New Android devices boost Australia smartphone market in Q2

New Android mobile phone launches spurred growth in Australia, leading to year-on-year growth of 18.4 percent to 2.16 million units, exceeding expectations in Q2, according to IDC.

Smartphones accounted for nearly all of the shipped phones — totalling 2.06 million.

Android returned to being the most popular smartphone OS in Australia. Recently, iOS had overtaken Android as the most popular smartphone OS in Q4 2016 as it held over 54 percent of the market compared to 47 percent for Android.

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China vendors corner India smartphone market

China-based vendors strengthened their grip in the India smartphone market, snaring 51.4 percent share of the smartphone shipment in Q1, according to IDC. They grew 16.9 percent sequentially and an impressive 142.6 percent over the same period last year.

In contrast, share of homegrown vendors dropped to 13.5 percent in the Q1 from 40.5 percent in the same quarter last year.

Overall, 27 million smartphones were shipped in Q1, a  14.8 percent growth over the same period last year. Unlike last year, shipment grew sequentially in the first quarter of 2017 by 4.7 percent recovering from demonetisation impact in Q4.

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China smartphone market hits record high

The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.
The very popular Huawei Mate 9 helped propel Huawei to the top.

Everybody knows China is big but with nearly half a billion smartphones shipped last year, the market is massive — that’s one smartphone for every three person in the world’s most populous country.

According to Canalys estimates, China reached 476.5 million unit shipment, growing year on year at 11.4 percent, far exceeding the annual growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2015. China shipment reached 131.6 million units in Q4, which is the highest single quarter total in history, accounting for nearly a third of worldwide shipment.

Huawei took the top spot in the market with 76.2 million shipment, a small lead ahead of runner-up Oppo with 73.2 million units, followed by Vivo in third place at 63.2 million units.

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China phone makers dominate India market in Q4

CanalysWhile Samsung remained at the top, China smartphone makers occupied four of the top five positions to snare the lion’s share in India in Q4, according to Canalys.

Their extremely price-competitive devices pushed out India makers, who have been hit hard by the Indian government’s decision to demonetise the INR500 and INR1,000 (US$7.30 and US$14.65) banknotes.

“Local brands’ target customers typically buy in cash and from independent retailers. With the short-term liquidity crunch caused by demonetisation, these retailers are suffering a slowdown in consumer spending. Local vendors are losing out as retailers look to shift their stock to fast-moving, current devices. In Q4 2015, Micromax, Intex and Lava took second, third and fifth place, accounting for almost 30 percent of the market. One year on and all three vendors have dropped out of the top five, with their collective share falling to around 11 percent,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst of Canalys.

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Samsung sets up airport customer service counter for return/exchange of Galaxy Note 7

airportWith an increasing number of airlines banning the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 completely from their flights, Samsung has set up service counters  at several airports for Note 7 customers to return and exchange their phones.

These include airports in Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Incheon (Korea), Singapore, Taipei (Taoyuan and Songshan), Kaohsiung, and Taichung.

This is a relief for customers who may otherwise have to junk their phones or find alternative ways for the phones to be sent to their home countries.

Bye, bye Galaxy Note 7

samsuing-galaxy-note-7-page

The Galaxy Note 7 page on Samsung Singapore’s website says it all. It’s a dark day for Samsung.

Just two months after the Korean giant announced its newest Galaxy Note, the smartphone has gone into history, in possibly the shortest lived model. The company has discontinued production of the smartphone.

The Galaxy Note 7 had the features to take on the Apple iPhone 7 but somehow things didn’t work out properly. Exploding phones while charging led to recalls and even bans from airlines. Even newly-exchanged phones were reported to be facing the same problems.

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Explosive start for Galaxy Note 7

Galaxy Note 7 x 2

UPDATE: It’s official. Samsung is recalling the Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone has launched with a bang (literally). According to reports, some of these devices overheated and exploded while being charging — leading to Samsung to consider a recall, according to Arirang News. Meanwhile, Samsung is delaying shipment of the smartphones.

 

Samsung skips a note to jump to 7

Galaxy Note 7The stars are aligned. Samsung’s stars, that is. The Korean mobile phone giant has launched the Galaxy Note 7, bringing the phablet numerically in line with the Galaxy S series.

 

And just like the Galaxy S7, the new Galaxy Note 7 comes with curved edges for easier handling. It also sports a 12-megapixel rear camera, expandable storage and a larger 3,500 mAh battery. Among its upgrade from the previous generation are a water-resistant body, iris scanner for added security and new S Pen tricks, in particular GIF-making.

Open for pre-orders from major telcos and Samsung now, the Galaxy Note 7 will be available from August 20.

 

Philippines is fastest growing smartphone market in SEA

IDCThe Philippines smartphone market jumped 20 percent in Q1, according to IDC. With a projected annual growth of 25 percent this year, this makes the country the fastest growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia (SEA).

“While many of the more mature smartphone markets of the world already displayed signs of saturation, the Philippines smartphone market continues to enjoy robust growth owing to a relatively low smartphone penetration rate (30 percent in 2015), active local brand presence, and healthy consumer spending,” said Jerome Dominguez, Market Analyst for Mobile Devices of IDC Philippines.

Local vendors continue to dominate the Philippines smartphone market as they flood it with the most affordable smartphone options.

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Smartphone market in historic drop

It’s almost unthinkable but the smartphone market has dipped for the first time in its history.

According to Canalys, worldwide smartphone shipment fell from 324 million units in Q1 2015 to 321 million units in Q1 2016. The top two vendors both posted shipment declines, with Apple the worse hit.

Excluding Apple and Samsung, smartphone shipment grew five percent despite some of the big named international vendors outside the top five also faring badly. LG, Lenovo and TCL-Alcatel posted significant declines, while Sony plummeted by around 57 percent.

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VR hardware to take off in 2016

The HTC Vive lets users experience room-scale gameplay.
The HTC Vive lets users experience room-scale gameplay.

Virtual reality (VR) is not new but it has had a few false starts in recent years. However, it looks like 2016 is going to be a great year for VR.

According to IDC, worldwide shipment of VR hardware will hit 9.6 million units in 2016. Led by key products from Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus, the category should generate hardware revenue of about US$2.3 billion this year.

While VR will drive nearly all of the hardware volume in 2016, augmented reality (AR) hardware is forecast to ramp up over the next few years. The combined AR/VR device market will see hardware shipments surge past 110 million units in 2020.

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Samsung launches 2-in-1 Windows 10 tablet in Singapore

Samsung Galaxy TabPro SSamsung Electronics Singapore has introduced the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, its first 2-in-1 premium tablet featuring seamless integration of laptop and tablet capabilities.

As the first premium tablet range to be powered by Windows 10 to support LTE Category 6 capabilities, the Galaxy TabPro S comes with enhanced features and long-lasting battery life, making it suitable for on-the-go individuals seeking convenience and performance.

Encased in a 6.3mm slim and sleek exterior, it weighs just 696 grams. The tablet also comes with a full-sized keyboard and cover – the touchpad of the keyboard emulates that of a laptop. The Pogo pin on the Galaxy TabPro S keyboard eliminates the need for pairing or charging separately.
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China smartphone sale hit record high in Q4

IDCSmartphone sale hit a record 117.3 million in China in Q4. This represents an eight percent growth compared to the same period last year.

The phenomenal increase was partly driven by China’s annual singles day online shopping festival in November and Huawei’s strong shipments in the quarter. China’s Q4 growth boosted the calendar year 2015 growth to three percent.

“Xiaomi, Huawei and Apple are the top smartphone players in 2015. This is a stark contrast to the top players in 2013, which was Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad – with Samsung clearly dominating other players. With operators reducing smartphone subsidy and given the volatility of consumers’ brand preference in the market, the smartphone scene has changed significantly since then,” said Tay Xiaohan, Senior Market Analyst of IDC Asia/Pacific’s Client Devices team.

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Samsung extends lead in India smartphone market

CanalysSamsung has pulled further ahead of the competition with a quarter share of the India smartphone market in 2015, according to Canalys.

Micromax held on to second place, with annual shipment falling by more than 20%, primarily due to inventory build-up in its distribution network.

Lenovo and Motorola’s combined shipments were just short of three million units, up almost 60 percent up from the previous year, moving them past Intex to take third place in the market.

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Semiconductor market drops 1.9% in 2015

GartnerWorldwide semiconductor revenue was US$333.7 billion in 2015, a 1.9 percent decrease from 2014 revenue of US$340.3 billion, according to Gartner.

The top 25 semiconductor vendors’ combined revenue increased 0.2 percent, which was more than the overall industry’s growth. They also accounted for 73.2 percent of total market revenue, up from 71.7 percent in 2014.

“Weakened demand for key electronic equipment, the continuing impact of the strong dollar in some regions and elevated inventory are to blame for the decline in the market in 2015,” said Sergis Mushell, Research Director of Gartner.

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Samsung Gear VR available in Singapore

Samsung Gear VRPowered by Oculus technology, Samsung Gear VR will be available for S$148 from November 28 in Singapore. The headset is fully optimised and compatible with the latest Samsung flagship smartphones, including the Galaxy Note 5 4G+, Galaxy S6 edge+ 4G+, Galaxy S6 edge 4G+, and Galaxy S6 4G+.

It leverages each device’s SUPER AMOLED display to provide the colour, clarity and performance needed for a virtual reality (VR) experience. Along with access to an ecosystem of content options, the ergonomic design and ultra-high resolution display of the Gear VR allow users to enjoy an immersive and cinematic VR experience.

An improved and refined version targeted at the everyday consumer, the Samsung Gear VR is 19 percent lighter than its predecessor. This new edition also includes a new foam cushioning that makes the device more comfortable to wear. It features an improved cross-shaped touchpad which provides users with greater ease of control while enjoying the extensive selection of film, gaming, 360-degree video and experiential content available on the Samsung Gear VR.

Smartphones account for 1/3 of mobile phone sale in India in Q3

IDCSmartphone sale is rising in India with 28.3 million shipped in Q3, according to IDC. That’s a 21.4 percent increase from 23.3 million units for the same period last year.

In Q3, 4G enabled devices have witnessed almost a three-fold increase in unit shipment over the previous quarter.

“The growth in the smartphone market was helped by rising demand for affordable 4G smartphones,” said Karthik J, Senior Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC.

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Tablet sale slides 12.6% in Q3

IDCTablet sale continued its decline for the fourth straight quarter, according to IDC. Q3 shipment of 48.7 million units represented a 12.6 drop year on year, further highlighting the challenges the tablet market is facing.

At the close of 2014, IDC estimated the installed base of tablets to be 581.9 million globally, which was up 36 percent from 2013 but slowing quickly. With mature markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific well past 100 million active tablets per region, the opportunities for growth are getting fewer.

“We continue to get feedback that tablet users are holding onto devices upwards of four years. We believe the traditional slate tablet has a place in the personal computing world. However, as the smartphone installed base continues to grow and the devices get bigger and more capable, the need for smaller form factor slate tablets becomes less clear. With shipment volumes slowing over four consecutive quarters, the market appears to be in transition,” said Ryan Reith, Program Director of IDC.

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Tablet vendor landscape evolving

IDCThe worldwide tablet market shed seven percent in Q2 to 44.7 million units, according to IDC. Quarter on quarter, the drop was 3.9 percent.

The market was not helped with the lack of hardware innovation and new products.

“Beyond the decline, we are seeing a profound shift in the vendor landscape as the top two vendors, Apple and Samsung, lose share in the overall market. In the first quarter of the year, Apple and Samsung accounted for 45 percent of the market and this quarter, with the growth of vendors like LG, Huawei, and E FUN, their combined share dropped to 41 percent,” said Jean Philippe Bouchard, Research Director for Tablets of IDC. .

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Australia tablet and 2-in-1 market takes massive hit

IDCThe numbers for the tablet and 2-in-1 market for Q1 in Australia look grim — total shipment was 770,772 units, representing a massive 40 percent quarter-on-quarter decline.

According to IDC, while the seasonal slump is customary, the magnitude of this decline is steeper than expected. Shipment decline of 25 percent year-on-year further reinforced the reality of a slow-down in demand for this product category.

However, drilling down into the segments reveals some positive signs. Whilst consumer shipments declined by 27 percent year-on-year, commercial shipments increased by a modest 1.2 percent.

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Global PC shipment down 7% in Q1

CanalysApple held on to its top spot despite a 16 percent drop in PC shipment in Q1. It shipped 17.2 million units, taking a 15 percent market share while Lenovo and HP came in second and third place respectively. Samsung was next with 9.5 million units shipped with Dell just behind with 9.4 million units.

Overall, the global PC market, including tablets, declined seven percent, according to Canalys.

“The growth drivers that previously helped the market through 2014 will have little effect this year. Vendors are struggling with exchange rate fluctuations which is making financial planning more difficult and forcing price increases. These challenges, combined with a softening of demand as Windows 10 draws nearer along with Microsoft’s free upgrade plans, means PC market declines will be greater in the second quarter than they were in the first,” said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst of Canalys.

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Mobile gaming fuelling gaming market growth

abi researchRising demand for mobile games is driving the video game market to reach US$80 billion in 2020, up from under US$70 billion last year, according to ABI Research.

Traditional PC and console segments, on the other hand, will see a one- to two-percent annual growth.

Triple-A titles have the potential to dramatically change a developer/publisher’s financials, but gaming’s long tail is equally important to the continued growth of the industry. This is particularly true in the mobile space where a hit title can catapult a mobile game developer into the upper echelons of the market — as was true for developers such as King Digital (Candy Crush Saga) and Supercell (Clash of Clans).

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Tablet shipment down 12% globally in Q4

CanalysThe stats are in – tablet shipment dropped 12 percent to 67 million units in Q4, according to Canalys. The desktop market fell back into a decline in Q4 as Windows XP upgrades waned. The notebook market held firm with another quarter of just one percent growth.

Total PC shipments (desktops, notebooks and tablets) fell six percent in Q4 to reach 148 million units, resulting in full-year 2014 shipments of 528 million units, up three percent on 2013.

Apple regained the top spot in the PC market on the strength of holiday sales, with just under 27 million units shipped. Lenovo’s shipments grew six percent year on year to almost 20 million units as it increased its market share to 13.3 percent. Samsung dropped out of the top three to make way for HP, with growth of 17 percent driving shipments over 17 million units, its best quarter since Q3 2011.

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Samsung rolls out rugged tablet

Galaxy Tab ActiveSamsung has unveiled Galaxy Tab Active, a ruggerised tablet that’s designed just for business use.

Developed following consultations with leading companies across vertical markets — such as retail, logistics and transportation — the tablet is the first inspired by professionals and designed specifically to boost business productivity.

Its features deliver business functionality based on performance, durability and protection, allowing professionals to work without limitations in and out of the office. The Galaxy Tab Active provides full connectivity and meets the always on needs of today’s mobile business environment.
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Samsung and ITE tie-up to equip students with industry-relevant skills

Samsung mobile
ITE students will be industry-relevant skills to work on Samsung mobile devices.

The ITE-Samsung Tech Hub was opened this week to provide real-world training that will enhance the employability of ITE (Institute of Technical Education) students in Singapore.

It consists of a Display Solutions Centre to showcase various emerging display technologies, and a Mobile Service Centre which simulates Samsung’s customer service environment to train students in mobile device technical support and customer service.

ITE College East students enrolled in Nitec in Electronics (Mobile Devices) and Nitec in Electronics (Display Technology) are currently taking lessons at the facility.

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Global smartphone shipment soars past 300m mark in Q3

Q3 is a stunninCanalysg quarter for smartphones as global shipment broke the 300 million unit barrier for the first time. This represented year-on-year growth of 23 percent, according to Canalys.

While Samsung and Apple remain the market leaders, the tussle for the third spot is heating up with was Xiaomi (six percent) followed closely by Lenovo and Huawei at five percent each.

“The global market is becoming more competitive, with vendors beyond Samsung and Apple enjoying growing success. A year ago, in Q3 2013, Samsung and Apple together accounted for 48 percent of worldwide smart phone shipments. While still impressive, in Q3 2014 this had slipped to 38 percent. This trend is likely to continue. It is down to the strong value proposition and increasing quality of products offered across all price points by competing vendors, most notably Chinese companies. In fact, six of the top 10 global vendors in Q3 are based in China,” said Chris Jones, Vice President and Principal Analyst of Canalys.

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Fitness band market jumps 684% in H1

mibandA wrist accessory with a silicon strap has become the latest fashion statement and a must-have for the sporty. We’re talking about the fitness band, which helps to keep track of distance covered, calories burnt and sleep among other things.

According to Canalys, the global wearable band market grew an astonishing 684 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2013.

“Fitbit and Jawbone have very successfully grown and strengthened their relationships with channel partners internationally to grow global shipment volumes. They took first and second place respectively in the basic wearable band market in the first half 2014,’ said Chris Jones, Vice President and Principal Analyst of Canalys.

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Global smartphone shipment soars past 300m units in Q2

DIDCemand for smartphones are on the rise with more 301.3 million units shipped worldwide in Q2, up 25.3 percent from the 240.5 million units shipped in the corresponding quarter last year, according to IDC.

The dominant smartphone operating systems (OS), Android and iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4 percent for the quarter, leaving little space for competitors.

Android was the primary driver with its vendor partners shipping a total of 255.3 million Android-based smartphones in Q2, up 33.3 percent year over year. Meanwhile, iOS saw its market share decline despite posting 12.7 percent year-over-year shipment growth. While Android and iOS both realised gains from a year ago, the rest of the market recorded losses.

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Chromebook sales to nearly triple by 2017

Acer Chromebook 13Acer has launched the Acer Chromebook 13, its first 13-inch Chromebook as well as the first Chromebook to use the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, which gives the new Chromebook a performance edge and longer battery life of up to 13 hours.

This rollout should help Acer concretise its position as the number in the Chromebook market, behind leader Samsung, which had 64.9 percent market share in 2013.

Gartner expects sales of Chromebooks to reach 5.2 million units this year, a 79 percent increase from 2013. By 2017, sales of Chromebooks are set to nearly triple to reach 14.4 million units.

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