China Mobile, Nokia, Apple, Motorola
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I started pay attention to the mobile phone and service providers lately. In fact I bought some China Mobile (CHL) shares about 2 weeks ago (bought it a bit early again 🙂
Nokia: the balance
Nokia is the No. 1 brand in China as shown in baidu Shouji (cell phone) report. One thing I noticed during my last visit to Shanghai is Nokia set up a service center near Zhongshan park. Being in Midwest USA, I have not seen things like that and was a bit surprised. Why Nokia pay the extra attention to the customer services, now that they are already No. 1? One reason, I can think of, is they want to make sure their customers can get better services from authorized places, rather than going to those blackmarket and get their phones fixed.
Blackmarket phones are getting big in developing countries including China. While they make phone more affordable to the mass, the quality is a big problem and the brand name like Nokia got demaged. Nokia is keen on its brand, and don’t want things like the Nokia cellphone battery incident to happen again.
I have used several basic Nokia phones since 2000, in fact my first and current cellphones are both Nokia. While their phones are not trouble free, I think Nokia generally has easy to navigate user interface, and decent quality.
Motorola: fading away
I got to know Motorola in early 1990s because of Motorola pager, at which time they got entered the China market. They used to have a easy to remember slogan “Motorola pagers sending messages anywhere any time”. Now we are in the cellphone era, Motorola still is a player, but it looks like it’s more a US player vs. an international player. It’s now dropped behind Samsung, and takes No. 3 position in global market share. No wonder they are going to sell the cellphone division.
It’s ironic, just like IBM (the inventor of PC) sold PC division to Lenovo, now the inventor of cellphone is trying to selling the cellphone division.
Apple: the fashion
At this time, iPhone just got popular in the US, got started in western Europe and Japan. According Barron’s, iPhone did not live up to its expectation so far.
Next, I will talk about Blackberry and it maker Research in Motion.