Smartphones are the new norm. Once, any allusion to smartphones would bring from many a reaction in the form of a commendation to Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY). When the company lost its market share others took over, largely based on a combination of the cost-effectiveness and high functionality of their products.
Companies such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung, and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have launched their own products and are furiously trying to establish a new standard for smartphones. While I see this as good for the market, I believe that Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) will continue to be a significant player because of the quality of its Blackberry 10 and the company’s culture of innovation and creativity.
The sales success of smartphones is threatening to sink the feature phone market, with it being expected that the sales of the feature phones will fall in 2013. A report from a market researcher at Gartner shows that smartphones are becoming more affordable. Of the 1.875 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2013, 1 billion units will be smartphones; this is compared to 675 million units that were sold in 2012. Over the next few years, smartphone sales will increase due to the products’ apps, processing power, and improved wireless capabilities, which could in turn allow for a better accessory integration and solutions that will establish performance benchmarks against the category and overall market. Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) did a lot of work popularizing the smartphone concept and showing how a smartphone can provide rich customer experience. It also set the trend in keyboard security and dimension.
Competitor number 1: Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Apple’s iPhone 5 is a gateway into Apple’s iPad, iTunes, iPod, and iMac ecosystem. However, Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) has shown through the recent introduction of the Lumia 925 that it is also capable of developing a phone that is a benchmark of high performance.
For Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK), the company’s recent movements have been eye-raising as investors saw its stock pop up after the release of Lumia 925 and a new Asha product – and this was despite a drop in profits and revenues. Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) posted results of -$0.86 earnings-per-share, and the stock now trades over 150% above its 52-week low.
As for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), it gained a market share of 19.17% of smartphone sales last year, second only to Samsung. Owing to unfavorable trends, namely the competition posed by rivals, Apple’s stock has been facing a downward pressure. Peaking at $705.07 less than a year ago, the stock has declined almost 65% since then. It now sits around $449.31 per share but has a market cap bigger than that of Samsung.