Smartphone Market Success in 2012: 10 Essential Factors

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Nokia Lumia 900 has come on strong in the mobile space. Perhaps there's something other vendors can learn from the design and marketing of that handset as well as other models that have proved successful recently.

Success in the smartphone space has been something a host of vendors have been seeking for years now. Apple, Samsung and perhaps Motorola have been the only firms to actually achieve a semblance of success in the mobile market, and all others have tried to no avail to make their products staples in that space. Unfortunately for all of those firms, success in the smartphone market has proved far more difficult to achieve than previously thought.

Butwith the recent launch of the Nokia Lumia 900 going so well, perhaps there's hope for vendors that plan to compete in the mobile space this year. Prior to the Lumia 900's launch, Nokia was widely viewed as a company on the decline with no chance of turning things around. But now that the Lumia 900 has shown some early sales strength, some observers are wondering if better times might be ahead for Nokia and Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 operating system.

For other vendors, there's something to learn from Nokia, Apple and Samsung as they contemplate the devices they plan to launch in 2012. Simply put, there are several key features that will determine smartphone success this year.

Read on to find out what features will determine smartphone success in 2012:

1. A big display

The days of the 3-inch display are officially dead. Every top smartphone on the market right now, save for the iPhone, comes with a 4-inch screen or bigger. There's even talk of Apple launching the iPhone 5 with a bigger display. Small screens just won't cut it in 2012.

2. Windows Phone 7, perhaps?

There was a time not long ago thatWindows Phone 7 was considered the operating system that no one wanted. Now, though, it's an operating system that, based on the Lumia 900's success, might be worth including in a device. Perhaps vendors should consider deploying Windows Phone 7, after all.

3. The latest Android flavor

Android is another one of those platforms that vendors can successfully use. Companies like Samsung and Motorola are proof of that. However, smartphones can't be running outdated Android flavors. Outdated Android versions are not as secure, lack features and tend to turn customers away. This year, vendors must deliver Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), or they'll be left out in the cold.

4. The proper design

Design matters greatly in today's mobile marketplace. Devices that lack a solid design tend to languish on store shelves, while products with stellar designs, like the iPhone 4S, sell fast. Companies that want to be successful in the mobile space this year must offer up great designs, or they'll fall short.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...