Research In Motion
Research In Motion
It's hard to find a single silver lining in Research In Motion's 2012. The company watched its market share dwindle and losses pile up. In the meantime, RIM had to delay the release of BlackBerry 10, the operating system that will supposedly save its ailing business, until January 2013. It was bad news all around.
Nokia had a similarly troubling 2012. The company is now no longer the world's largest handset maker, a crown that it held for more than a decade. In addition, its smartphone sales have been much slower than Nokia had hoped for when the year began. Looking ahead, the company is hoping Windows Phone will save its operation, but chances are that won't happen.
As soon as Google closed its $12.5 billion Motorola Mobility acquisition earlier this year, the company set out to make sweeping changes. Google has replaced Motorola's chief executive, laid off staff and is now reportedly shopping its set-top box business. At the end of 2012, Motorola is a shadow of its former self and there is no sign yet that it will produce a profit for its new parent company.
HTC has been struggling through exceedingly difficult times this year. The company has watched its market share fall and it's struggled to attract buyers for its mobile devices as companies like Apple and Samsung continue to dominate. What's worse, HTC has done nothing to prove it has a solution to those problems.
Microsoft might still be a massive and highly profitable company with boatloads of cash, but the company had a rough 2012. The software giant watched its Windows Phone 8's launch fizzle and has been hit with some criticism about Windows 8's learning curve. Plus, Microsoft still has yet to gain major market share in search or online advertising. These are all big issues.
HP is a huge company that somehow got lost in the tech mix in the past year. The company's PC shipments hit the rocks and the Autonomy acquisition has been tarnished with charges of fraud and overstated earnings, which ignited investor outcries. CEO Meg Whitman says she has a solution for HP's business problems, but so far, whatever strategy she's following is not working.
Dell is another one of those companies that can't quite make headway. The company has been forced out of the mobile space due to flagging sales and its PC business is now third in the world. Looking ahead, there isn't much on the horizon that would make Dell customers excited.
Sony was once the talk of the tech universe. But over the past several years, its importance and influence in the industry has waned. In 2012, Sony was forced to lay off employees and initiate a new strategy, called "One Sony," that refocuses the company's operation around several key areas. Still, Sony is losing money, and in the key mobile space, it's practically nonexistent.
Nintendo was at one time a hugely successful game maker. But now, the company's operation is struggling, due mainly to declining hardware sales. The newly released Wii U should improve things in the near term, but Nintendo has yet to outline a forward-looking strategy that can solve the many issues that came to light in 2012.
This year was a tough one for Best Buy. First, the big box electronics and computer retailer was forced to close a host of stores. Then its founder Richard Schulze left the company amid controversy surrounding its former CEO Brian Dunn. Later Schulze announced plans to buy out his company and take it private to address its issues. If 2012 is any indication, look for 2013 to be a tumultuous year for Best Buy.