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Is 2011 The Year Of The Smartphone?


Do you currently sell smartphones
to your retail customers? How
important will it be for CE retailers of
all types to sell smartphones this year?

Fred Towns, New Age Electronics:

We will be involved with smartphone
lines in 2011. It definitely is the
year of smartphones and the realness
of how they interface with the Cloud
and the applications that go with it,
like video conferencing. They are more
powerful than ever, and there are more
choices with competing systems like
Honeycomb, Android, Palm and Apple.
Retailers should also have an inventory
of midsized tablets as a more robust
option with more features than what is
available on smartphones. Nine out of
10 consumers want a smartphone.

Tom Roper, SED International:

We sell smartphones only to cell stores.
Wi-Fi devices like PC tablets, e-books
and handheld media devices will be
the items that independent retailers will
drive. Smartphones are carrier-driven
and unless the dealer already has a carrier
relationship, they are not looking for
new dealers.

Dennis Holzer, Powerhouse Alliance:

We don’t currently sell smartphones.
Because this segment of the
business is so specialized and carrier/
value plan oriented, I don’t believe it is
that important for our type of retailers
to be involved. On the other hand, the addition of tablets and related products
to their mix is a necessity and will drive
consumers into their stores.

Warren Chaiken, Almo:

We do not
sell smartphones to our retail customers.
But with the increased consumer
demand for real-time information at your
fingertips, smartphones and tablet PCs
will lead the way in delivering this content.
Ideally, CE retailers should offer
at least one of these categories.

Jeff Davis, D&H Distributing:

sell unlocked phones, and the category
is doing well despite the lack of
a carrier-funded, buy-down discount.
How important will it be for CE retailers
of all types to sell smartphones this
year? IDC just announced that in the
fourth quarter, smartphone sales exceeded PC unit shipments for the first
time. People want to be connected at
all times, so smartphones and instanton,
connected tablets will become two
great formats by which to achieve that.