1. FASHER's Avatar
    From my local paper yesterday....actually written by some CNN folks.... http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs....=2013302050027

    Smartphone buyers cling to familiar brands

    Most customers stick with Apple, Samsung



    Alicia Keys is shown with BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins at the BlackBerry 10 launch Wednesday in New York. / Mario Tama / Getty Images
    Promoting BlackBerry at an event last week, Alicia Keys employed a romance analogy.

    “We’re exclusively dating again, and I’m very happy,” the singer said, referring to her return to the new BlackBerry smartphone after years of dalliance with other brands.

    It was an obvious hip-by-association marketing tactic by BlackBerry. But the moment also underscored a sales conundrum that has most phone makers stumped: Consumers aren’t as audacious and adventuresome as BlackBerry would have you believe. Keys’ rekindled love for BlackBerry flies in the face of industry data that say consumers are flocking to better-known brands — Apple’s iPhone and Samsung for Android users — even as they now have more quality choices in operating systems and phone models than ever.

    Some phone makers’ failure to ship on time or spend aggressively on marketing are partly to blame. That it’s increasingly difficult for consumers — at least in perception — to transfer files as they switch operating systems or handsets discourages experimentation. Wireless carriers also can affect sales with merchandising, employee training and store display.

    Apple’s iPhone was still the leader in the U.S. in the fourth quarter, with 39 percent of the smartphone market, according to data released by the NPD Group. Samsung, which makes iPhone’s main competitor, Galaxy S3, took 30 percent of the market.

    The two companies raised their combined share to 69 percent vs. 62 percent a year earlier. Other manufacturers are losing sales and languishing with a U.S. market share percentage in the single digits.

    “This cutting-edge market has become so mature that known choices are winning,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. “People have become so risk-averse.”

    The lack of diversity in consumer purchases could have long-term effects of weakened competition, said Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research. “It has very serious consequences,” she said. “HTC, Motorola, BlackBerry, Nokia. They’re all struggling. It could become like the PC business.”

    Of course, Apple’s case is unique, with its early start in the smartphone business and a loyal customer base that sticks to its universe of apps, iTunes songs and iPad.

    But the market is also hardening for Android. In the past, a manufacturer would develop an Android phone and see it named differently by carriers that also spent money for marketing the names. But now, manufacturers prefer sticking to one brand name globally across carriers and handle marketing on their own, says David Owens, Sprint’s vice president of product development.

    This gives deep-pocket companies, such as Samsung, an advantage. The South Korean giant has outspent competitors and can leverage its branding power harnessed from making products across all electronics segments.

    “Making washers and driers has helped them,” said Andrew Morrison, T-Mobile’s vice president of product management.

    With clever ads lampooning Apple enthusiasts or featuring a day in the life of basketball star LeBron James, Samsung spent about $4 billion on advertising last year — a large chunk of it on phones, analyst Horace Dediu wrote on his blog at Asymco.com.

    “It might be surprising to note that Samsung spends considerably more than Apple and Microsoft. But it also spends more than Coca-Cola, a company whose primary cost of sales is advertising,” Dediu said.

    Samsung heavily pitched its Galaxy S3 as an ideal iPhone replacement. Other makers failed to generate a similar level of market buzz even though they also released flagship products — including HTC One X, Motorola RAZR HD and LG Optimus G — that were generally well-reviewed. “They’re all pretty good,” Forrester’s Epps said. “It’s not about quality. It’s about marketing, branding and carrier promotion.”

    Mike Woodward, HTC’s president of North America, said Samsung’s full-court press in advertising hurt its business and vows to spend more on marketing this year. Its shipment of One X in the U.S. was also delayed last year because of U.S. Customs’ patent reviews. Of the major phone makers, its U.S. market share slid the most in the fourth quarter.
    02-06-13 09:38 AM
  2. SixStringMadness's Avatar
    And I believe BlackBerry will see many users familiar with BlackBerry, return form their current platforms they moved away from BlackBerry for.

    Its interesting how bloggers try to simplify an entire industry to a simple thought....

    There are a plethora of reasons why people will switch or stay with any one of the smartphone makers.
    kbz1960, shemaree09 and spike12 like this.
    02-06-13 09:42 AM
  3. mrfreetruth's Avatar
    The article is pure propaganda for ios and android. It's very obvious and simple minded.
    02-06-13 09:52 AM
  4. anon1727506's Avatar
    And I believe BlackBerry will see many users familiar with BlackBerry, return form their current platforms they moved away from BlackBerry for.

    Its interesting how bloggers try to simplify an entire industry to a simple thought....

    There are a plethora of reasons why people will switch or stay with any one of the smartphone makers.
    Very true... just not sure the BlackBerry gave anyone a reason to switch. Sure BB10 is a reason to stay with a platform you are familiar with, but is it really a reason for someone invested in either Android or iOS switch?
    Rello likes this.
    02-06-13 09:57 AM
  5. kbz1960's Avatar
    BlackBerry is a familiar brand. Nuff said.
    southlander likes this.
    02-06-13 09:59 AM
  6. kbz1960's Avatar
    Very true... just not sure the BlackBerry gave anyone a reason to switch. Sure BB10 is a reason to stay with a platform you are familiar with, but is it really a reason for someone invested in either Android or iOS switch?
    How invested are they? My guess is a lot of Android users only get free apps. iOS users maybe more but plenty of free apps there too. And even so most apss are cheaper than a lot of things people buy daily.
    02-06-13 10:01 AM
  7. hurds's Avatar
    This whole 'invested' thing I think applies moreso to a lot of people on forums like these. Anyone I talk to doesnt for a second feel invested into a platform. I switched to BB no problem. Just kept my iphone so still had everything although stopped using it after a couple months (glad i kept it though cause I lost my bb about a month ago). Plus many people I know how do have iphones have several other apple products so its no big deal to switch and for many iphone-fatigue is setting in.

    In Asia's trend-setting cities, iPhone fatigue sets in | Reuters

    I agree @kbz1960. I'd bet 90% of people dont feel any sort of 'investment' into android, aside from the minority who customize, flash roms and love widgets.
    02-06-13 01:39 PM
  8. qbnkelt's Avatar
    Oh wow I don't cling to any phone brand. Whatever catches my eye and works for me is what I go with. For me, I feel that my loyalty is for people and ideals. Not to bits of plastic and wires.
    ubizmo likes this.
    02-06-13 01:45 PM
  9. Rello's Avatar
    Very true... just not sure the BlackBerry gave anyone a reason to switch. Sure BB10 is a reason to stay with a platform you are familiar with, but is it really a reason for someone invested in either Android or iOS switch?
    BB10 looks very good, but I agree with u that I don't really know if they gave users a real reason to switch. During the superbowl, everyone at my house saw the commercial but the first thing they pointed out was that it only launched with 70k apps while android has 700k apps. I think many actually do believe that BB10 looks real good but that android and IOS may still be more feature rich. My best friend teases me about my "old" 9900, yet he genuinely like my PlayBook and BB10, but when he can hook up a PS3 controller to his android device and play a Playstation game like Marvel vs Capcom with it....he's likely not to switch.

    I believe that if BB had introduced more amazing features like BBM Video with screen sharing that they wouldve easily captured the minds of many IOS and android users. I think that majority of those switching are those that either like trying new products, or left only because of the lacklaster products BB offered until now.
    richardat and Admorris like this.
    02-06-13 09:31 PM
  10. Admorris's Avatar
    BB10 looks very good, but I agree with u that I don't really know if they gave users a real reason to switch. During the superbowl, everyone at my house saw the commercial but the first thing they pointed out was that it only launched with 70k apps while android has 700k apps. I think many actually do believe that BB10 looks real good but that android and IOS may still be more feature rich. My best friend teases me about my "old" 9900, yet he genuinely like my PlayBook and BB10, but when he can hook up a PS3 controller to his android device and play a Playstation game like Marvel vs Capcom with it....he's likely not to switch.

    I believe that if BB had introduced more amazing features like BBM Video with screen sharing that they wouldve easily captured the minds of many IOS and android users. I think that majority of those switching are those that either like trying new products, or left only because of the lacklaster products BB offered until now.
    Very level headed, thoughtful response...and dead on.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2
    02-07-13 07:20 AM
  11. shemaree09's Avatar
    I think Blackberry is a more familiar brand than Windows...as far as phones are concerned. Most people associate Windows with computers and only see Android and iPhones as smartphone choices. Blackberry is still relevant, but the name Blackberry has taken on its own category. Smartphones and Blackberry. The new Z10 should help to push Blackberry under the smartphone umbrella.
    02-07-13 10:01 AM
  12. onvisa's Avatar
    I believe that if BB had introduced more amazing features like BBM Video with screen sharing that they wouldve easily captured the minds of many IOS and android users. I think that majority of those switching are those that either like trying new products, or left only because of the lacklaster products BB offered until now.
    Didn't TH show screen sharing at the launch?
    02-07-13 10:09 AM
  13. shemaree09's Avatar
    Didn't TH show screen sharing at the launch?
    Yup. I think a lot of people missed the beginning montage that showed a TON of new features.
    02-07-13 10:27 AM
  14. bluetroll's Avatar
    good thing that blackberry has is that 'soft spot'

    a lot of smartphone users had a blackberry as their first smartphone. it will always hold a special place.

    it's similar to that first car you buy! it will always have a soft spot in your heart!
    02-07-13 10:31 AM

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