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Summary:

Success in the mobile handset business is akin to a minor league player making it to the big leagues — a long shot. Over the past few years, I have seen many a big player capitulate and get out of the market. Alcatel, Siemens and Sendo […]

Success in the mobile handset business is akin to a minor league player making it to the big leagues — a long shot. Over the past few years, I have seen many a big player capitulate and get out of the market. Alcatel, Siemens and Sendo come to mind. Others, like BenQ, tried and bit the dust. And the trend continues.

Mitsubishi, known in the U.S. for their automobile brand, facing a maturing market in Japan have decided to shutter their 25-year-old mobile handset business. That makes me wonder, who’s going to hightail it out of Dodge next? Motorola is too obvious and doesn’t count. Any other picks?

In related news: Engadget reports that iMate, the Dubai-based maker of Windows Mobile phones, has cut most of its U.S. staff after failing to find traction with American carriers.

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  1. Sony and Ericsson come to mind as successful. Their partnership worked well. Else, they would have closed shop too.

    But for the ones you mentioned who closed shop because they went to capture the Nokia market and lost. Instead, Apple, Danger and HTC all played to their niches and won, in my opinion.

  2. Basha,

    I agree with you on SE and Apple. I still withhold judgment on HTC. Danger also got out of the market in the nick of time. They were losing money and they were more of a software & services player. hard to put them in the same camp as Alcatel etc.

  3. The issue really stems back to basics. imate is not an OEM and aspire to be but really have no idea what that really means. HTC obviously did all the real heavy lifting and imate’s position since the disolve of that relationship makes it really clear.

    If the CEO would put his arrogance and ego aside for a few minutes and allow the leadership team to manage their areas of responsibility while hiring the right competencies necessary to develop solid products and deliver them to market they may stand a chance. He may also want to keep his extra marital affair with his Director of Corporate Affairs and the soap opera that it brings to the workplace in check. She is dead weight and exerts more power than she should ever be allowed since she is clueless about this business and about managing people. Bottomline, they are not people with integrity and treat their “staff” as “expendable” They both need to step aside if this company has a chance in hell.

  4. Joshua Feinberg Monday, March 3, 2008

    Om,

    While others are running for the exits, I’ve always wondered why Dell hasn’t wanted to be more actively involved in this space.

    For many years, it looked like Dell was on a role with laser printers, LCD projectors, stored attached networks, and even MP3 players.

    Any thoughts on why we’ve never seen an aggressive Round Rock entry into the mobile phone business? There’s got to be some natural synergies.

    Thanks for the update.

  5. at least Motorola has been very consistent. every 8 years or so they come out with an excellent, innovative, and extremely popular phone. than nothing for the next 8 years or so.

    i am thinking the original brick cell phone, the original flip phone, the startac, the first really small clamshell(forget the name/model number), and the razr. these were all massive hits for 2 or 3 years after release and nothing new(and interesting) for years after.

  6. Dimitrios Matsoulis Tuesday, March 4, 2008

    Alcatel comes to mind as a very frail brand. Hard to find outside France and with phones that are not that impressive…
    http://electronrun.wordpress.com/

  7. I agree with you sony and ericsson come to mind as successful , and i think after sony ericsson Put a new version P5I Will be much competition with Nokia N95 8Gb and with Apple Iphone and i think we will enjoy with this Competition

  8. I agree with you sony and ericsson come to mind as successful , and i think after sony ericsson Put a new version P5I Will be much competition with Nokia N95 8Gb and with Apple Iphone and i think we will enjoy with this Competition
    http://mobile1club.blogspot.com

  9. Moto’s Slow Death By RAZR Cuts – GigaOM Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    [...] which never rebounded after RAZR phones stopped being the next new thing. Motorola rode that wave all the way to the shore and, after trying to sell the division for the last few months, is now spinning it off into a new [...]

  10. The Law of Mobility » Blog Archive » Business Models: March 2008 Friday, March 28, 2008

    [...] Mobile Phones: Still A Hard Nut To Crack [...]

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