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:
We 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.