Santa was pretty good to the wireless industry in 2009. Growth came despite a weak economy--and in the higher-ARPU smartphone segment to boot. But as wireless executives ponder about the year, I can't help but believe there are some major things on their wish lists to Santa. So I've taken a scientific guess of what some of the industry's top executives want for Christmas:
Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple: The wireless industry's most iconic device in history, more than 100,000 apps, a cult-like following, vendors tripping all over themselves to copy what we've done. I can't think of anything more to ask for. Oh wait, can you fix AT&T's crappy network?
Hans Vestberg, CEO, Ericsson: Please make Huawei go away. We are tired of being embarrassed in our own back yard when it comes to LTE contracts, and we don't want the company bragging about its superior performance anymore.
Lowell McAdam, president and CEO, Verizon Wireless: Our clever ads that trash AT&T's 3G coverage and the iPhone seem to be working but please, oh please, can we have the iPhone, too?
Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility: You brought us the iPhone a little more than two years ago, and a big thank you for that, but now we need a robust network to go with it. Is it too much to ask for consumers to like us as much as they like the iPhone?
The 2,200 broadband stimulus applicants: Santa, please let the spinner land on my project.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO, Nokia: I've been asking for this for the past two years. Have I not been nice enough? Can we have an iPhone-killer device, pretty please?
Jim Balsille, Co-CEO, RIM: We already got what we wanted. Thanks for the early Christmas present that surprised Wall Street--a 60-percent jump in profits. We sold 10 million BlackBerry phones in the third quarter, while Apple only sold 7.4 million in its most recent quarter. Best of all, consumers like us. Take that Apple!
Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google: All we want is to take over the world.
Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft: Please bring us Windows Mobile 7 ASAP!
Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint Nextel: Please continue to distract the media and bloggers with AT&T's capacity woes so they ignore our fundamental problems.
Thanks for your readership during this past year. You may not have agreed with what I had to say at times, but it made for some lively discussions nevertheless. Happy holidays and best wishes to you in 2010. --Lynnette