Unwired Views for 2011. Florin: iPhone sales, MeeGo, WP7, Nokia Android phone
I’m still not fully used to the fact that it’s 2011.
Nevertheless, here we are. It’s been a busy year in the mobile industry, but 2011 will – or should – be even busier.
A lot of interesting things are bound to happen throughout the year, so we here at Unwired View thought it would be a good idea to make some predictions. Here’s what Staska thinks will happen in 2011, here are Brad’s predictions, and here’s what Vlad believes we’ll see this year.
Below are some of my mobile tech predictions for 2011. Needless to say, anyone’s free to disagree and to sound off in the comments : )
1. Touchscreen feature phones will slowly disappear
Because there’s no actual need for them – not in the way it once was, and not with Android and Symbian affordable touchscreen handsets around. Even Samsung, which sold tens of millions of touchscreen featurephones, understood that this is a dying market and made its own OS (Bada) that can run on either expensive, or cheaper devices.
LG – another major maker of dumb touchscreen phones – has also started to realize it needs smartphones. And it has done an excellent job with the affordable Android 2.2-based Optimus One (sold in more than 2 million units until now).
Sure, there will still be ultra-cheap touchscreen phones like the Samsung Champ or the new LG Wink / Cookie series, but these won’t matter much.
2. iPhone sales could pass the 100 million mark
Apple hopes to sell up to 21 million iPhones in the first quarter of this year. And if a CDMA iPhone is going to be announced soon (as rumored), it will. For the beginning, the sole US carrier to offer a CDMA iPhone will be Verizon. But we’ve heard rumors that Sprint might be joining the iPhone bandwagon, too. Furthermore, there are also several large CDMA carriers in India.
If the CDMA iPhone reaches Verizon, Sprint, and Indian carriers this year, sometime in early 2012 we might hear Steve Jobs proudly announcing that more than 100 million iPhones have been shipped during 2011
3. Nokia’s MeeGo will not make a big impact
It’s not yet clear when Nokia’s first MeeGo smartphone will hit the market. For Nokia’s sake, it should happen in the first half of this year. As previously reported, MeeGo will run on Nokia’s top-of-the-line handsets – which should directly compete with iPhone 5 and all the upcoming dual-core Android smartphones.
I’m not sure – no one is, actually – whether Nokia wants to make a huge MeeGo push from the start, by introducing several MeeGo smartphones at once, or if it will take it slowly and launch only one model (the Nokia N9, maybe). Either way, the biggest chunk of Nokia’s sales will still be represented by Symbian smartphones this year. In 2012, MeeGo may become huge. But 2011 just isn’t its year, and that’s pretty much Nokia’s fault, because it wasn’t able to speed things up.
4. Windows Phone 7 won’t make a big impact, either
Microsoft and its hardware partners sold 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 devices in six weeks. Which is not bat at all. Sales will grow, but not much – maybe to 1 – 2 million devices per month. That’s because all WP7 handsets will still be expensive when compared to some Android ones. Moreover, Microsoft’s partners are limited to only a select number of hardware makers – while Google’s partners are, well, all over the place.
Sure, there’s that rumor about Nokia wanting to launch WP7 devices. I don’t think it will happen this year. Or, if it does, Nokia will probably introduce just one WP7 handset to test the market – but that may not happen until the end of the year.
5. Nokia Android smartphone?
The fifth prediction isn’t exactly a prediction, it’s rather something that I would really like to see: a Nokia Android phone. Yes, I know, this doesn’t make sense – especially since Nokia might also make Windows Phone 7 handsets.
Anyway, here’s why you should make an Android handset, Nokia: there’s not much to lose if you do it. Ok, maybe it will hurt your pride a bit – because, in a way, it would mean you’re accepting the fact that Android is awesome. But I remember a quote from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction which fits perfectly here: “That’s pride f***ing with you. F**k pride!”
You don’t even need to spend much on R&D. Take the C7’s design and make a smartphone with stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of it. Sure, there’ll be some tweaks to do, but nothing too complicated, I think. After the smartphone’s ready, launch it in North America via AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers (with whom you already have partnerships). I’m willing to bet that you’d sell lots and lots of such Android C7’s – and that could do wonders in terms of brand recognition, don’t you think?