TECHNOLOGY is one of the fastest-moving markets in the world. Innovation is the key in this progressive industry and staying ahead of the competition, as well as identifying new opportunities, is vital to maintaining a leading position.
Indeed, failing to identify the next big trend can cause a dramatic change in a company’s fortunes and industry giants can lose direction.
If you look at the leading mobile phones in the early nineties, before the advent of the smartphone, Finnish company Nokia dominated the handset market.
Nokia phones were marked out from the rest with their easy to use interface and also a design which was very durable and often able to withstand being dropped.
However, Nokia has struggled to keep pace with the slicker smartphones released by Apple and Samsung.
Although Nokia has fallen on hard times, it is possible they are now turning the corner. In late October the group released a new set of smartphones to the market. The Lumia is a step forward for the business and marks a new alliance with Microsoft.
The handsets have a sleek design and also run the Windows operating system. With the change in focus, it is possible that Nokia has taken the first step on the road to redemption and may challenge the leading smartphone manufacturers in the future.
However, Nokia is not the only company positioning itself for the future. Over the summer internet giant Google announced the purchase of Motorola Mobility.
The group noted that the acquisition will support the expansion of its Android operating platform. In addition, it will provide the framework for Google to manufacture handsets for the first time, which puts it in direct competition with the leading players such as Apple.
The smartphone market is certainly a competitive space and, looking closer to home, FTSE 100 company Arm is well placed to benefit from the longer-term demand of mobile technology.
The Cambridge-based business is one of the leading technology companies in the UK. The group is the market leader in the design of the cutting-edge microchips which are used by the telecommunications industry. Arm does not manufacture the microchips but charges a royalty for the use of the design.
Despite the disruptions which rippled through the industry following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan earlier this year, Arm released a set of full-year figures which demonstrated durability.
The smartphone market and increasing demand from global consumers for the newest devices is likely to continue. However, Arm noted the smartphone is not the only innovation to capture the interest of the public and the next growth area may be the smart TV in the home.