The past week saw quite a few developments in the mobile sector. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lost little time in announcing the launch of the new iPad in China following the settlement of the Proview lawsuit last week. Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) Lumia line could soon have a much bigger presence in the U.S. market, with a company official hinting at a Verizon (NYSE:VZ) deal in the works. A new report suggested that the BYOD movement is causing corporations to incur higher expenses leading us to believe that Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) may find some leeway here to make a value proposition that would stall enterprises from moving away from RIM’s BlackBerry infrastructure.
Apple hasn’t lost any time in announcing the launch of the new iPad in China following the settlement of the Proview case last week. The company said Tuesday that the new iPad will make its appearance on Chinese shores on July 20th and pre-orders can be placed from a day earlier. Also, perhaps more importantly, it said that the new iPad will be available at the same price as it does in the U.S.
The iPad maker bought the rights to use the ‘IPAD’ trademark in China in a $60 million settlement last week that ended a longstanding legal dispute with Proview which threatened to ban iPad sales in the country. Going by how important China is for Apple considering the huge growth in sales that the company is seeing from the region, the announcement will help the company increase its iOS market share, spur the development of China-specific apps and prep the market for a greater Apple presence through China Mobile (NYSE:CHL). (see Apple’s New iPad Launch Shows It Is Serious About China)
Nokia’s Lumia line could have a much bigger presence in the U.S. market soon. The company’s vice president of Worldwide Developer Relations, Richard Kerris, revealed in an interview with Neowin that a Lumia device could soon be on its way to the nation’s largest wireless carrier, Verizon. With AT&T and T-Mobile already offering the Lumia 900 and Lumia 710 respectively, adding Verizon could help Nokia’s addressable market in the U.S surge by more than 80%.
However, Nokia faces an uphill task against the two well-entrenched ecosystems of Apple and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to create a niche for itself and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Nonetheless, more carrier partnerships and better app support to drive the Lumia sales will be key to its resurgent hopes. (see Nokia Will Soon Bring Lumia To Verizon As It Builds Carrier And App Support)
Research in Motion
RIM may have been left behind by the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to the workplace movement but enterprises may be willing to offer it a lifeline if it plays its cards right. A recent survey from Osterman Research shows that corporations that allow employees to bring their own devices are incurring higher expenses as they hire more to support the changing trend.  What required less than 3 IT employees to support 100o mobile devices in 2011 will need about 3.6 this year and more than 4 next year. As a result, IT spending is increasing every year and is expected to rise from about $294 per user in 2012 to about $339 in 2013.
The rising IT costs of managing multiple devices will give enterprises a pause as they work on moving away from RIM’s BlackBerry infrastructure. This gives RIM a chance to stage a comeback not only from a successful BB10 launch that may change consumer perception about BlackBerry smartphones, but also from its recently launched Mobile Fusion software designed to support multiple mobile platforms.
The secure push email service that enterprises rely on is RIM’s most valuable division currently, accounting for more than 40% of our $12 price estimate for the stock. We believe that these services are unique value propositions for RIM’s customers, and the company needs to fall back on these revenues to tide over this increasingly tough-looking transition period. (see RIM Can Hit $12 If Enterprise Customers Wait For BB10)Notes:
- BYOD means soaring IT support costs for mobile devices, ComputerWorld, July 11th, 2012 [↩]