Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse said in a note to employees Friday that Sprint will merge the marketing and sales teams of its enterprise and consumer businesses into one body. Hesse said the carrier is restructuring in an effort to better streamline its operations, Reuters reported on Friday. As a result, Sprint is also removing four executives from their roles with the firm. “As the wireless market has evolved, the lines between consumers and businesses have blurred,” Hesse said, according to a note to employees obtained by Reuters. “We believe that we no longer need to support two separate business units, and that it is more logical now to evolve to unified marketing and sales organizations. Because of the enormous investments we’re making this year in Network Vision and in the iPhone, we need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient.” Sprint’s chief marketing officer Bill Malloy will run the merged marketing and sales unit. Sprint has decided to remove the president of its consumer services group, Bob Johnson, the president of its integrated solutions group, Danny Bowman, the senior vice president of its corporate development and spectrum, Chris Rogers, and the senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Carney. More →
You are not alone if you walk into brick and mortar stores to check out a product only to turn around and buy it online later. According to a new study from Retrevo, 66% of all shoppers and 78% of smartphone owners “look at a product in a store” and then purchase the product online from a different outlet. Consumer electronics stores are taking the biggest hit; 58% of smartphone owners decide to buy products first spotted in a store online. Retrevo suggests that is because consumers feel overwhelmed with the amount of products on display. 53% of the respondents who walked into a retail electronics store could not decide what to buy. 30% of those shoppers said it was because they did not have an adequate amount of information on the products they were searching for and sales staff were of no help. Smartphones could help save stores such as Best Buy, however. 42% of shoppers use their phones to check prices while in store, 25% use smartphones to find coupons and 29% read reviews and product specs on their phone. Retrevo suggests that a carefully crafted application that provides access to the aforementioned information could help consumers stay in stores instead of heading home and buying goods online. More →
“We no longer anticipate Research in Motion recovering to participate in the mainstream of smartphone industry growth.” Those are the words of Matthew Robison, an analyst with Wunderlich Securities, which recently downgraded RIM’s stock. Robison argues that RIM is going to lose the consumer interest that it has built over the last few years. “Our long-term forecast anticipates a role supplying business-oriented devices, both mid-range and high end, as well as cloud-based services via the BlackBerry Network.,” Robison said. “We expect the consumer mix gained over the past two years to churn off, and that earnings will decline after 2013 and eventually grow again on demand that is largely associated with business users.” Robison said the PlayBook is selling well relative to other tablets, “other than the iPad,” but that “there’s little indication that the PlayBook has registered with consumers outside the loyal BlackBerry installed base.” We’ve leaked and had hands-on time with most of RIM’s 2011 lineup, and while there’s a definite spec boost across the board, the phones lack the appealing features of more robust iOS and Android devices. Worse yet, the company only revealed one new device during its annual BlackBerry World 2011 conference, and even that offered very little in the way of innovation that might attract the consumer market. More →
Analytics company comScore is forecasting that consumer spending this holiday season will rise more than 11%, making this year’s figure the highest on record. The company has already published the purchasing figures for the first three weeks of November, which total $9.01 billion and are 13% higher than last year. “We are seeing online spending surpass the totals we saw in 2007 prior to the recession, and expect sales this holiday season to be the highest on record,” said comScore’s chairman, Gian Fulgoni. comScore anticipates that consumers will spend roughly $32.4 billion this holiday season. More →
Changewave’s latest smartphone survey results are out and the compiled data confirms what most tech savvy people know: Apple and HTC are on the rise while Motorola, RIM, and Palm are on the decline. The survey queried over 4,000 consumers and questioned them about their future smartphone buying habits. Not surprisingly, the survey revealed that Apple is a driving force in the smartphone market with more than half (52%) of the respondents indicating that they would be purchasing an Apple iPhone as their next smartphone. HTC came in a distant second with 19% showing interest in HTC smartphone offerings. HTC was followed by Motorola (9%), RIM (6%), and sadly Palm (0%).
Looking historically, the survey reveals that Apple and HTC are the only two manufacturers which are generating increased interest in their handsets. Interest in Apple has skyrocketed from 31% to 52% due to the hype surrounding the iPhone 4 launch; while HTC has been propelled upward from 12% to 19% due to the interest in the EVO 4G and the Droid Incredible. Motorola, RIM, and Palm all show a decline as none of those three manufacturers released a new handset in months between March and June 2010. With the myriad of problems affecting the iPhone 4, the low inventory of HTC’s android offerings, and the launch of the Motorola Droid X, it will interesting to see how these figures shape up in the next survey. More →
Circuit City closed its doors earlier this year following a last ditch effort to stay afloat that just didn’t pan out. Some, such as the 35,000 or so people left without a job, were pretty sad to see the company go — there isn’t much competition these days as far as brick and mortar electronics mega retailers go. While Circuit City’s physical locations have all been retired at this point, their spirit lives on in the newly revived CircuitCity.com. Earlier this week, Systemax completed a deal to purchase various Circuit City assets and the company wasted no time in relaunching the website, which is now live and boasting lower prices, a wider selection, faster shipping and 24/7 customer service. Cool. Systemax also owns TigerDirect and CompUSA (which it acquired last year) so consumer electronics is clearly nothing new for the company. Anyone happy to see CC back in action, at least to some extent?
Nokia announced yesterday that it is reallocating its resources and selling assets focused on the business and enterprise market. They are planning on stopping the research and development of business solutions and enterprise mail. Surprising, since Mail for Exchange 2.7 had just been released not long ago – which would lead some to believe that Nokia’s business support would continue going. Not so. Instead, they are focusing on the consumer and devices and software geared toward non-business types. Nokia is planning on selling off its security appliances business to a financial investor with the EVP of Services & Software saying:
“If this transaction is concluded, it would be an extremely positive development for the security appliance business, which will be able to realize its full potential under new ownership. The investor is committed to continuing the development and growth of the business, to serving its current network of customers, and to retaining and motivating its employees.”
We’ll see if this new investor can actually help that side of Nokia’s soon-to-be-former department “realize its full potential” and motivate its employees. This does seem like a logical step for Nokia since their business devices, like the E71 and E90, haven’t done so well against Blackberry, Motorola, and HTC in terms of sales, popularity, and enterprise support. Not to mention them stupidly dropping BlackBerry Connect. With Nokia tightening its focus on the consumer market, we can only hope that it leads to some awesome multimedia devices and compete with the iPhone, G1, and future devices that will be featuring Android.
UPDATE: To clarify, Nokia is not ceasing to manufacture business devices. They are concentrating on consumer software.