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Top 5 mobile losers of 2014

Top 5 mobile losers of 2014

2014 hasn’t been plain sailing for many of the mobile world’s biggest players.

For some, it’s been a downright disaster.

Whether it’s tumbling sales, an inability to build market share or the end of a once mighty mobile empire, there have been plenty of tales of woe over the last 12 months.

We’ve taken a look back and picked out those companies who've faired worse than others.

1 Samsung

samsung galaxy s5 hands

There’s no denying that 2014 has been an annus horribilis for Samsung.

First off, its Galaxy S5 got a critical mauling, arriving as it did with a premium price tag but a plasticky design that caused such a stink it led to the company’s mobile design chief quitting.

Sales of that device were sluggish compared to 2013’s Galaxy S4, but the true extent of Samsung’s issues was laid bare when its third quarter results showed a massive 74% slide in profits across its mobile division.

The decision to slash the number of smartphone ranges it makes was welcomed, but may prove too late.

Throw in another legal loss to Apple in its ongoing patent battle in the U.S., and it’s hard to think of any other company that has suffered so badly in 2014.

2 Microsoft

nokia lumia 635 side on

Microsoft finally sealed its multi–billion pound buyout of Nokia’s devices and services business early in 2014.

But the company is still languishing way behind its rivals, with a market share of 3% in the third quarter according to Strategy Analytics.

That’s down from 4% in the same period last year, suggesting its Windows Phone brand just cannot compete with the might of Android and the doggedness of Apple’s iOS.

Its new Lumia phones are solid, but unspectacular and still lack the killer apps and features which make other smartphones stand out.

It’s hard not to imagine 2015 bring more of the same.

3 Nokia

nokia logo super large

Nokia, once mighty, is now a much slimmed down, standalone business.

Its core devices and services arms were sold to Microsoft, meaning by early 2014 its fate was sealed.

After failing to see the initial threat of the iPhone in 2007, years of prevarication and poorly realised handsets finally put paid to a once proud company.

There are green shoots of recovery: the Finnish firm is rumoured to be working on an Android–based tablet called the N1.

But it’s all a far cry from those days not so long ago when Nokia ruled the mobile roost.

4 BlackBerry

blackberry passport hand

Sure, BlackBerry revealed a unique new handset, the square–shaped Passport, which was largely given a good press.

But the truth is it’s a novelty product in a world which has moved on from cramped physical keyboards and clunky operating systems.

Yes, it made a profit in its hardware business, but the cuts in its staff base and its inability to land a punch on Apple or Google are telling.

It may have been saved from almost being sold in late 2013, but the fact is BlackBerry is still a world away from being competitive in the smartphone space.

5 GT Advanced

iphone 6 large side on

Not a mobile maker as such, but a huge casualty of the highly competitive smartphone world.

GT was lined up to produce sapphire screens for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but was forced into bankruptcy after yield rates of the displays proved too low for Cupertino’s liking.

In the wake of the company’s demise, a light was thrown on Apple’s stringent rules for partners, including swingeing fines for leaks and total control of the production process.

Apple emerged with a bestselling phone regardless, but GT’s Arizona plant was closed and hundreds of staff were left jobless.

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