Netbooks and smart phones: industries converge and the land-grab has started

Reading - Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Canalys announced today that it will host its inaugural Canalys Mobility Forum on 17 November at the Hilton London Heathrow Hotel. This will be the place where the major players in PCs, netbooks and smart phones discover how to navigate the new mobile industry landscape, deal with its challenges and make the most of the opportunities it presents.

Steve Brazier, Canalys President and CEO, said, ‘Despite almost universal market gloom, two stars are shining brightly in the mobile world. Smart phones, already established as a hugely important sector of the mobile phone market, continue to grow in volume and take an ever-larger proportion of overall mobile phone market value. Netbooks are the new act in town, taking many in the industry by surprise and showing quite spectacular shipment growth by carving out a lucrative niche for new kinds of users at low prices, and capitalising on operator subsidies. Mobile network operators are delighted that these devices are driving growth in data traffic and finally justifying those investments in 3G. These trends are creating many new business challenges, as two large, but very different, industries rapidly converge. The leading smart phone vendors include Nokia, Apple, RIM, Samsung and HTC in EMEA, while the leading sellers of netbooks are Acer, Asus, HP, Samsung and Toshiba. Only Samsung and Apple have proved effective at participating in both phones and PCs.’

The Canalys Mobility Forum format will allow each participant to get to grips with the new order of business engagement in the mobile space. The PC and phone industries will come together to hear the views of Canalys on the key issues, the opportunities, pitfalls, and likely winners and losers as new business models emerge. These will be discussed in panels representing the leading players in these fields, including PC vendors, mobile operators, operating system providers, channel partners, component suppliers, developers and the media. Hot mobility issues will be tackled, such as:

  • Is this the end for ‘Wintel’? To what extent can ‘Quandroid’ make inroads? This panel will explore the future of mobility and which platforms and user interfaces will dominate five years from now.
  • Applications and marketplaces. What’s hot and what’s not and which business models will be most successful. Will Ovi work for Nokia and can operators realistically offer a workable alternative in a multi-platform environment?
  • Operators – partners or competitors? Smart phone and PC vendors alike are embracing the subsidised hardware model, but where are the operators heading? What is the optimal territory balance between operators and vendors and what is rightful place for the operator in the value chain?

The dramatic growth of mobility is shaking up the technology industry. Consider the following:

  • Newly developed operating systems and user interfaces are gaining traction fast and are starting to look like credible alternatives to the long-established incumbents.
  • Microsoft is not leading innovation in either area – how soon could its dominance come to an end?
  • Application marketplaces have reinvented shareware. Whose role is it to manage these revenue streams: operators, hardware vendors or operating system providers? How profitable will these services become?
  • Customised software and services now afford innovative hardware manufacturers the opportunity to succeed through more than industrial design.
  • With a plethora of choices, the confused consumer needs clear advice from retailers, which in turn need efficient training to enable them to recommend appropriate products, services and contracts.
  • Exclusive operator deals offer rapid growth, but they can restrict uptake over the longer term. Operators suddenly face complex inventory management challenges, while their suppliers face difficult channel choices.
  • Poor battery life remains a concern for all: challenges to Intel are coming on this front.
  • What is the difference between a smart phone, a netbook and a notebook PC? Is screen size all that matters? Where are the overlaps that give rise to new competitors?

Canalys is uniquely placed to conduct such an event. It works closely with both the smart phone and PC industries, understands both markets and can bring together the audience and the analysis to deliver unparalleled value in a single day. Attendees can fly in on the morning of Tuesday, 17 November 2009 and return to the office on Wednesday. Rita Chaher, Canalys Events and Marketing Manager, commented, ‘This format allows us to provide attendees with a rich and intense business experience and at the same time not require that they spend a lot of time away from their important day-to-day activities.’ The Forum is being held in the Hilton London Heathrow Hotel, which is just a short ride from all of Heathrow’s major terminals.

For full information about the event, including registration details, please visit

Press who would like to attend this event should contact Gemma Edwards regarding free press passes.

About Canalys

Canalys specialises in delivering high quality market data, analysis and advice to the world’s leading technology vendors. It is recognised as a key provider of continuous advisory services and confidential custom projects for marketing managers and strategists within blue-chip IT, telecoms, navigation and consumer electronics companies. It has unrivalled expertise in routes to market for all kinds of high technology products and services in the consumer, SMB and large enterprise segments, and provides worldwide market data and trends analysis.

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 Netbooks and smart phones: industries converge and the land-grab has started


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