We generally credit smartphones for making camera and audiovisual players irrelevant. But we often forget that every smartphone is also, by default, a GPS receiver. Quite correct, if not precise, latitude and longitude of the device is being instantaneously updated and displayed. This standard feature is embedded in every smartphone regardless being Android or iOS. It has prompted Battalgazi Yildirim, a (literally young Turk) geophysicist from Stanford, developing a mobile-based IoT application named Zizmos for earthquake’s early warning system.
It appears that the smartphone market may be turning into a commodity market sooner than thought. Samsung’s response to its predicament could shape the entire smartphone market. If Samsung aggressively cuts prices to improve sales, it could pressure other competitors like Nokia, HTC and Motorola Mobility to lower prices, too. That could lead to lower-quality products or even slimmer margins for the smartphone business as a whole. Already, in many recent financial quarters, only Samsung and Apple have made a profit from smartphones.
Guess you are not taken seriously these days unless you lose a few billion on smartphones. When it comes to smartphone profits, Apple and Samsung divide them up, leaving crumbs for every other manufacturer. At least in the United States, phones are a mature market, with 120 million sold last year. Now Amazon is giving this brutal business a shot. On the one hand, analysts say, it has no choice.
When LIRNEasia people were on the field interviewing BOP teleusers in Indonesia in 2011, we saw the proliferation of cheap smartphones. It appears from this report that this trend is moving to Sri Lanka as well. But the company says they will offer smart phones for as little as 15,000 rupees to close in the market gap of feature phone in the island. “We will offer smart phones at low prices to the masses to close the market gap of feature phones” Kalpa Perera, Samsung’s manger, mobile business in Sri Lanka said. Last year the phone company had sold half a million handsets of all types in Sri Lanka.
Recently, I had to explain my aversion to Intellectual Property law, despite my PhD work being on copyright law and policy. I said it was the most inelegant and dishonest branch of the law. The central dictum is “ideas are free, only expression is protected.” Yet, even lists of addresses and telephones numbers were protected by copyright (this was subsequently changed in the US). There just did not seem to be an intellectual foundation; just a series of post hoc rationalizations.
The emphasis is on the word “still.” Nokia remained the world’s No. 1 maker of mobile phones, including traditional cellphones and smartphones, but its share of the phone market is rapidly shrinking. For the full year of 2011, its global market share was 23.8 percent, down from 28.
The story now is about Samsung’s rise and HTC’s decline. But the silence is more interesting: no talk about Chinese manufacturers. The US 100 computer handset is Huawei’s. Let’s see how this story gets written next year. HTC was the first company to make a big bet on Android.
The first phase in a trial of an evolved version of today’s mobile phone radio access technology designed to deliver much higher wireless data rates has proven a success. The LTE / SAE (Long Term Evolution/System Architecture Evolution) Trial Initiative (LSTI) launched in May this year has reported the successful delivery of the first in a series of test results aimed at proving the potential and benefits of LTE, which is being standardized by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) as a next generation mobile broadband technology. The Initiative was founded by leading telecommunications companies Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, France Telecom/Orange, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, T-Mobile and Vodafone, and was recently expanded with China Mobile, Huawei, LG Electronics, NTT DoCoMo, Samsung, Signalion, Telecom Italia and ZTE joining as new members. As mobile devices become increasingly sophisticated and handle more and more complex multimedia applications, the LTE/SAE technology is designed to give end users wireless access to growing levels of data throughput on the move.3GPP LTE is specified to enable downlink/uplink peak data rates above 100/50 Mbps in initial deployment configurations.
The days of SMS are numbered now that mobile email access is becoming a commodity, research firm Gartner says. Long the preserve of businessmen in power suits, mobile email is about to hit the masses with one in five email users accessing their accounts wirelessly by 2010, according to Gartner. Monica Blasso, the firm’s research vice-president, said mobile email had moved beyond the BlackBerry and was increasingly a feature of even low-cost mobile phones, driving consumer adoption. “By 2012, wireless email products will be fully inter-operable, commoditised and have standard features,” she said. “They will be shipping in larger volumes at greatly reduced prices.
Motorola has been ranked at the top of the latest Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research. Nokia claimed the second spot, while Samsung and LG were ranked equally in third place in the company’s most recent evaluation of ultra low-cost handset vendors worldwide. ABI defines ultra low-cost handset that sells below US$50 in the retail outlets. Read more.
The survey below, commissioned by Samsung in the US, contrasts with LIRNEasia’s research on teleuse by women at the Bottom of the Pyramid, still in the process of being written up. Our Pakistan findings, being discussed on a PK focused blog, provide the starkest contrast. Survey Reveals Important Role Mobile Phones Play in Women’s Lives “A cell phone does much more than make calls for the Single Mobile Female,” said Randy Smith, vice president of channel marketing for Samsung. “The cell phone is an integral part of the SMF’s life, serving as a pocket-size detective, matchmaker, wing-woman and beyond. It is now officially a girl’s best friend.
Later this year, T-Mobile plans to test a service that will allow its subscribers to switch seamlessly between connections to cellular towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, including those in homes and the more than 7,000 it controls in Starbucks outlets, airports and other locations, according to analysts with knowledge of the plans. The company hopes that moving mobile phone traffic off its network will allow it to offer cheaper service and steal customers from cell competitors and landline phone companies like AT&T. “T-Mobile is interested in the replacement or displacement of landline minutes,” said Mark Bolger, director of marketing for T-Mobile. Wi-Fi calling “is one of the technologies that will help us deliver on that promise.” Major phone manufacturers including Nokia, Samsung and Motorola are offering or plan to introduce phones designed for use on both traditional cell and Wi-Fi networks.
http://www.cellular-news.com/story/17101_print.php The GSM Association recently announced that its Emerging Markets Handset program is exceeding expectations: mobile operators in Bangladesh, China, India, and Russia have already purchased 12 million of its Ultra Low Cost Handsets (ULCH). But will the initiative reach the rest of the three billion unconnected peoples in emerging markets?