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charlesarthur : smartphones   30

Mike Postle: why is this the point where he started winning at poker? • YouTube
If you read the lead item in yesterday's posting, you'll know there's a discussion about how Mike Postle is able to win while playing a "high variance" poker style. If you're interested in more, then via David Chu, here's a link to a video (whose title is different from mine - I'm not suggesting Postle cheats!) which points to a peculiar breakpoint at which Postle stops losing and starts winning.

It's to do with his phone, though what I find astonishing about what's going on is that all the players have their phones with them and are fiddling with them <em>all the time</em>. How do you stop people cheating, or using some kind of card-counting, or whatever, in that situation?

The Postle allegation, though, seems to be about a much more sophisticated method of knowing what others are doing. If he's doing it, he's well beyond card-counting.
postle  poker  cards  smartphones 
14 days ago by charlesarthur
Huawei cuts orders to key suppliers after US blacklisting • Nikkei Asian Review
Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li:
<p>Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's largest contract chipmaker, confirmed that orders from Huawei have declined since the Chinese company was hit with a de facto ban on using US technology. Taiwan-based Auras Technology, a top supplier of cooling modules for Huawei devices, said a Chinese customer's orders were affected, without naming the company.

A source familiar with Huawei smartphone orders told the Nikkei Asian Review that the company has downgraded its forecast for total smartphone shipments in the second half of 2019 by "about 20% to 30%" from the previous estimate following the US move to put the tech giant on the so-called Entity List, which in effect bans American companies from working with Huawei and its affiliates.

Other suppliers worldwide also need to comply with the new U.S. regulation if they are indirectly shipping a certain amount of American technologies to Huawei.

"Suppliers are receiving different ranges of order adjustments," the person familiar with Huawei's smartphone business said. "Suppliers mainly for markets outside of China were affected the most, while some suppliers that help Huawei in its home market actually benefited from the rising demand amid patriotic sentiment."

Another representative at a Huawei supplier that makes power-related components for its smartphone and telecom gear businesses told the Nikkei Asian Review the Chinese company has suspended some orders.</p>

In the second half of 2018 Huawei shipped 112.5m phones (up 33% on the previous year), so maybe it's just going to stand still. You'd imagine its ambition was to keep growing at the same rate.
huawei  smartphones 
june 2019 by charlesarthur
Xiaomi/Apple: all about Mi • Financial Times
The "Lex" opinion column isn't keen on Xiaomi's prospects:
<p>Xiaomi is number one in India in shipment terms, and one of the top five in Europe. The group has partnered with Foxconn to make phones in India where just a third of the population use smartphones. Apple has just over 1% of that market. 

Margins are higher within an internet-of-things and household electronics business. Margins are higher here, but unlikely to offset weakness in Chinese smartphone sales.

Xiaomi lacks Apple’s pricing muscle. In 2016, Xiaomi held top market share in China, which accounted for more than 70% of its revenue. ZTE, Huawei, Oppo and Vivo have since undercut Xiaomi on value and through easier access via physical stores. 

China’s move to 5G this year will bring significant demand for new smartphones over the next few years. But Xiaomi’s premium plan is fraught with risk. Raising prices in its home market may threaten its tenuous grip on its number five spot. Doubts about Xiaomi’s strategy when it came to market have proved well-founded. The shares have fallen 43% from their peak shortly afterwards, and may fall further.</p>
xiaomi  china  smartphones 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Q3 2018: Mobile Market Monitor • Counterpoint Research
<p>• Global smartphone shipments declined 5% annually reaching 380 million units in Q3 2018. Emerging markets growth could not offset the decline in developed markets.

• All the regions declined amidst the global slowdown. Latin America declined most at 7% YoY.

• India’s smartphone shipments surpassed those of the USA and reached an all-time high in 2018 Q3, while China’s smartphone market continued to decline for the fifth consecutive quarter.

• Top 10 OEMs contribute almost 79% of the global smartphone market, thereby leaving 600+ brands competing for the remaining 21% of the market.

• Samsung led the smartphone market by volume while HMD grew fastest at 73% YoY. Samsung recorded its highest ever shipment in India, even though its shipments declined for the fourth consecutive quarter.</p>

And Huawei ahead of Apple, in 2nd position (14% market v 12%). Xiaomi coming up strongly at 9%. Though this is about sales, not installed base, of course.
november 2018 by charlesarthur
The foldable smartphone era is finally here and it will change everything • USA Today
Bob O'Donnell:
<p>the introduction of Samsung’s Infinity Flex display-based devices and the Royole FlexPai make it clear that the long dreamed of idea for a pocket-sized smartphone that can unfold into a larger, tablet-like device is finally upon us.

The appeal of such a device is obvious, and I believe its impact – at least, eventually – will be enormous. Just as it’s hard to remember a world where mobile phones only made phone calls, so too will there come a time when it will be hard to imagine a world that didn’t have foldable, connected computing devices that fit into our pockets.

At the same time, while it’s easy to look back at the first iPhone and see its obvious shortcomings, so too will the limitations of first-generation foldable devices become apparent over time. That is the nature of technological developments. To be clear, however, I am convinced that 2019 will be remembered as the beginning of the foldable era.

One key reason is that foldable display technology enables the continuation of arguably the most important development in the evolution of smartphones: larger screens. From the early days of 3.5” displays to today’s common 6”+ sizes, the insatiable desire for screen real estate has driven the progressive design of smartphones.</p>

If the fold isn't particularly visible, then this could make a difference; notice how people love catching just a little bit more content on the move.

Going to be fun for app designers with a new set of screen sizes and configurations to design for.
foldable  screen  smartphones 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Samsung CEO seeks breakthrough with Galaxy 10, foldable phone • Korea Herald
Song Su-hyun:
<p>[Samsung CEO Koh Dong-jin] recently said in a corporate message to executives and employees of the information technology and mobile communications division of Samsung that he felt “sorry about the currently struggling status of the Samsung smartphone business and will do my best to overcome the crisis with the upcoming Galaxy 10 and foldable phones.” 

The message comes amid rumors concerning his position, as the tech giant approaches its year-end personnel reshuffle and organizational restructuring.

Koh was reportedly criticized for weakening competitiveness of Samsung phones by Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, who ordered improvement in camera technology for the smartphones after personally visiting a shop in Europe. 

“Koh’s message appeared to show how much of a critical position Samsung’s mobile business is in at the moment. The atmosphere within the company is currently serious as we hear outside criticism toward the products,” said an insider.

Samsung recorded 2.2 trillion won ($1.95bn) in operating profit for mobile business in the third quarter, down more than 30% from the previous quarter. </p>

Samsung is <em>struggling?</em> That's news to me.
samsung  smartphones 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Africa's biggest markets drive strong growth in continent's smartphone shipments • IDC
<p>A total of 22.4m smartphones were shipped in Africa during the second quarter of this year (Q2 2018), according to the latest insights from International Data Corporation (IDC). The global technology research and consulting firm's Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker shows that Africa's smartphone shipments increased 9.8% quarter on quarter (QoQ) and 6.0% year on year (YoY) in Q2 2018.

The market's buoyant performance was spurred by the growing popularity of low-end to mid-range devices. Transsion brands continued to lead the continent's smartphone space in Q2 2018, accounting 35.4% of shipments. Samsung followed in second place with 23.2% share.

By contrast, the feature phone market was down 1.1% QoQ and 5.8% YoY in Q2 2018, but – with shipments totaling 31.4m units – these devices still constitute a 58.3% share of Africa's overall mobile phone market as they cater to the needs of the continent's huge low-income population (mainly in rural areas) by providing basic mobile communications that are priced very competitively.</p>

That's just to give you the contrast of the size of the market. Africa's total population is about 1.3bn; China, with about 1bn population, the Q3 figure was 305m, or about 13x bigger.
china  africa  smartphones 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi top customer satisfaction in India • Strategy Analytics
<p>Based on analysis of more than 20,000 consumer ratings and reviews of 11 high, mid and low-tier smartphones in the Indian market, Strategy Analytics' new Consumer Ratings Index Report, India Smartphones: August 2018, has identified that Oppo’s Realme 1 led consumer satisfaction in India from June to August 2018.

• Based on consumer satisfaction, the top three smartphones in India from June to August 2018 were from Chinese brands: Oppo Realme 1, Vivo V9 and Xiaomi Redmi 5. Samsung’s Galaxy J8 was rated fourth.<br />• Consumer reviews in India mentioned the camera most. In fact, the Samsung Galaxy J8 and Vivo V9 were rated highest for camera satisfaction among those reviews analyzed.<br />• The Indian brand Karbonn was rated least favorably by Indian consumers, between June and August 2018.

Adam Thorwart, Lead Analyst and report author commented, “Despite Samsung not finishing atop the consumer sentiment chart, consumers of other brands are still mentioning it most. In fact, it nearly triples Oppo which is the second most mentioned brand. This indicates that Samsung is still very popular across India.”</p>

Chinese brands are six of the top 11 top-selling brands. It's a conquest.
india  china  smartphones 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
Are smartphones the next generation consoles? • Strategy Analytics
<p>By streaming games over networks, and invalidating the need for expensive hardware, game streaming services could potentially eliminate the concept of gaming generations by making any portable device a viable gaming machine. A new report from the User Experience Strategies (UXS) group at Strategy Analytics, Game Streaming: The Last Console Generation?, has assessed existing game streaming and download services to study the user experience issues that can arise from them. Streaming games over the internet could affect gaming in the same way that Netflix has affected video; but there are unique challenges that must be addressed for it to reach mainstream appeal.

Key report findings:

• Though game streaming could invalidate the need for bulky home consoles, proprietary controllers are still required. Since cross-platform games all feature different control schemes, the need for a universal standard is clear.<br />• It is nearly impossible to guarantee an ideal game streaming service for everyone, which is problematic when the service comes with a monthly charge. Factors like bandwidth and latency are key issues, but other interruptions to a service can affect the overall user experience.<br />• Games processed in the cloud are free from the limitations of hardware and could allow game developers to create experiences that would be otherwise impossible to achieve on aging hardware.</p>

That need for proprietary controllers to get the best results is going to be a problem for their thesis.
smartphones  games 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
The iPhone Xs is the best iPhone since the last one • Buzzfeed News
John Paczkowski is a little nonplussed at what to say about the new devices:
<p>I know the Xs Max is faster, but the X was so fast I struggle to appreciate its speed improvements. The display is beautiful, but is its true black a truer black than the one I see on the X? I am embarrassed that I am even asking the question. Also, I don’t care. The true black of my other dog has been great since his puppy pics.

The one feature that I truly appreciate in the Xs line is the size of the Max — largely because I am old and now prefer my phones graphing calculator size. If I decide to upgrade my phone this year, the Max and its size will be my only rationale. The display is vast — stunning, really. I can configure it to have as much memory as my laptop (512GB). For a plus-size smartphone it feels better in the hand, more ergonomic, though I have no idea why. Its battery lasts long enough that I’m not screwed if I forget to charge it overnight. Beyond that, I already know it’s a badass phone; its predecessor was badass too.

But when I tell my wife I might want to upgrade, she asks the price. Then she says, “Which do you like better, new phones or vacations?”

My daughter has an iPhone 7. The other day I handed her the Xs Max. She was puzzled in a “Why was this handed to me?” sort of way. I raised an eyebrow. “Oh,” she said. “This is the new iPhone. … It’s bigger.” Then, without a second thought, she handed it back to me, returning to whatever she was doing on her 7. Disappointedly, I said, “You’re not interested in the new iPhones? Not at all?”

“Not really,” she replied. “My phone works fine.”

Then my daughter suggested that, perhaps, the reason I care about new iPhones and she doesn’t is because once upon a time, way back a long time ago when the smartphone universe consisted of nothing more elaborate than…flip phones, I had to use one. Meanwhile, she has known only the iPhone — and other phones that look and behave like it.</p>

Smartphone reviews stopped being useful a couple of years ago. Sure, the XS does a garbillion calculations per second rather than a groomtillion, but we are not in iPhone 4S v 4 territory here, nor iPhone 5S v Galaxy Note 3. The ecosystem war is over, and the trenches aren't going to move substantially; nor is either side going to make a dramatic leap in performance.
iphonexs  review  smartphones 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Chinese brands handset profit crossed US$2bn for the first time ever in Q2 2018 • Counterpoint Research
Karn Chauhan:
<p>According to the latest research from Counterpoint Market Monitor Q2 2018 (April-June), Global handset profits grew 4% annually in Q2 2018 mainly due to Chinese brands, which were aggressive with their flagship offerings. Their combined profits crossed US$2bn for the first time, contributing to almost a fifth of the total handset profits.

Chinese brands are planning on to entering new price tiers in the premium segment. Brands like OPPO, vivo and Huawei have tweaked their design language by adding new features, at a time when overall innovation within smartphones was already reaching its peak. Examples include the vivo Nex (Ultra Full View Display with in-display fingerprint), OPPO Find X (Ultra Full View Display) and Huawei’s P20 Pro (Triple camera).

<img src="" width="100%" />

We expect the average selling price of smartphones will further increase, driven by developed markets. However, smartphone volumes are likely to be flat as consumers are now keeping smartphones for longer. This will have implications for OEMs’ revenue as OEMs are looking to maximize their profits by increasing their average selling price and entering new price tiers. Only vertical integrated companies, in such a scenario, are well poised to capture the trends.</p>

I think that Apple, Samsung and Huawei all count as "vertically integrated" in that they all design their own chips. Counterpoint reckons 99% of profit was owned by five companies (Apple, Samsung, Huawei, OPPO+vivo [one company], Xiaomi). And then "the remaining 1% of total industry profit was distributed among more than 600+ handset brands." Of course, quite a few of those made losses - Sony, HTC, LG…
smartphones  profit 
september 2018 by charlesarthur
Xiaomi sold 32m smartphones in Q2 2018 • China Internet Watch
<p>In Q2 2018, Xiaomi reported a high growth of 58.7% in smartphone revenues to 30.5bn yuan (US$4.61 bn), accounting for roughly two-thirds of the total revenues. Smartphone sales volume reached 32.0m units, up by 43.9% year-on-year. IoT and lifestyle products grew 104.3% year-on-year in revenues, while the global sales volume of smart TVs grew over 350% year-on-year.

Xiaomi [the full company] achieved 45.2bn yuan (US$6.82bn) in revenue, representing a growth of 68.3% year-on-year. Adjusted profit grew 25.1% to 2.1bn yuan (US$317.1m) year-on-year, according to its first results as a public company since its IPO in July.

The smartphones segment… revenues [had] year-on-year growth of 58.7%. This growth was driven by an increase in both sales volume and the average selling price (“ASP”)… Xiaomi is the fastest growing amongst the top five mobile phone companies globally, according to IDC.</p>

So... that's an ASP of US$144 on 32.0m units compared to 22.2m at $130.62 ASP in the year-before quarter. Quite successful at raising the ASP, and now substantially bigger than many erstwhile rivals (notably Lenovo, which bought its way into the wider mobile phone business by purchasing Motorola, which continues to make losses - now up to six straight years, or 24 quarters).

Three of the top five phone makers are now Chinese - Huawei, oppo/vivo (which is connected with OnePlus - they're financial cousins), Xiaomi.
xiaomi  smartphones 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Why Wimbledon is an iPhone launch, and Nadal is Samsung, and tennis is the smartphone business • Medium
I wrote a thing:
<p>It’s Wimbledon time again! That time of year when people the world over remember that tennis professionals actually exist, having forgotten for the past 50 weeks. (If you want to interest kids, say they’re playing for a fortnight and hope they mishear it as Fortnite.)

So for the next two weeks, we’ll hear lots about Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Serena Williams, and the rest. I used to cover tennis; for years the pro circuit was my journalistic meat and drink. Now I cover technology. And just as the tennis circuit rises and falls, and just as tennis has risen and fallen in popularity and interest, so, it seems to me, with smartphones.</p>

Basically, <a href="">it's Shira Ovide's fault</a>.
wimbledon  smartphones 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Smartphone growth expected to remain positive as shipments forecast to grow to 1.7 billion in 2021 • IDC
<p>According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to maintain positive growth through 2021. IDC expects shipments to grow from 1.47 billion in 2016 to just over 1.7 billion in 2021. In 2016, the market experienced its first-ever single-digit growth year with shipments up just 2.5% over 2015.

IDC believes the combination of new user demand as well as a somewhat stagnant 2-year replacement cycle will be enough to keep the market at a 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%.

"The big inflection point that everyone is watching for is when the smartphone market experiences its first year-over-year decline," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers.</p>

Even this looks a bit optimistic if the South American economies don't get their act together.
idc  smartphones 
august 2017 by charlesarthur
Apple captures 79% of global smartphone profits in 2016 • Korea Herald
Quoting Strategy Analytics research:
<p>Samsung Electronics Co.'s smartphone business posted an operating profit of $8.3bn last year, accounting for 14.6% of the global profits.

Samsung is still reeling from the global recall of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, which was discontinued in October last year over safety concerns. The South Korean tech giant's operating profit margin stood at 11.6% last year, while its annual sales of smartphones fell to $71.6bn from $75.2bn in 2015.

Profitability at Chinese smartphone makers is still low, although their cheaper handsets are rapidly gaining market share.

Huawei posted an operating profit of $929m last year, accounting for 1.6% of global profits. OPPO took 1.5% of the global profits, while its rival Vivo accounted for 1.3%, according to the research. </p>

Hadn't seen the Huawei figures before; it also shows how there's (almost) no profit outside China. Apart from Apple, Sony and Samsung, everyone outside China is losing money.
smartphones  revenue 
march 2017 by charlesarthur
Phonemakers pile in to exploit Samsung weakness • Reuters
Eric Auchard and Harro Ten Wolde:
<p>Phonemakers are piling in to fill a gap in the market left by Samsung, still licking its wounds from a costly recall of its flagship Note 7 and with no key device of its own to launch at the telecom industry's biggest annual fair.

China's Huawe, the most likely contender to fill the hole in the premium end of the market, took the wraps off a new phone in its quest to displace Samsung as the world's no. 2 smartphone maker after Apple, during a rush of new product releases on Sunday ahead of this week's World Mobile Congress.

Chinese challengers Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Gionee are in hot pursuit, while BlackBerry and Nokia announced models exploiting their retro appeal.

Samsung itself presented two new tablets pending the launch of its next flagship device, the Galaxy S8, expected now at the end of March rather than at Mobile World Congress, its usual showcase.</p>

Nokia and BlackBerry, eh. BlackBerry's is a keyboard phone with midrange specs and flagship price; Nokia is reintroducing its 3310 featurephone, and some Android phones. It's like choosing between brands of pasta.
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Mobile 2.0 • Benedict Evans
This is a somewhat rambling post (unusually) in which this seems a key point:
<p>The smartphone's image sensor, in particular, is becoming a universal input, and a universal sensor. Talking about 'cameras' taking 'photos' misses the point here: the sensor can capture something that looks like the prints you got with a 35mm camera, but what else? Using a smartphone camera just to take and send photos is like printing out emails - you're using a new tool to fit into old forms. In that light, simple toys like Snapchat's lenses or stories are not so much fun little product features to copy as basic experiments in using the sensor and screen as a single unified input, and in creating quite new kinds of content. Meanwhile, the emergence of machine-learning-based image recognition means that the image sensor can act as input in a more fundamental way - translation is now an imaging use case, for example, and so is maths. Here it's the phone that's looking at the image, not the user. Lots more things will turn out to be 'camera' use cases that aren't obvious today: computers have always been able to read text, but they could never read images before. </p>

When this becomes continually true, what changes? When your phone knows what it's seeing, what can it do?
vision  ai  smartphones 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
LG posts $224m loss as ‘weak’ selling G5 smartphone drags it down once again • TechCrunch
Jon Russell:
<p>The company went with a bold modular approach for its flagship smartphone in 2016, the G5, and it bombed.

“Profitability was hampered by weak sales of the G5 smartphone and higher marketing investments,” LG said in a statement.

LG sold 55m smartphones in 2016 — it didn’t explicitly state that in its press release but the figures for sales in Q4 where in its full financial report. That figure is down on 59.7m in 2015 and 59.1m in 2014.

LG did add that it had seen “strong sales” of its V20 device, which was launched in October and features dual cameras.</p>

Nobody seems to have been able to find <a href="">the presentation document</a> which has the details about the mobile division: revenues $2.5bn, operating profit –$540m, handsets sold 14.1m. All down year-on-year.

It's the mobile division which lost all the money. Now the question is, after seven (soon to be eight) quarters of losses: why does LG do mobile phones?
lg  smartphones 
january 2017 by charlesarthur
Samsung and Chinese brands utterly dominated India’s smartphone market in Q4 2016 • TechCrunch
Jon Russell:
<p>India is in the midst of a revolution: the Chinese smartphone revolution. For the first time on record, there were no Indian companies ranked among the top five smartphone sellers in the country during the most recent quarter of business.

Samsung and a glut of ambitious, young companies from China have been busy pushing their devices in India, one of the few global markets that has untapped growth potential for smartphone sales, and now there is tangible evidence of their progress.

Samsung led the pile with 22 percent of the market, ahead of Xiaomi (11 percent), Oppo, Lenovo (both nine percent), and Vivo (seven percent), according to <a href="">new data from analyst firm Canalys</a>. Indian brands, once dominant, saw their collective share shrink by more than half over the past year.</p>

Indian makers nowhere. But there are now 300m users - second only to China, and well ahead of the US. About 75% of them have mobile data plans.
india  samsung  smartphones 
january 2017 by charlesarthur
Global handset revenues on a steady decline • Strategy Analytics
<p>Apple and Samsung together captured 57% of the Global Handset Revenues in Q2 2016, per our latest report from the Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) Service.  Global Handset industry revenues declined by -5% annually in Q2 2016.

Apple led in four of the six regions but has been on a steady decline globally. Samsung though led by volumes retained the second position by revenues. Apart from Huawei, Oppo, vivo, ZTE and Meizu most of the other vendors tracked witnessed an annual revenue decline.</p>

That would put total revenues at $81.9bn, <a href="">of which about $75bn (92%) was contributed by the top 10 OEMs</a>.
smartphones  revenues 
september 2016 by charlesarthur
The Chinese (smartphones) are coming • Bloomberg Gadfly
Tim Culpan:
<p>Just as television makers Zenith, Motorola and RCA were eventually replaced by Japanese names like Sony, Sharp and Panasonic, so too will Chinese brands overtake the US market.

The latest entrant looks set to be Xiaomi. The richly valued upstart appears ready to dip its toes in one of the world's most important electronics markets. While China is larger by volume, the US is lucrative because average device prices are much higher.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television on Friday, Xiaomi's vice president and international front man Hugo Barra said a US move is inevitable:
<p>We will lead with social media, with the channels that allow us to get in touch with the young generation that are enthusiastic about new technology. We are definitely going there.</p>

Xiaomi's entry into the US has been in doubt on concern that the Chinese company, which has been widely criticized as a wholesale copycat of Apple and others, would immediately face intellectual property lawsuits.

However, Xiaomi's purchase this summer of around 1,500 patents from Microsoft seems to have quelled those worries and given the Beijing startup the courage to move directly onto Apple's home turf.</p>

Good point about the TV sets. That is what smartphones are becoming - though more personal.
china  us  smartphones 
august 2016 by charlesarthur
India’s India's Micromax plans to sell smartphones in China, go public • WSJ
Sean McLain:
<p>The company plans to go public to generate cash to fund the acquisition of companies that will help Micromax build a network of services to help its phones stand out in the crowd of competitors. “The company can’t do that without more cash coming in,” Mr. Jain said. Micromax hasn’t decided whether to list in India or the U.S., he added.

The announcement is a sign that India’s smartphone market won’t save a struggling global smartphone industry. Shipments of handsets to India have declined over the past six months, according to IDC data. That is a sign that unsold phones are piling up in Indian warehouses, said IDC in a report. Most of the unsold merchandise are priced below $100 and aimed at first-time smartphone buyers, who account for much of Micromax’s sales.

However, China might not be the answer for the smartphone maker, analysts say. “I’m not sure why they’re doing this,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst at IDC. “The Chinese market is not growing and it’s really competitive. I don’t know how they will survive there.”</p>

Translation: Micromax is running out of runway and it's hoping a cash infusion from the public market will get it out of the snakepit of less well-funded rivals.
smartphones  micromax  china 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
Worldwide smartphone growth forecast to slow to 3.1% in 2016 as focus shifts to device lifecycles • IDC
<p>According to a forecast update from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, smartphone shipments are expected to grow 3.1% in 2016, which is a substantial slowdown from the 10.5% growth in 2015 and 27.8% in 2014. Shipments are expected to hit 1.48 billion in 2016 and grow to 1.84 billion in 2020. The new forecast is 2.6 percentage points lower than IDC's previous forecast for 2016 on the basis of the continued slowdown in mature markets and China.

IDC expects large markets like the United States, Western Europe, and China to see low single digit growth rates in 2016 while Japan and Canada are expected to contract by 6.4% and 6.9%, respectively. In all these markets, smartphone buying behavior is changing in many ways. In operator-driven markets the transition away from two year subsidized contracts toward monthly installment plans are slowly taking place. Meanwhile, many retail heavy markets are seeing a surge in the eTailer channel, better known as online marketplaces.

"Consumers everywhere are getting savvy about how and where they buy their smartphones, and this is opening up new doors for OEMs and causing some traditional channels to lose some control of the hardware flow," said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Smartphones sold into eTailer channels grew 65% in 2015 and are expected to account for roughly 12% of smartphone shipments in 2016, up from just 4% in 2013. Consumers are having more say over which brands they want and at the same time able to bargain shop."</p>

Phablets will do well, Windows Phone won't, iPhones to see slight drop from 232m in 2015 to 227m in 2016, BlackBerry to.. fade to black, probably.
smartphones  idc 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
Xiaomi sees sales shrink in Q1 2016 » Tech In Asia
Erik Crouch:
<p>Xiaomi sold 14.8m smartphones globally in the first quarter of 2016, a notable decline from 17.5m in the last quarter of 2015.

The new figure comes from research by IHS Technology, and the Q4 number from Strategy Analytics. Tech in Asia reached out to Xiaomi about these numbers, and the company declined to comment.

The number shows that Xiaomi’s slowing growth in 2015 is turning into its worst nightmare in 2016: falling sales.

Xiaomi sold 70 million smartphones last year.

These aren’t official Xiaomi statistics, and reports compiled by research firms are best treated as estimates. But even providing for a hefty margin of error – and keeping in mind that Xiaomi has said it wants to move away from “goals such as smartphone sales” and isn’t likely to publish Q1 stats – the figures show a company that will need to improve its numbers if it aims to grow its smartphone department at all this year.</p>

Sequential quarter comparisons (especially from 4Q to 1Q) are rarely meaningful, but the year-on-year comparison is still down: Xiaomi shipped 15.3m in Q1 2015, from the figures I have.
xiaomi  smartphones 
april 2016 by charlesarthur
Gartner says global smartphone sales to only grow 7 per cent in 2016
<p>Gartner, Inc. said global smartphone sales will for the first time exhibit single-digit growth in 2016. Global smartphone sales are estimated to reach 1.5bn units in 2016, a 7% growth from 2015. The total mobile phone market is forecast to reach 1.9bn units in 2016.

Worldwide combined shipments for devices (PCs, tablets, ultramobiles and mobile phones) are expected to reach 2.4bn units in 2016, a 0.6% increase from 2015. End-user spending in constant US dollars is estimated to decline by 1.6% year on year…

…"The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. "Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case. China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting a 0.7% and 0.4% growth respectively."

While smartphone sales will continue to grow in emerging markets, the growth will slow down. Gartner predicts that, through 2019, 150 million users will delay upgrades to smartphones in emerging Asia/Pacific, until the functionality and price combination of a low-cost smartphone becomes more desirable.

"Prices did not decline enough to drive upgrades from low-end feature phones to low-end smartphones," said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner. "Vendors were not able to reduce the price of a 'good enough to use' smartphone lower than $50."</p>

So $50 seems to be the baseline price that smartphones can't go below. Still, they'll make up 79% of sales; that only leaves 400m featurephones to be sold.
march 2016 by charlesarthur
Worldwide smartphone market will see the first single-digit growth year on record » IDC
<p>According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC ) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker , 2015 will be the first full year of single-digit worldwide smartphone growth. IDC predicts worldwide smartphone shipments will grow 9.8% in 2015 to a total of 1.43bn units. IDC updated its previous forecast to reflect slowing growth in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, and Western Europe. The slower growth is expected to intensify slightly over the 2015-2019 forecast period and is largely attributed to lower shipment forecasts for Windows Phone as well as "alternative platforms" (phones running operating systems other than Android, iOS, and Windows Phone)…

…"With the smartphone market finally slowing to single-digit growth, maintaining momentum will depend on several factors," said Ryan Reith , program director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The main driver has been and will continue to be the success of low-cost smartphones in emerging markets. This, in turn, will depend on capturing value-oriented first-time smartphone buyers as well as replacement buyers. We believe that, in a number of high-growth markets, replacement cycles will be less than the typical two-year rate, mainly because the components that comprise a sub-$100 smartphone simply do not have the ability to survive two years. Offering products that appeal to both types of buyers at a suitable price point will be crucial to maintaining growth and vendor success."

"As shipment volumes continue to slow across many markets, consumers will be enticed by both affordable high-value handsets as well as various financing options on pricier models," said Anthony Scarsella , Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phones team.</p>

Say it again: "the components that comprise a sub-$100 smartphone simply do not have the ability to survive two years".
idc  smartphones 
december 2015 by charlesarthur
Surprised that Syrian refugees have smartphones? Sorry to break this to you, but you're an idiot » The Independent
James O'Malley, in somewhat straightforward mood:
So we know that Syria isn’t dirt poor and we know that there’s a lot of mobile phones: but why smartphones? Well, why not? In the West many people own desktop computers, laptops and tablets as well as smartphones. But if you had to give up many of your possessions and live on $1850/year, after clothes and food, what would you buy next? It is hard to think of a more useful thing to own than a smartphone, especially if you're fleeing your home.

Even when utility isn’t considered, the reason Syrians are using smartphones and not old Nokia 3210s is the same reason that benefits claimants have (gasp!) “flatscreen” TVs… have you tried buying any other kind lately? Budget Android smartphones can be picked up for well under £100, and come with cameras, large screens and everything you would expect from a modern phone. As we’re now in the habit of replacing our phones with a new model every year or two the price of slightly older phones also drops significantly.
syria  smartphones 
september 2015 by charlesarthur
Preliminary Q2 2015 global smartphone market and observations » Tech.pinions
Ben Bajarin:
For Samsung, we believe shipments will be in the low 70m range, 73-74m to be exact. Our Apple estimates are for 53m units sold. Huawei announced 50m smartphones sold in the first half of 2015 which, by doing the math on first quarter sales, means 32m smartphones shipped. Xiaomi announced 34m smartphones shipped in first half of 2015 for first quarter shipments of 20m.

For philosophical reasons, I do not lump Lenovo and Motorolla sales together. If we were to combine the two, Lenovo would be #4 and Xiaomi #5.

Folks love to talk about Xiaomi but it is clear their initial target of 100m smartphones sold in 2015 is unlikely.

(This is content for subscribers; there's more to it, obviously, and you can pay per-article.)
july 2015 by charlesarthur
Smartphone trends in the US » Tech.pinions
Jan Dawson:
One of the key things I’m hearing – and which was somewhat evident already in the Q1 2015 results the carriers announced – is that the huge upgrade cycle which happened in 2014, and especially in Q4, is somewhat sucking the wind out of sales in 2015 so far. Though that upgrade cycle was partly driven by massive iPhone sales, and is therefore good news for Apple, it seems to be somewhat depressing Android device sales in the first half of 2015, despite the new device launches from major vendors including Samsung, LG, and HTC. In general, I suspect we’ll see somewhat lower rates of upgrading this year than we did last year, as there were a number of factors that drove higher than usual rates in 2014 and many of those customers will now not be upgrade-eligible until late 2015 or even 2016.

Convenient for Apple that it doesn't really focus its efforts until late in the year.
us  smartphones 
july 2015 by charlesarthur
Samsung beaten by local smartphone brand in the Philippines » Tech In Asia
Judith Balea:
Philippine budget phone maker Cherry Mobile beat South Korean giant Samsung as the leading smartphone brand in the Philippines in 2014, IDC said today. It was the second straight year that Cherry has whipped Samsung in the nation.

According to the research firm, Cherry cornered 21.9% of the Philippine market in terms of volume of smartphones shipped in 2014, overtaking Samsung, whose share declined further to 13.3%.

Cherry has held the spot as the number one smartphone vendor in the Philippines since 2013. That year, it captured 24.3% of the market, and Samsung held 19.9%, based on data provided by IDC to Tech in Asia.

However, the smartphone market expanded by 76% yoy (from 7.2m to 12.6m), so Samsung's shipments actually increased by 17.6% (from 1.42m to 1.68m). Big headline, but pretty much a rounding error for Samsung.
smartphones  seasia 
march 2015 by charlesarthur

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