Displaying items by tag: smartphone

Germany bans the sale of iPhones

Written on Friday, 21 December 2018 07:20

A German court ruled in favor of US chipmaker Qualcomm in a patent dispute case against Apple, which could lead to a ban on sales of iPhones in Germany. This marks a second major win for Qualcomm in a month after a court in China on December 10 ordered a prohibition on iPhone sales over a separate patent dispute there.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei and Honor to release two new smartphones

Written on Thursday, 20 December 2018 08:40

Huawei has unveiled the eagerly anticipated Nova 4 smartphone.

The model features an innovative circular “hole-punch” cut-out for the 25-megapixel selfie camera, and a 48-megapixel primary camera on the rear.

It also boasts an impressive 6.40-inch touch-screen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2310 pixels at a PPI of 398 pixels per inch. Features include face unlock technology, finger print and proximity sensors and will be available in the colours black, white, blue and red.  

The Chinese phone manufacturer released a series of teaser posters in the build-up to its launch, which will take place at the Hunan International Convention and Exhibition Center in the city of Changsha, China on December 17th.

Huawei’s sub-brand Honor also unveiled their View 20 which features a similar hole-punch design and rear 48-megapixel camera. It will feature a Kirin 980 processor, whereas the Nova 4 will feature the older Kirin 970, found in the View 10 and the Huawei P20 Pro.
The Nova 4 will be released in China first before its launch in India and Europe, whist Honor’s View 20 has yet to announce its launch date.

Published in Devices

Finnish telecommunications vendor Nokia has announced that it has signed a lucrative patent license agreement with Chinese consumer electronics behemoth OPPO.

OPPO, which is headquartered in Guangdong, is globally renowned for its innovative smartphones and was voted as the top smartphone manufacturer in China in 2016.

It has been disclosed that under the agreement, OPPO will make payments to Nokia for a multi-year license period. However, the terms of the agreement made between the two entities will remain confidential between the parties.

Nokia Chief Legal Officer and President of Nokia Technologies, Maria Varsellona, expressed her delight at the deal with the Chinese smartphone firm and said it further illustrated the benefits its global licensing program offers partners.

"OPPO is one of the leaders in the smartphone industry and we are pleased to welcome them as a Nokia licensee. This agreement further validates our global licensing program."

Published in Telecom Vendors

China’s smartphone market suffers first ever annual decline

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 13:48

China suffered its first ever annual smartphone decline, with shipments down 4% from 2016 to 459 million units in 2017, Canalys research indicates. This drop was partly due to China having one of its worst year-on-year performances in Q4 2017, with shipments plummeting by over 14% to just under 113 million units.

Huawei grew shipments by 9% against the overall market decline, shipping more than 24 million smartphones and staying on top. Shipments fell for both Oppo and Vivo, by 16% and 7% respectively, but they held onto their respective second- and third-place positions. Oppo shipped 19 million smartphones, while Vivo shipped 17 million. Apple overtook Xiaomi to take fourth place, pushing Xiaomi back to fifth with 13 million units.

Huawei had its best ever quarter in its home market, shipping more than 24 million smartphones in Q4, to reach a total of 90 million in 2017. “Huawei’s push into tier-three and tier-four cities has yielded positive results,” said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia.

“Nova and Honor have successfully gained share from smaller vendors, such as Gionee and Meizu. Honor’s performance has complemented Huawei’s success, by contributing more than half of Huawei’s total shipments,” Jia added. “But competition between Huawei and Honor is getting fierce, and Huawei must deal with possible internal cannibalization.”

Despite the dip in Q4, Oppo and Vivo both saw double-digit annual growth in 2017, according to Canalys. “The market has slowed faster than expected. Being aware of inventory issues, both vendors have set up flagship stores in tier-one cities to boost their branding and drive value growth,” said Jia. “Failure to drive footfall, however, will threaten Oppo and Vivo’s ongoing channel transformation and render the exercise futile.”

Canalys Research Analyst Hattie He said the declining Chinese market will have a “detrimental impact” on those Chinese vendors that have been heavily replying on their home market. “It will affect their cash flow and profitability, limiting overseas expansion and bringing into question future survival,” He said.

With Lenovo and ZTE refocusing on the Chinese market in 2018, competition will intensify among vendors outside the top five. “There is little room left for the smaller vendors,” said He. “The leading players will make aggressive plans to maintain or grow their market share. We can expect a major market shake-up in China in 2018.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi replaces Samsung as India’s top smartphone supplier

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 11:16

India’s smartphone market has finally seen a change at the top, with Chinese vendor Xiaomi now leading with shipments close to 8.2 million units in Q4 2017, according to research firm Canalys. Despite annual growth of 17%, South Korea’s Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place.

The smartphone market in India grew by a modest 6% overall, in line with Canalys forecasts, following the seasonal dip as vendors and channel partners take stock after a busy Q3. Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo rounded out the top five, while total smartphone shipments were just shy of 30 million units.

“Xiaomi’s persistence has paid off,” said Ishan Dutt, Canalys Research Analyst. “Its results are commendable, given it entered the market just three years ago. Multiple factors have contributed to Xiaomi’s growth, but the key reason for its current success lies in the autonomy that it granted its Indian unit, letting it run the business locally. Localization in channel strategy, marketing and products has been evident in Xiaomi’s Indian operations.”

Together, the top two vendors now command more than 50% of the smartphone market in India, with market leader Xiaomi at 27% and second-place Samsung at 25%.

“Samsung’s loss comes from its inability to transform its low-cost product portfolio,” said Rushabh Doshi, Analyst. “It has been unable to win over cost-conscious consumers, losing market share in the sub-INR15,000 (US$240) segment to Xiaomi quarter after quarter.”

Despite Samsung’s ability to offer better margins and funding to the offline channel, consumer demand for its devices has been weak, Doshi adds. But it has far superior R&D, and a better hold on the supply chain due to its strong components business.

“The power struggle between Xiaomi and Samsung will continue well into 2018, as Samsung revamps its low-cost portfolio and fights to take back the aspirational status it once held in minds of Indian consumers.”

Xiaomi’s success in India will have far-reaching implications for its worldwide strategy, giving a big boost to its overseas ambitions. Considerable business in the world’s largest two smartphone markets will build confidence in its partners as well as future investors.

“But growth in 2018 will be hard to come by,” added Doshi. “As Xiaomi’s market share reaches saturation point in India, and the market continues to shrink in China, it must contend with slower growth for its smartphone business as it begins to expand in other countries.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi plans to go public

Written on Sunday, 21 January 2018 13:27

Chinese electronics and software company Xiaomi has reportedly signed on bankers to support an expected initial public offering (IPO) which could value the company at $100 billion, Bloomberg said. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanely have been selected by Xiaomi, with Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank playing a role, the report speculates.

Xiaomi experienced a weak 2016 only to return to much stronger growth in 2017. Therefore, there is significant interest in the company going public. According to reports, the Chinese company is set to smash its annual target, with strong profitability. Xiaomi’s value was proposed at $50 billion in earlier reports, but now it’s being valued at $100 billion.

Xiaomi still faces challenges, however, despite its strong growth. The company will need to enter new additional markets if its smartphone segment is to keep growing, because competition in its home country of China is heavy. Xiaomi has succeeded in establishing itself in markets like India, but expanding further will not be an easy process for the company.

Working with partners and building a strong hardware ecosystem resulted in Xiaomi’s Mi smartphone brand gaining strength in the consumer space, the Bloomberg report said. It adds that Xiaomi’s strength in software has set it apart from other Chinese vendors.

Published in Finance

Could foldable smartphones soon be a reality?

Written on Wednesday, 25 October 2017 13:41

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is working on producing a foldable smartphone, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said in a recent interview. The foldable smartphone could be available as soon as next year, the CEO said. Huawei’s South Korean rival, Samsung, also confirmed that it’s working on a similar foldable product.

Huawei isn’t ready to launch a foldable device just yet, but the company is playing around with the idea, Mr. Yu recently told CNET. “We have two screens,” he said. “But we still have a small gap [between the screens]. That’s not good, and we should get rid of that gap.”

Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh also said in September that the company is planning to launch a foldable Galaxy device in 2018, featuring a bendable display. However, the Samsung executive admitted that Samsung, like Huawei, is facing technical difficulties in manufacturing the device.

"We don't want to just sell a couple of the phones. We want it to be mass-ready and at a technological level where people will say it is a well-made phone,” Koh told ZDNet.

Whether or not there would be strong demand for a foldable smartphone, there’s no denying it would be cool – and useful. That gives Samsung, Huawei, and other companies incentive to try out new foldable smartphone ideas and see whether customers will find them useful.
Published in Devices

BlackBerry ditches keyboard with new ‘Motion’ smartphone

Written on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 07:47

BlackBerry officially announced its new smartphone called BlackBerry Motion featuring a 5.5-inch 1080p LCD display and no physical keyboard – a surprising move for the company that has built its character on having phones that have a keyboard. The device is notably IP67-certified meaning it is dust and water resistant.

The phone comes packed with a Snapdragon 625 chipset with 4GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage and a 4,000mAh battery. The chipset is known to be power efficient, so paired with a strong battery the BlackBerry Motion could deliver an impressive performance. It will have the same Android 7.1 as the BlackBerry Keynote smartphone.

The device was officially unveiled at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai in early October. The BlackBerry Motion will retail for around $460, according to GSMA Arena. It is currently available for pre-order in the Middle East (UAE and Saudi Arabia) and will be shipped on October 22. The smartphone will also be available in Europe, where it’s expected to cost €499. 

Published in Devices

Qualcomm supports first commercial smartphone with Gigabit LTE

Written on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 07:29

Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platforms support the world’s first commercial smartphone to feature Gigabit LTE, the company announced on Sept. 21. Qualcomm technology powers Taiwanese company ASUS’s ZenFone 4 Pro smartphone with gigabit connectivity and multi-gigabit Wi-Fi, delivering an ultra-fast virtually seamless gigabit experience.  

Integrated into the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform, the Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem will give the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro the ability to execute fast download speeds over 4G LTE, on a compatible LTE network, and superior signal quality with Qualcomm® TruSignal™ dual-antenna technology for extended coverage.

Qualcomm Technologies’ 11ad Wi-Fi allows users to download and share 4k videos in seconds, sync their photos, videos and other files with super fast speed, and enjoy quick access to cloud services. Moreover, when users connect other devices, such as laptops, with the phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot feature, the Snapdragon mobile platform is designed to provide end-to-end gigabit wireless connectivity with 802.11ad access and Gigabit LTE backhaul, on a compatible network, even in crowded places such as airports.

Like the upcoming 5G New Radio (NR) standard, 11ad utilizes the mmWave spectrum – in this case, the 60 GHz band— tapping into a massive amount of data-carrying capacity that complements existing cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Additionally, ZenFone 4 Pro users will get robust Wi-Fi connectivity using Qualcomm Technologies’ integrated 802.11ac 2x2 MU-MIMO technology, which offers twice as much throughput as 1x1 Wi-Fi and improved coverage, especially in buildings with brick or concrete walls.

In addition to unprecedented gigabit connectivity, the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro takes advantage of the integrated Qualcomm Spectra™ 180 Image Signal Processor (ISP) offering dual 14-bit image signal processing and features the latest generation of Qualcomm® Adreno™ 540 Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), accelerating the smartphone’s enhanced imaging experience and allowing users to enjoy a 360-degree immersive visual capture experience.

“We are thrilled to bring lightning fast connectivity, and innovative new imaging technology to the ASUS ZenFone 4 family of smartphones in Europe with our Snapdragon Mobile Platforms,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, QCT. “With the ASUS ZenFone 4 Pro, powered by our Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform, users will have the ability to experience, multi gigabit speeds indoors and gigabit speeds on-the-go.”

Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Mobile Platforms will also support the new ZenFone 4 and ZenFone 4 Selfie series, including the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Powered by the latest Snapdragon 630 Mobile Platform, the ASUS ZenFone 4 delivers fast performance with extended battery life, while the Snapdragon 625 Mobile Platform with 4GB RAM will bring smooth and responsive camera performance to the ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro. Finally, Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon 430 Mobile Platform powers the ZenFone 4 Selfie, with a triple-slot tray for dual data connections with speeds up to 150Mbps.

Published in Devices

Chinese smartphone vendor Huawei Technologies has altered its strategic approach in Kenya in a bid to boost sales of its handsets. It has restructured the price of some of its devices and is now showcasing smartphones that are retailing at between $100-200. It is hoping that a sharp increase in sales will boost its market share in Kenya.

Huawei is currently positioned as number three in relation to market share in the African nation which has been described as a fast-growing local smart devices market. Huawei is trailing South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics and Tecno which is owned by Hong Kong’s Transition Holdings.

Huawei’s manager in Kenya, Derek Du said it entered the smartphone market by introducing three smart phones, but it didn’t focus on products retailing for under $200 and that costed the company long-term. In an effort to increase its market share in that segment from 4% to 15% it will overall its entire strategic approach.

Kenya’s telecommunications incumbent Safaricom enjoys a 72% market share (around 28m users) and they reported that there is now 13 million smartphones on its network, which is a significant jump from 10 million last year.

Kenya consumers have finally parted with their well-worn standard phones in favor of relatively cheap devices that offer them faster internet speed and access to applications such as WhatsApp, online banking and taxi-hailing services. According to Du, Huawei has switched its strategic focus after it became evidently clear that the average Kenyan consumer is price sensitive.

Du added: “The new focus on the lower end of the market has come about because the Kenyan consumer is price-sensitive. The $100-200 is the key part we can play. If we can bring it up, it means we will also bring up the whole market share.”

He believes that change will enable Huawei to boost its overall market share to around 25-30%, from the current 14% it has been rooted on for the last two years. Research has revealed that the average Kenyan worker earns an annual wage of $1,200, which subsequently means that most people can’t afford expensive smartphones.

Huawei’s previous approach centered on their mid-range smartphones were it enjoys a 30% market share. Huawei has enjoyed a successful twelve months globally, and the Chinese conglomerate, based in Shenzhen, is now seen as a real threat to the smartphone monopoly which is dominated by Samsung and Apple.

Huawei’s African boss said that the Kenyan economy was enjoying a resurgent comeback after a difficult number of years, and is in a stable position. This makes it an attractable market for investors, and du has reiterated its commitment to growing its business in Kenya.

Published in Telecom Vendors
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