2Apple iPhone 3GS
Although Apple’s iPhone 3GS is on sale for $99 and it’s the single smartphone that most consumers will likely buy if they don’t want an iPhone 4, it’s doubtful that the device will be around much longer. Apple’s latest smartphone is stealing all the attention from the older model, and even with iOS 4 running, most folks who want to get their hands on a new iPhone probably won’t opt for the 3GS version. By the end of 2010, Apple will likely take the 3GS off store shelves. It’s the hobbled alternative to the smartphone consumer really want.
Google Nexus One Google’s Nexus One was at one time the company’s best chance of competing with the iPhone. But thanks to Motorola’s Droid and the HTC Droid Incredible, the device is the forgotten alternative. Realizing that, Google will need to take the smartphone off store shelves by the end of the year. Not only is it obsolete compared with the iPhone, but it’s also an undesired alternative to Android-based devices on the market. The Nexus One might have had strong sales at launch, but the fun is over for Google’s smartphone. By the end of 2010, it will be gone.
4T-Mobile Sidekick LX
Believe it or not, T-Mobile’s Sidekick LX was still kicking—until July 2, when the mobile carrier officially announced it would stop marketing the model. The smartphone, which was once one of the most viable devices on the market, lacks all value in today’s mobile marketplace. It doesn’t run a next-gen platform, it lacks a touch screen, and is far too big for consumers looking for something simple. The Sidekick LX enjoyed a long market run, but now it’s just passing into history.
RIM BlackBerry Bold The BlackBerry Bold won’t be on store shelves too much longer. Although the device is extremely successful, speculation abounds over RIM’s desire to bring a new slate of smartphones to the market before the year is out. Plus, the company recently revealed in its quarterly earnings that sales were down around the world. As nice as the Bold might be for enterprise customers, RIM is ready to replace it with something new. The Bold had its day, but by the end of the year, it will be replaced.
6RIM BlackBerry Storm 2
RIM’s foray into the touch-screen market was potentially the company’s worst decision of the past decade. The original Storm was a nightmare for RIM and offered some of the worst touch-screen capabilities of any device on the market. The BlackBerry Storm 2 is a better product, but it still pales in comparison to other devices on the market. And RIM knows it. It might be best for RIM to simply get rid of the Storm 2 before it causes more embarrassment. Touch-screen functionality just isn’t RIM’s strength.
7Sprint Evo 4G
This might be a controversial choice, given how much attention the device is getting right now, but by the end of the year, Sprint’s Evo 4G, the world’s first smartphone to run on the company’s super-high-speed wireless network, will fail. The problem with the Evo 4G is that it runs on Sprint’s network-a service that isn’t used by many. Plus, the device can’t match the iPhone on any level. Even worse, Sprint’s 4G network is available in very few places, so most consumers will see little value in buying it. The Evo 4G sounds great as a concept, but it lacks broader market appeal.
8Every Windows Mobile Device
Microsoft says that Windows Phone 7 will be hitting store shelves later this year. When that happens, the company will finally have the excuse it needs to abandon all support for Windows Mobile 6.5. Although the software giant is sticking to its talking points on Windows Mobile right now, it will immediately stop focusing on the software as soon as Windows Phone 7 hits store shelves. Subsequently, all of its hardware partners will be focusing their time and efforts on the new software, as well. At that point, it will be clear that Windows Mobile won’t make its way to 2011.
The Motorola Droid has been an outstanding product for the handset maker. But with the Droid X just a few weeks away, it won’t be long before Motorola quietly puts the Droid on the back burner. For Motorola, potentially seeing the Droid go by the end of the year will be bittersweet. It’s the single device that put Motorola back into the collection of elite phone makers. But the Droid X is a step up over its predecessor. Thanks to its large, 4.3-inch display and all kinds of multimedia features, the smartphone is an obvious replacement for the Droid.
10Palm Pre Plus
Although HP acquired Palm and plans to keep the Pre brand alive, it won’t be long before the company realizes that Palm’s smartphones are outright failures that need to be taken from store shelves, revised and released to a more welcoming consumer base that wants what HP, not Palm, has to offer. HP will soon need to take the Pre and Pixi off store shelves and do what it must to redefine itself in the mobile business. Neither device is appealing to customers, and they stand no chance when compared with the iPhone.
11Any LG Smartphone
In the smartphone market, Apple, Google, RIM and Microsoft get all the attention. And for most novice customers, they don’t even know that a company like LG is offering a smartphone that can even come close to comparing with the iPhone 4. Realizing that, it might be time for LG to revisit its mobile strategy. Although the company is trying its luck with Android, which is a smart move, none of its smartphones has a shot at matching any Android-based device, let alone the iPhone. And by the end of the year, it might be clear to LG that none the devices it currently offers has what it takes to continue sitting on store shelves.