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Don’t Phone It In

February 13, 2013

There was a lot of press near the end of the year when it was announced that PC sales were down for the year 2012.  It looks like they finished about 2% down, though I didn’t see the final numbers.  Of course, they weren’t the only internet device to be down for the year, apparently.

Global sales of mobile phones fell in 2012 compared with the previous year, according to a report from research company Gartner.

It said 1.75 billion handsets had been bought, marking a 1.7% decline.

Analysts at the firm suggested “tough economic conditions” had been partly responsible for the drop.

As usual, the blame falls to the economy over people just not wanting to spend all the money on multiple internet devices.  Sales of tablets were up, and it’s likely that people chose to spend the money and the contractual obligations on that rather than on a new phone.  One could probably also pick on the fact that there really wasn’t a lot new in the phone industry last year, so there was probably a little momentum for people to upgrade.

The phone market has been pretty dynamic in terms of its growth since the creation of the smartphone category.  But like the PC, the market is really maturing, and the differences between phones are really starting to become miniscule.  Also, I haven’t seen the new “killer” use that would encourage a revolution in the phone industry.  So at this point, it’s all about growing the total number of users who would like to use a phone and finding ways to get them to afford it.

This isn’t a condemnation of the industry (or of tablets or PCs).  The market is still huge, and it’s up to the companies selling devices and services to convince the market that there is something new.  I do expect that we’ll see a softening in both PC and phone markets to continue, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see tablets continue to grow… but not at the levels some people are expecting.

Still, if you’re going to use the internet on any of your devices, please make sure to stop by and visit.  We’ll be here getting it right, and wrong, for your reading enjoyment.

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