This year, the mobile industry will see a shift in how the prices of smartphone and tablet devices are being sold.
The big question, though, is when that shift will be triggered.
In the coming months, as more vendors release new phones and tablets, there will be more competition.
This will inevitably result in more money being spent on these devices.
But the main issue is how the pricing is being negotiated, said the head of the global wireless industry, Richard Meeus.
The problem is that there’s an oversupply of phones and that will only be exacerbated as the supply chain becomes increasingly fragmented, Meesays.
“When we see fragmentation, we see oversupplying, which will ultimately result in pricing being more expensive.”
The solution will be for more vendors to use their expertise to reduce the amount of time and effort that it takes to get a phone or tablet into consumers hands.
It will also be important for mobile carriers to develop strategies that help customers find the right phone and tablet, says David Sarnoff, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.
“We are starting to see an industry-wide focus on getting consumers more connected to their devices,” Sarnoffs says.
“If you can’t find the phone you want, you can always go back and buy a different one.”
“The big question is when it will be initiated” Meeus’ view is that carriers will need to focus more on customer acquisition and customer experience.
“This is the new frontier for the industry,” he says.
Miguel M. Hernandez is a freelance writer based in Mexico City.
Follow him on Twitter: @MiggyMiz