jump to navigation

Behind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms February 2, 2010

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Thought Android and iPhone are taking over the world? Think again. The device platforms map is more fragmented than ever, while the media hype distorts the commercial reality. […]

The Smartphone Craze
The other day I was reading some of the usual hype-induced reports on the Smartphone revolution. Wanting to put things into perspective I pulled out some old Smartphone forecasts from 2004-2005 by the likes of IDC, Informa and Ovum.

In those pre-historic days the main Smartphone contenders were Symbian and Windows. Blackberry was still an insignificant niche, and touch screen devices were still clunky stylus based UIQ phones and iPAQs. Yet surprisingly, the average Smartphone share of shipments that was forecast for 2010 was …about 30%. So even without the Apple & Google revolution fanning the flames, many analysts believed in the mass migration to Smartphones.

Reality check: by looking at the numbers for the first three quarters of 2009, it appears that last year there have shipped no more than 170-180 million devices considered to be Open OS Smartphones. Indeed Symbian, Windows, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, WebOS, LiMO and Maemo taken all together still only constitute about 15-17% of shipments. This percentage is in fact much lower than the 2009 Smartphone share predicted a few years ago by many research companies. […]

The bets are spreading
As of late 2009, the only companies who are shipping true Open OS Smartphones in mass volumes are Nokia (Symbian), RIM (Blackberry), Apple (iPhone) and HTC (Windows Mobile, now Android). This will no doubt start to change over the course of time as Android shipments start to ramp up and the rest of the platforms realize their growth potential, but it is still not an overnight revolution.

Looking forward, this thesis shows that the market will be much more diverse than the simplistic notion that everyone either wants an App Store capable iPhone or Droid, or alternatively, an ultra-low cost phone to make phone calls. There is many more commercial dynamics at play, making up a complex platform map which is driven by customer ownership.

In 2009 the number of available device software platforms effectively grew, creating more fragmentation in the industry, not less. There are clearly mid-range segments and geographical markets with varying needs, which can be addressed with various software platforms, not necessarily in the traditional view of Smartphones vs. RTOS “dumb phones”. Simply betting on one or two platforms to rule the industry is not a sensible plan.

_______________________________

Read the full article at VisionMobile.comBehind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms | VisionMobile :: blog

Advertisements

The Google Phone Is Very Real. And It’s Coming Soon November 18, 2009

Posted by pannet in Mobile & Gadgets.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

[…] Most of our sources have unconfirmed information, which we describe below. But there are a few things we have absolutely confirmed: Google is building their own branded phone that they’ll sell directly and through retailers. They were long planning to have the phone be available by the holidays, but it has now slipped to early 2010. The phone will be produced by a major phone manufacturer but will only have Google branding Microsoft did the same thing with their first Zunes, which were built by Toshiba.

There won’t be any negotiation or compromise over the phone’s design of features – Google is dictating every last piece of it. No splintering of the Android OS that makes some applications unusable. Like the iPhone for Apple, this phone will be Google’s pure vision of what a phone should be.

That’s it for confirmed, super-high confidence information, which frankly isn’t a whole lot more than we all heard back in late October. But we also have a few more details as well that we’ve gathered from a number of sources. Everything that follows we still consider to be just well-sourced rumors:

One source told us that HTC, a Taiwanese company, is building the new Google phone, but we think that information is incorrect. We have some fairly good information that suggests Google is working with a Korean phone manufacturer on the Google phone – LG or Samsung. Samsung has multiple parts in the iPhone and could be pressured by Apple not to work with Google, which says LG is the more likely partner for Google. So rumors like this one may be much more important than they first appear. But either way, the best information we have right now points directly at Korea as the birthplace of the Google Phone.

We’ve also heard from a good source that Google is planning a big advertising push around the device early next year – like January.

That’s all we have for now. We don’t yet know what the device will look like, how big it will be, or even if it has a physical keyboard. But we do know that Google is getting into the phone building business directly, and doesn’t seem too concerned about competing with all the other device manufacturers building Android phones.

via The Google Phone Is Very Real. And It’s Coming Soon.

Samsung Bada unveiled as new iPhone, Android platform rival November 11, 2009

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Samsung, the world’s second largest phone maker globally after Nokia, has announced Bada as its own new smartphone platform which it hopes to use to gain entry into the sophisticated phone market.

Samsung’s Bada, the Korean word for “ocean,” is reportedly built on top of Linux and is expected to be released with an open SDK next month, with the first Bada phones to be introduced early next year. Unlike Symbian or Android, Samsung appears to be developing its new mobile platform and software market solely for the benefit of its own phones, much like RIM, Apple, and Palm.

Searching for a smartphone platform

The company’s current smartphone lineup is about 80% Windows Mobile and 20% Symbian. A year ago, the company released the new Windows Mobile Omnia as its flagship offering, but followed up this year with the Omnia HD using Symbian instead, a move identical to Sony Ericsson’s release of the Windows Mobile Xperia X1 followed by this year’s Symbian-based Idou.

Also like Sony Ericsson, Samsung announced plans earlier this year to back Android instead of Symbian in the future, with an announcement that 30% of its phones next year would use Android. That expansion was expected to come from reduced use of Windows Mobile, but now Samsung is indicating that it will phase out Symbian entirely, drastically reduce the use of Windows Mobile, and introduce the new Bada as its preferred smartphone operating system.

HMC investment securities analyst Greg Noh outlined Samsung’s expected smartphone mix showing Symbian completely phased out by 2011, and Samsung’s own Bada making up half of its portfolio by 2012, with the remainder being about 30% Android and 20% Windows Mobile.

Another big phone maker eyes a world outside of Android

In the general mobile phone market, Samsung has been making incremental progress toward leader Nokia with around 20% of the global phone market. It currently sells more phones than the rest of the top five makers (LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola) combined. In smartphones however, Samsung has just recently broke into the top five vendors, well behind Nokia, RIM, Apple, and HTC with sales of just 1.4 million in the most recent quarter, the same figure as last year. With the growth in smartphones, that contributed to Samsung’s market share of advanced phones actually slipping slightly year over year.

Android advocates widely expected Samsung to warmly adopt Google’s platform, as it provides a free alternative to the Windows Mobile software the company currently uses. Instead, Samsung is following Nokia’s lead in working to maintain its own destiny independent of Google. Nokia is both sponsoring the Symbian Foundation and its own Maemo Linux distribution.

Samsung’s interest in creating and managing its own smartphone platform also reflects the interests of second place smartphone vendor RIM and its BlackBerry OS, and Apple in third place with the iPhone. Palm has followed a similar strategy with its own proprietary WebOS.

Is a smartphone vendor experienced with using third party software from Microsoft and Symbian, Samsung’s interest in developing and maintaining its own proprietary platform rather than trying to adapt Android to create differentiated phones in a competitive market is a dramatic refutal of the conventional thinking that Android will explode among vendors next year.

Instead, Samsung’s considerable resources will be devoted toward its own new platform, creating more competition and differentiation in options among smartphone platforms and reducing the energy being channeled toward licensed operating systems, with Windows Mobile being the biggest loser (with the loss of around 1.2 million of the 3.6 million Windows Mobile phones that shipped in Q3 2009), Symbian losing a significant licensee entirely, and Android facing a rival new marketplace for mobile software.

Samsung expects to release more information to developers about its SDK plans next month via its Bada website.

via AppleInsider | Samsung Bada unveiled as new iPhone, Android platform rival

iPhone grabs 32% of global handset profits August 11, 2009

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Apple’s iPhone now accounts for 8% of all mobile phone revenue and a whopping 32% of the industry’s handset profits, according to figures published by Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi.

The numbers, published by All Things Digital blogger John Paczkowski, aren’t limited just to the smartphone segment market, but look at all mobile phones sold in the first half of 2009, a $65.7 billion industry.

Apple earned just over $5 billion in the first half of the year, making it the fifth biggest player in terms of revenue, behind Nokia, Samsung, RIM, and LG. Apple lead the world in actually making money however, with just over $2 billion in operating profits. The company earned just over $100 million more than second place Nokia, gobbling up a 32% share of the global profits made in handset sales and achieving operating margins of 40%. […]

Apple’s smartphone business is structured similar to the company’s approach to selling computers, where it owns a disproportionally large segment of the premium market. As with feature phones, Apple has largely ignored low profit PC segments such as high volume but low priced $400 desktops.

via Report: iPhone grabs 32% of global handset profits | Ethiopian News

Stay Tuned for Bluetooth on Your TV July 28, 2009

Posted by pannet in Mobile & Gadgets, Multimedia.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

[…] Bluetooth, which allows for small amounts of data to be transmitted wirelessly, is in 50 percent to 60 percent of cell phones. That could open up opportunities for companies that make both cell phones and televisions, such as LG and Samsung, to link the devices and use mobile phones as remote controls. Companies like Rovi formerly Macrovision and NDS, which develop interactive on-screen guides for televisions, are exploring how to tie mobile phones into the TV-viewing experience.

A mobile phone tied to the TV would allow different users in the house to immediately bring up personalized profiles filled with content, recommendations and perhaps other social features when they watch television. Additionally, as search becomes more essential for wading through the massive video-verse, using a triple-tap keystroke input like that used for sending SMS messages would allow users to search for what they want to watch without requiring a full keyboard. Consumers with Bluetooth-enabled PC keyboards (or full QWERTY keyboards on mobile phones) might use those to control the TV as well. […]

Research firm In-Stat today released a report revealing that well over half of respondents in a survey owned a mobile phone with Bluetooth technology, with nearly 60 percent of them using it to connect a Bluetooth headset. As televisions get broadband connections, widgets and ever more content, figuring out ways to navigate TV 2.0 (GigaOMPro subscription required), while optimizing the traditional entertainment offered from the TV, makes Bluetooth a compelling technology to add to these 80-plus-year-old devices. It’s a good thing Bluetooth came back from the dead.

Gartner Says Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Grew 6 Per Cent in 2008, But Sales Declined 5 Per Cent in the Fourth Quarter March 9, 2009

Posted by hruf in Mobile & Gadgets.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

The global economic downturn had a significant impact on the mobile phone industry as worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totalled 314.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2008, a 4.6 per cent decline from the fourth quarter of 2007, according to Gartner, Inc. Manufacturers continued to struggle against low consumer confidence in both emerging and mature markets.

The top five mobile phone vendors all experienced a decline in sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 (see Table 1). The industry did experience growth for the year, with worldwide mobile phone sales to end users surpassing 1.22 billion units in 2008, a 6 per cent increase over 2007 sales (see Table 2).

via Gartner Says Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Grew 6 Per Cent in 2008, But Sales Declined 5 Per Cent in the Fourth Quarter.