation of smartphones and tablets will provide profit for us all. Appcessories and audio provide real opportunities to provide higher value attach opportunities for each device sale.

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