2012: Make or Break for Yahoo!, Blackberry and Nokia
2012 promises to be a very tough year for Yahoo!, Blackberry and Nokia who having ruled their respective domains for a decade, suddenly risk redundancy due to lack of innovation. In the technology domain, historically, once an incumbent looses a pole position to challengers riding a new wave of technology, the incumbent no matter how large and dominant finds it difficult to come ahead and regain the leadership position. This has been the story with Yahoo!, Blackberry and Nokia.
• Blackberry and Nokia have eroded 81% and 50% of their m-cap in the last year and are 90% off from their historical highs. Same goes with Yahoo! which is 85% off from its historical highs in the heydays of dot com bubble.
• All three have leadership changes in recent/one year and have made a few hard choices and a few other risky ones to get back into reckoning. Can Stephen Elop turn around Nokia, Can Scott Thompson revive Yahoo and Who replaces Lazardis/Basilie at RIM (and more importantly how fast)
• The Market position of Yahoo!, Nokia and Microsoft is vastly altered from 2 years back. Yahoo! is gradually loosing its No.2 spot to Microsoft and the search relevance in the overall picture. Nokia lost its Smartphone leadership to Samsung and Apple in 2011 and as per reports, Samsung forecasts walking off with the Mobile Phone manufacturer crown in 2012. Blackberry has lost out to Android and Apple in good measure and its Playbook has been drubbed. There isn’t much that is expected from future releases of BB OSs and Devices.
• Blackberry appears to me as the worst in the lot and is a prime acquisition target. Same goes with Yahoo!. The Nokia Lumia series of Windows phone has seen some limited success and also been able to secure partnerships with T-Mobile and AT&T. However there is talk of Microsoft acquiring Nokia Smartphones which leads one to think how would Nokia compete without Smartphones?
2012 will need to be the turnaround year for these three and if not then there is a possibility that there could be partial or full acquisition and buy outs very soon.