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(Pocket-lint) - We love our gadgets, we all do, but as the competition continues to get tougher and tougher, companies have to make better and better gadgets to stay not just relevant, but in business.

Here are nine companies that are going to find 2012 tough. Some will have the gumption to stay in the game, others however, we believe, will either be bought or sadly close completely.

The king is dead long live the king.


Kodak's decline and fall has been steady in the last couple of years, like a dog waiting to be put down, and now the end is almost here.

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The company has been taking drastic measures by selling off all that it can to stay alive, but with high costs and little left to sell, 2012 is likely to see the end of the long-established camera brand.


BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is such a mixed bag. On the one hand the company is adding more and more subscribers every month; on the other its profits are falling, the co-founders are struggling and the PlayBook, the company's tablet, has failed to take off.

With news that new phones running BlackBerry OS 10 won't be appearing until the end of the year, RIM and the BlackBerry will have a tough 12 months ahead.


Nokia's "everything in" approach to Windows Phone 7 has got off to a flying start, but the road to victory is long; consumers are fickle, and ultimately it is just the start.

Nokia has not only got to convince users of its Symbian OS - where it makes most of its money at the moment - that it is still on their side, but attempt to persuade smartphone users that Android and Apple aren't cool anymore. That's a tough fight in anyone's books.


The UK high street is about to become a rather grim place, with numerous companies already filing for administration after poor Christmas sales.

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One such retailer in the tech sector to feel the squeeze is HMV. It started showing signs that it was struggling in 2011, and as more and more of us look to the download or access the "Cloud" for our music, movies, and games, the need for a high street shop in order to buy these "things" just isn't going to be there.

Best Buy

Huge plans of a UK expansion were dashed in 2011 with the confirmation that it would be closing all of its UK "big out of town stores" in 2012 (Best Buy UK to cease trading 15 January 2012: Closing down sale begins). The brand will live on in the guise of smaller elements within Carphone Warehouse, but you have to ask for how long?


Who? AMD might be all but forgotten already, but it isn't out for the count yet. Whether the same can be said 12 months from now is a different matter. Intel has given it a tough time over the last couple of years, and the fight isn't going to get any easier as the lines between phones, tablets and laptops blur.

Those blurring lines also means new players like Nvidia and Qualcomm are coming into the fray and they, by Jove, are hungry.


What a year 2011 was for HP. While the fallout may be over, it means the company has to pick up the pieces and that could spell a tough time for the company as it tries to regain its confidence in the next 12 months, especially in the consumer space.

9 companies fighting to stay alive in 2012 image 2

What will become of webOS, what about its consumer laptop range, is the printer business a dying industry? There are lots of questions that need to be answered.


With Facebook still dominating (IPO is rumoured to be on the cards) and Google Plus gaining momentum, it looks like MySpace's days will be numbered in 2012.


If you thought the above are likely to have a tough year you just have to look at Olympus to wonder what is going to happen here next.

With the company's board in disarray, an exiled CEO, and plenty of skeletons still to come out of the closet, we suspect Olympus doesn't have long before it is bought up by one of its competitors looking to raid it for the good bits. Our bet is on Fujifilm doing just that.

Image credit: Vintage boxing glove by flippo on BigStockPhoto.com

Who do you think will struggle in 2012? Let us know in the comments below. 

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 16 April 2013.