2014 predictions: Manufacturers

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Samsung UK and Ireland VP of IT and Mobile Simon Stanford, Nokia UK general manager Conor Pieerce, BlackBerry UK and Ireland MD Alexandra Zagury, Motorola VP and general manager Andrew Morley and MOJO Maker sales and marketing director Caroline Preston provide their thoughts on the year ahead

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Simon Stanford – UK and Ireland vice president of IT and mobile, Samsung Electronics

2013 will be remembered as the year that wearable technology really came into its own. With that, came a genuine challenge to traditional forms of communication as consumers were given the means by which to stay connected in a way they had never been able to before. The next 12 months will see things really hot up in this space, and the war for the wrist will take off as wearable technology becomes more ubiquitous.

The fitness industry has been one of the first to embrace the wearable tech trend, and as new health and fitness apps are developed and data becomes more meaningful, 2014 will see technology play an increasingly important role in family health and our day-to-day lives.

Manufacturers will be under pressure from consumers to offer devices that allow them to access and share all their apps wherever they are, anytime they want. We will be working with our partners to ensure wider adoption of 4G with the industry already looking ahead to the provision of 5G. In addition, the next 12 months will prove critical in terms of content delivery and the associated and tangible customer experience that brings.”

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Conor Pierce – General Manager, Nokia UK

2014 will be a year defined by ecosystems, not just for the consumer market but for B2B too. That’s already apparent in the way that the new games consoles such as the Xbox One are being marketed on their ability to not only deliver a fun playing experience but also use the cloud to access a full range of owned music and other content, not to mention paid-for and free TV services. We will see this more as tablets move from coffee table devices to embrace 4G and use the same services to deliver download and play or streaming content. In turn, this will mean that uptake on larger screen devices will continue and that will drive 4G adoption. Hopefully this will become a virtuous circle for the industry that we will all benefit from, especially as the increasing use of social media, image sharing and map-based services will also drive this trend.

It’s clear that we will see the continuing shift in consumer shopping preference too. As more of the public chooses to purchase online, extra pressure will fall on the retail channel to adapt and provide extra services to maintain their customer base.

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Alaxandra Zagury – managing director, BlackBerry UK and Ireland

The explosion of the smartphone market in recent years has been one of the key factors in the rise of the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) movement. In this context, enterprise IT has got more complex. As such, as enterprise IT catches up with the trend, the demand for robust device management software and services will be a key theme throughout 2014.

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Andrew Morley – Vice President and General Manager, Motorola Mobility

In today’s modern world, technology has become a necessary part of our everyday lives.

There’s still a large untapped consumer base that doesn’t have access to smartphones (mainly due to price point) and the internet offerings that they bring. A polarisation of smartphone products is emerging in the market; basic and low spec or high-end and high-priced — but this shouldn’t be the case. 2014 and beyond will see customers being able to buy a new smartphone that meets their needs at a price they can afford. From a design perspective, we’ve also seen a shift away from conformity and a rise in a desire to have a phone which reflects consumers’ personal styles, and so predict that customisable handsets will continue to get more popular.

2014 is going to be about giving consumers the option to choose what is right for them – a choice which means they can personalise their affordable, yet high-spec devices, without having to compromise on price.

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Caroline Preston – Sales and Marketing Director, MOJO Maker

2014 is set to be an exciting year for mobile handset sales as the recovery from the global financial crisis is finally and clearly under way.

Mobile brands that focus their efforts solely on price-driven marketing and/or favouring adult customers will underestimate the potential of the youth market.

The youth sector will emerge this year as the key driver of new technology usage and high-end smartphone sales. It will continue to be one of the biggest influences when buying a handset; both on themselves and their older family members. Parents will turn to their children for advice and education when it comes to learning about new technologies.

Organisations without effective “youth-aimed” marketing schemes will miss out on a fickle customer sector most likely to change product on a frequent basis.

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