Apple apologises

Apple has apologised for slowing down the performance of older iPhone models to prevent accidental shutdowns due to aging batteries.

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Innovation and brand equity key for China smartphone makers in global market

frost and sullivanChina smartphone makers looking to take their domestic success globally need to carefully consider their expansion strategies, according to Frost & Sullivan.

While the China market has been driven by demand for cheap devices that offer a unique range of services such a virtual goods, messaging apps, and photo sharing, the more mature Western markets are very different, with carrier relationships, strong brand equity, and innovative features crucial to success.

Along with Huawei and ZTE, three interesting China companies have ambitions to take their smartphone businesses international: Lenovo, Yulong Coolpad and Xiaomi. The first and most successful China smartphone company is Lenovo, which has the largest smartphone market share of China companies, second only to Korean giant Samsung in China. Lenovo is also one of the most diversified China electronics companies, with a broad portfolio. The company has already achieved success on the global stage with its PC business, now the world’s largest after overtaking HP in 2012.

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China ships 110 million mobile phones in Q2

IDCChina’s mobile phone shipments reached 110 million in Q2, with smartphones accounting for 86 million units, according to IDC.

“The smartphone market has maintained a two-digit quarter-on-quarter growth rate in Q2 due to two reasons. First, the substantial shipments of low-end smartphones at a unit price of less than RMB800 that support China Mobile’s 3G network. Second, the shipments prepared by mobile phone vendors to meet the market demands of students during the summer vacation,” said Antonio Wang, Associate Director for Client System Research, Imaging, Printing & Document Solution Research, Research Operation Center, IDC China.

“The sharp increase in shipments of low-end China Mobile smartphones has driven the growth of Lenovo and Coolpad. On a separate note, affected by the sluggish sales of iPhone 5, Apple’s market share has declined dramatically, but its performance is expected to remarkably improve with the launch of the new iPhone,” said James Yan, Senior Analyst for China Mobile Phone Market, IDC China.

 

 

Apple and Samsung clamouring for attention with new colours

iPhone 5sApple and Samsung are slugging it out for attention in Singapore and across Asia. Yesterday, Apple fans in Singapore queued to be among the first to lay their hands on the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c, with the novelty of having the phones in gold — a popular colour among Asians. In fact, many were disappointed when their choice of gold iPhones were not available for online orders.

And Apple is not the only maker garnering interest. Samsung’s latest incarnation of the Galaxy Note is also drawing lots of admirers, not just from die-hard Samsung fans. It has been reported that those who pre-ordered the new  Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can collect their devices from September 27. The 32GB version will be available in Singapore at S$1,048 and the accompanying Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be priced at S$488.

Samsung is also breaking out of the traditional black and white models but offering a pink version, which will be available at a later date.

 

Global smartphone shipment to hit 1b in 2013

IDCOne billion smartphones are expected to be shipped this year, helping the global mobile phone market to rebound from just 1.2 percent growth in 2012 to 7.3, percent in 2013, according to IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

The overall mobile phone market is growing faster than previously forecast thanks to a stronger-than-expected first half of the year driven by strong gains in emerging markets and the sub-US$200 smartphone segment. IDC previously projected 5.8 percent growth for the year. Vendors are now forecast to ship more than 1.8 billion mobile phones this year, growing to over 2.3 billion mobile phones in 2017.

Worldwide smartphone shipment is forecast to grow 40.0 percent year over year to more than one billion units this year. High smartphone growth is the result of a variety of factors, including steep device subsidies from carriers, especially in mature economic markets, as well as a growing array of sub-US$200 smartphones. Total smartphone shipment is forecast to reach 1.7 billion units in 2017.

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Android mobile app revenue to hit US$6.8b this year

AndroidAndroid’s smartphone mobile app revenues are projected to reach almost US$6.8 billion by the end of 2013, nearly doubling its revenues from the previous year, according to ABI Research.

The Android platform has some way to go before catching iOS’s smartphone revenues but the smartphone app market will be Android’s most fruitful hunting ground compared to other devices.

ABI Research estimates that Android smartphone app revenues will increase from 59.1 percent to 65.9 percent when compared to iOS smartphone app revenues over the next 12 months.

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China’s top five vendors grab 20% of the world’s smartphone market

CanalysSamsung and Apple grew smartphone shipment by 55 percent and 20 percent respectively to maintain first and second place in Q2, according to Canalys.

However, both lost market share to Chinese vendors as the top 5 China vendors (Lenovo, Yulong, Huawei, ZTE, and Xiaomi) now account for 20 percent of the  market, up from less than 15 percent a year ago.

Altogether, some 238.1 million units were shipped in Q2, an impressive 50 percent year-on-year gain.

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Samsung dominates almost every device price point

abi researchSamsung has a device for every price point, giving it leadership in all, bar one category — the high end where it faces Apple.

According to ABI Research’s Device Portal sales channel analysis, the balance of power remains with Samsung/Android and Apple and looks set to remain so in the foreseeable future.

“This leaves little room for the other vendors to compete, especially the other Android vendors and those using uncompetitive operating system ecosystems. Despite some carrier’s efforts to create a more balanced smartphone device vendor industry with their use of subsidy, ultimately they are obliged to fulfill consumer demand and at the moment that means Samsung/Android and Apple,” said Nick Spencer, Senior Practice Director of ABI Research.

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Android-based tablets outship iPads in Q2

Three in 10 PC shipped in Q2 were tablets. According to Canalys, more than 34 million tablets were shipped in Q2, a 43 percent year-on-year increase. Even more impressive is the fact that tablets now account for 31 percent of worldwide PC shipments.

The charge is led by Android-based tablets as Apple’s tablet shipments declined 14 percent in Q2 and saw its market share shaved to 43 percent. The chasing pack of Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo, and Acer each grew annually by over 200 percent, driven by increasing demand for small-screen tablets.

Canalys estimates that 68 percent of tablets shipped in Q2 had a screen size smaller than nine inches. “Consumers have been evaluating tablets and the results are now in,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst at Canalys . “With touchscreens contributing to a high proportion of the build cost of a tablet, small-screen products can be priced very aggressively.”

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Global mobile phone market up 6% in Q2

IDCDemand for mobile phones continue to grow. In Q2, the worldwide mobile phone market grew six percent year over year, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

Vendors shipped a total of 432.1 million mobile phones in Q2 compared to 407.7 million units in the corresponding quarter of 2012. The Q2 total was also slightly higher than the 428.8 million units shipped in Q1.

The growth in the mobile phone market was partly driven by vendors from outside the Top 5 who experienced torrid shipment growth that outpaced the overall market. Several vendors, including Alcatel and Huawei, had high double- and triple-digit growth rates in Q2 for their Android-based offerings shipped to high-growth countries such as China and India. These vendors from outside the Top 5 accounted for 44.8 percent of the overall shipment volume, up from 42.2 percent in the same quarter one year ago.

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Sensors and gesture recognition are major smartphone differentiators

abi researchAccelerometers, vision-based gesture recognition, gyroscopes, and NFC are predicted to be the feature set big winners in smartphones in 2013, according to ABI Research.

“Gesture recognition is soon going to become a key differentiator in high-end flagship smartphones. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S4 has already incorporated the technology within its handset and has received significant plaudits for its new innovative user experience. Today’s consumers are becoming much savvier with their smartphones and they’re looking for new interesting ways to communicate with each other and their devices,” said Joshua Flood, Senior Analyst of ABI Research.

In 2013, almost 12 percent of smartphones shipped will have vision-based gesture recognition capabilities. It is unsure if Apple will include the technology in its next generation iPhone but the company is expected to include a full array of MEMS sensors and NFC.

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NetApp Connect provides seamless access to enterprise data from mobile devices

NetAppNetApp has announced NetApp® Connect which enables secure, instant, and easy mobile access to data stored on NetApp storage systems. Based on technology NetApp acquired from ionGrid, it can integrate seamlessly into a NetApp environment without requiring complex VPN setup or separate authentication tools. Additionally, all data remains completely on-premise while delivering consumer-class simplicity and ease of use to the enterprise.

NetApp Connect complements the strong and growing base of NetApp’s partner-delivered mobility solutions such as Citrix ShareFile and VMware Horizon Suite, helping NetApp deliver a more complete range of capabilities to enterprise customers. These partner solutions, integrated with the data management capabilities of NetApp storage (or the clustered Data ONTAP architecture), provide efficient and secure collaboration, data sharing, and mobile device access solutions.

By keeping all data securely behind the corporate firewall and never copied to the cloud, NetApp Connect offers mobile access to corporate data while maintaining the tight security and control that enterprise IT requires for keeping its data and business protected.

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Gartner: APAC led mobile phone growth in Q1

GartnerThe Asia-Pacific region grew 6.4 percent year-on-year in Q1 mobile phone sales, the only region in the world to register growth, according to Gartner.

Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled nearly 426 million units this period, only a slight increase of 0.7 percent from the same period last year. Worldwide smartphone sales hit 210 million units in the first quarter of 2013, up 42.9 percent from the first quarter of 2012.

“More than 226 million mobile phones were sold to end users in Asia-Pacific in the first quarter of 2013, which helped the region increase its share of global mobile phones to 53.1 percent year-on-year,” said Anshul Gupta, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner. “In addition, China saw its mobile phone sales increase 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 2013, and its sales represented 25.7 percent of global mobile phone sales, up nearly 2 percentage points year-on-year.

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IDC: Smartphones top feature phone shipment in Q1

IDCSamsung led the smartphone market as smartphones outshipped feature phones for the first time in Q1. According to IDC (see table below), Samsung not only maintained its pole position but widened its market share lead over Apple in the smartphone market. However, LG showed the most percentage improvement in this category with a 110 percent jump year-on-year.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q1 (Units in Millions) 

Vendor

1Q13 Unit Shipments

1Q13 Market Share

1Q12 Unit Shipments

1Q12 Market Share

Year-over-year Change

Samsung

70.7

32.7%

44.0

28.8%

60.7%

Apple

37.4

17.3%

35.1

23.0%

6.6%

LG

10.3

4.8%

4.9

3.2%

110.2%

Huawei

9.9

4.6%

5.1

3.3%

94.1%

ZTE

9.1

4.2%

6.1

4.0%

49.2%

Others

78.8

36.4%

57.5

37.7%

37.0%

Total

216.2

100.0%

152.7

100.0%

41.6%

 

The worldwide mobile phone market grew 4 percent year over year in the seasonally slow Q1. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker reports that vendors shipped a total of 418.6 million mobile phones in Q1 compared to 402.4 million units in Q1 of 2012 and 483.2 million units in Q4 of 2012.

 

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Hong Kong electronic inventions take centrestage at coming Electronics Fair & ICT-Expo

HKSTPCThree incubation companies of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) will be showcasing their electronic inventions in the concurrent events of Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) and the International ICT-Expo held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from April 13 to 16.

Two of the inventions will have patent registered pending innovations at the “Invention Zone”.

“IP protection is conducive to technological advancement. We thus are keen to offer services and aid funding for our incubation companies in patent application, including free chat with legal experts. We are proud that two companies under our Incu-Tech Programme are selected to exhibit in the ‘Invention Zone’, in which many of the inventions are patent registered or pending.  With the valuable opportunity to promote their patented technology at the exhibition, we trust our incubatees can be well connected to industry practitioners and fasten their phase of commercialisation,” said Ir Allen Yeung, Vice President of Business Development and Technology Support of HKSTPC.

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2012 – tablets and smartphones hog the limelight

Mobile devices continue to grab the attention of consumers and enterprises in 2012. Every launch of a new smartphone and tablet, in particular if the brands relate to Apple or Samsung, is keenly followed.

And Google is getting its fair share of attention too with the Nexus 7 giving the iPad competition in the tablet space, and the Nexus 4 smartphone sold out as quickly as iPhones.

The insatiable appetite for tablets and smartphones may just spell the end for single-trick devices, such as the GPS and even digital cameras, especially entry level versions.

It would be interesting to see how 2013 pans out. CES may well set the tone for the coming year.