Big Tech, Mobile Get New Year’s Critique

The iPhone needs a new battery. HP needs an acquisition. Nokia needs a new design. These suggestions and more were detailed in a whitepaper issued by ABI Research analysts who listed what ideas they’d implement if they were in charge of some of the companies they cover.

HP would do well to consider buying or partnering with little-known Brightcom, said analyst Stan Schatt. He thinks HP needs to make such a move in response to Cisco’s pending acquisition of video conference provider Tandberg.

“Doing so would give HP a two-year lead over Cisco when it comes to integrating voice, video and data in a telepresence or video conferencing environment and would open up lots of new users since Brightcom has already solved many of the problems Cisco is currently grappling with,” Schatt said.

On the flip side, analyst Sam Lucero has some advice for Cisco. He thinks the networking giant needs to accelerate its entry into the home automation/home energy management market, both by in-house development and acquisitions. “This is a fragmented industry ripe for consolidation that is poised for significant growth over the next two years,” Lucero said.

Analyst Jake Saunders had some ideas for both Apple and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion. He thinks Apple needs to scrap the embedded battery in the iPhone. Competitors like Motorola’s Droid have touted the fact that the batteries in their devices are replaceable. “I would like to put the portable battery chargers out of business,” he said.

As for RIM, Saunders said the company needs to flesh out its App World mobile apps store. With Apple’s iPhone App Store far and away the volume leader, sporting an inventory of more than 100,000 apps, Saunders said RIM doesn’t need to compete on quantity, but does need to offer more choice. Specifically, he thinks RIM needs to let BlackBerry clients outside the U.S. install applications from the App World. Second, he suggests it do more to ensure that more its current portfolio of apps can play and display on the whole range of RIM handsets. And lastly, he advises the company to make sure there is more choice of titles in mainstream categories.

Analyst Stuart Carlaw also has advice for a mobile provider. In this case, Nokia. He thinks the company needs to take a more innovative approach to the design of its handsets, rather than basing all its models on “a tired old candy bar design.” He suggested Nokia leverage its considerable resources to come out with “a radical new product” based on an advanced OS, such as its own Maemo solution or Google’s Android software. “It would be a flagship product with a much better touch environment than the N900 and would have a rich application suite not based on limited Symbian apps alone” he said.

The ABI Research “New Year’s Resolutions” whitepaper is available as a free download for registered users.