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2012: Year in Review

Mobile News
December 17, 2012

From the ongoing effects of the credit crunch to the launch of 4G, we look back at the stories that have defined the past 12 months

Q1 2012
BrightPoint rebrands to help clarify market position. Roy Taylor takes over as MD of Data Select from George McPherson, who becomes chairman. O2 business director Ben Dowd accuses Vodafone of “devaluing” B2B with financially unviable deals. iPhone 4 sparks a rise in fraudulent insurance claims. Micro-P and O2 end their two-year airtime agreement “by mutual consent”. Get Connected begins revamp of its 70-store retail estate. Thorsten Heins takes over as CEO of RIM, replacing Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. Tanny Jeffrey quits Shebang. Smartphone sales overtake PC sales for the first time. Nokia losses hit £900 million for the year. O2 apologises for two-week privacy breach after customer numbers become visible to website firms. Nokia follows up the Windows Phone Lumia 800 with the Lumia 710. Mobile channel expected to shrink as dealers set out aggressive acquisition plans. Phones 4U launches new JUMP tariff allowing customers to upgrade every six months. LG UK head of mobile Warren Lewis quits five months into the role. Sony completes deal to buy Ericsson out of its joint venture for £871 million – UK and Ireland marketing director Dave Hilton quits and is replaced by Catherine Cherry. Private equity firm Doughty Hanson looks to sell off 45 per cent share in 20:20 Mobile following review. Everything Everywhere vows to become the first UK network to offer 4G by the end of the year. Huawei unveils world’s first quad-core device at Mobile World Congress. Lebara Mobile, Vodafone and Microsoft scoop double honours at the 2012 Mobile News Awards. Three million new iPads sold within two weeks of launch. Vodafone dealers fume over 20 per cent upgrade commission cuts. Huawei and Sony Mobile announce £6 million and £19 million marketing plans respectively to boost brand awareness. Rob Mukherjee appointed as new head of Vodafone Partner Services. Ofcom gives EE the nod to launch 4G in 2012. UK branded one of the “biggest exporters of grey market stock in the world” by gsmExchange.

Q2 2012
Sony Mobile president and CEO Bert Nordberg to step down and be replaced by corporate executive officer and EVP Kunimasa Suzuki. O2 begins a £7 million

advertising campaign to back its On & On tariff. RIM employee Phillip Sherriff is stabbed to death at a BlackBerry party. Ashley Charles is charged with his murder. Daisy Group buys conferencing firm Worldwide Group for £28 million. EE to close 31 T-Mobile and Orange stores and replace them with combined EE stores, as well as cut 67 retail head office roles. Micro-P adds 6,000 square feet of office to accommodate mobile growth. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop admits momentum in the UK is difficult as it posts Q1 losses of £1.1 billion. Lebara says it will cut staff across its global business, with UK redundancies expected. Vodafone buys Cable & Wireless Worldwide for £1.04 billion. Three exits the business market. Apple’s profits almost double to £7.2 billion in Q1. Samsung Electronics records £3.1 billion operating profit in Q1. EE votes to slash roaming charges from July 1, with calls capped at 24 per minute, 7p per text and 58p per megabyte for data. O2 says it has “taken the fight back to the market” after adding 223,000 contract customers in Q1. Google buys Motorola Mobility for £7.9 billion. Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao says store numbers will be cut in the next three years. The Samsung Galaxy S III goes on sale. EE to spend £50 million on staff training. HSC rebrands as Carphone Warehouse Business. A1 Comms buys Go Mobile. Thirteen students are jailed for 62 years after robbing stock worth £175,000 from 19 mobile phone retail stores. O2 and Vodafone announce network JV that will see them share 18,500 network masts, boosting indoor coverage to 98 per cent by 2015. Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013. Vodafone will axe connection targets for B2B dealers from July 1. Microsoft unveils its own branded tablet, Surface. RIM delays BB10 release until Q1 2013 and announces 5,000 job losses by the end of 2013 as part of $1 billion cost savings.

Full article in Mobile News issue 529 (December 17, 2012).

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