Tag: smartphones

Brits are nuts about their smartphones

smartphones-genericA third of British people look at their smartphones just after they’ve woken up, according to a survey conducted by Deloitte.

Before they attend to essential functions, 11 million UK adults check their phone within five minutes of waking.  They first check their text messages, then their email and then turn to Facebook and the like.

And, said Deloitte, one in six British adults look at a smartphone over 50 times a  day.  That’s not true for silver surfers. People between the are of 65 to 75 only look at their smartphones 13 times a day.

Ed Marsden, a lead telecoms partner at Deloitte somewhat understated the matter. He said: “Mobile phones have clearly become something of an addiction for many and has led to some people looking to unplug their devices and undergo a digital detox.”  Yes, there really are digital detox courses.

Twenty percent of people surveyed said they chose a network with the best internet connection, rather than quality for phone calls.

Microsoft shows off three smartphones

skippieSoftware giant Microsoft said it has released Nokia Lumia smartphones all using the Windows Phone 8.1 operating system.

The Lumia 830 comes with a 10 megapixel PureView camera that uses Zeiss optics, comes with Office Mobile, and 15GB of free OneDrive storage.  It will cost around £300 or so.

The Lumia 730 Dual SIM and Lumia 735 have front facing wide angle five megapixel cameras, and are intended to be used for Microsoft Skype – both of these will be introduced this month and cost around £200 or so.  They both come with 15GB of free OneDrive storage.

Microsoft also introduced Screen Sharing for Lumia Phones HD-10 which lets you beam content from a smartphone to an HDMI screen.

It has also updated Lumia Denim for the 930, Lumia Icon and the Lumia 1520.

Phablets will beat tablets

cheap-tabletsPhablets are smartphones with screen sizes between 5.5 inches and seven inches. And, according to market research company IDC, 175 million of them will ship this year, beating the 170 million portable PCs expected to ship this year.

It’s a horrible word, phablet.

But next year the devices will ship 318 million units, more than the 233 million tablets IDC predicts will ship in 2015.

Melissa Chau, research manager at IDC, said Apple is expected to announce it’s entering the fray in the next couple of the weeks. And by 2018, she said, phablets will grow market share from 14 percent now to 32.2 percent then.

Average selling prices for phablets and smartphones are set to drop and will dominate the portable sector in 2018, with 75.6 percent of the market.

Tablet sales go slow

ipad3Market research firm IDC said it has lowered its forecast for tablet sales in 2014 almost halving its estimate of how many will ship.

The reason for that, according to the company, is that buyers in mature markets are contributing to flatness.  The estimate now is that 233.1 million units will ship – its previous estimate was a year on year 12.1 percent growth rate. It’s lowered that rate to 6.5 percent now.

But while the “mature markets” are showing a slowdown, IDC said that other regional markets will hit a 12 percent growth rate.

More use of tablets in emerging markets will sustain that 12 percent figure.

IDC estimates that average selling prices will level out at $373 in mature markets but fall in other regions to $302.

Jitesh Urbani, senior research analyst at IDC said that the world outside Western Europe and North America will account for the majority of shipments this year.  “But in terms of dollars spent, medium to large sized devices in North America and Western Europe will still produce significant revenues,” he said.

PC market shows signs of growth

pc-sales-slumpMarket research company IDC said there’s light at the end of the tunnel for PC sales in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

The second quarter of 2014 grw by 3.2 percent, ending seven consecutive quarters of decline.

But overall PC shipments were down 8.3 percent for the first quarter of this year, according to the IDC figures.

The decline in the market is largely because people and organisations are moving towards tablets and smartphones, according to Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a research manager at the firm.

But PC vendors are pushing aggressive pricing, new form factors and so the decline is softer in Q2 2014 than in the seven quarters before.

More political stability is helping the trend to spend, and the fact that people are moving from the now defunct Windows XP.

White box tab vendors make gains

tesco-hudl-tabletChinese makers of tablets are adding top notch features to their offerings threatening a price war in the European and US markets.

That’s according to Taiwanese wire Digitimes, which said that the vendors will offer LTE, ultrathin bezels and 13 megapix cameras.

And the vendors will aim to flood the European and US markets with the products, making it increasingly difficult for bog standard players to make much margin on the products, the wire adds.

The vendors are cranking up their volumes and aiming at large outlets to sell their cut price high end devices.  That means that companies like Intel are unlikely to make much of a dent in these markets, despite its efforts to penetrate an already competitive market.

* In other news, Intel has finally managed to trademark the letter “i”, according to our sister publication, TechEye.

Tablets continue their march forwards

cheap-tablets230 million smart connected devices – a term including smartphones, PCs and tablets – shipped in 2013 in Europe.

That’s according to a report from IDC today, which said that although growth was slightly down compared to 2012, the market continues to be one of the fastest growing IT sectors.

Tablets, particularly, will drive the sector during this year – shipments in Europe are likely to grow by 17.6 percent.  45 million units sold in Western Europe in 2013 – that’s a growth of 51.4 percent oer the previous year.  IDC thinks tablets will continue to show strong growth over the next three years.

The news is far gloomier for PCs – the market for consumer devices fell by 2.4 percent in Q4 2013. Enterprise sales, hwever, grew by 3.5 percent.

Smartphones are the undoubted king of the connected castle though. IDC said that they hogged 55 percent of the the sector, with 38 million units shipping  in Q4 2013.

Here is the breakdown of the market leaders in the sector, according to IDC.

There’s a little light at the end of the PC tunnel

IndiashareA report from IDC said that despite overall doom and gloom, there’s some pockets of the world where PC things are not that bad.

India, said IDC, showed a year on year growth of 4.8 percent for 2013, with 11.5 million units shipping.

Of course India has a population of over one billion people but it has never adopted the PC platform wholeheartedly.

The growth, said IDC, was largely due to state governments buying as part of a scheme to distribute free laptops to students.

And the enterprise segment managed 6.7 million units in 2013 – up 15.8 percent.

There are negative factors impacting the market, said IDC. Those include weak growth, slowdown in hiring people, the devaluation of the rupee and layoffs in the enterprise market.

And if you split out the consumer part of the market, that showed a year on uear decline of 7.4 percent.  The teapot in the broom cupboard are sales of smartphones and tablets.

Qualcomm beats the smartphone pack

Intel-logoStrategy Analytics said that Qualcomm grabbed 54 percent revenue share in the smartphone application processor market in 2013.

Apple had 16 percent share and MediaTek 10 percent share in a market that was worth $18 billion last year, a rise of 41 percent over 2012.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and 600 chip families along with its 400 and 200 ranges gave it a strong position.  Apple’s 64 bit A7 did well in the latter half of the year.  Samsung ranked number five, followed by Spreadtrum.

Intel had a minute 0.2 percent revenue share.

However, in the tablet processor sphere, Intel did somewhat better.  Qualcomm heads the pack in the non Apple market but Apple itself has the lead overall with 37 percent share.  Samsung has 10 percent revenue share, and Qualcomm 11 percent. Strategy Analytics did not give figures for Intel.

Android still miles ahead of iOS

googleplaycardsA report said that Google’s Android operating system is the leader of the pack for smartphone operating systems.

IDC said that it had a 39 percent share of shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013, amounting to 226.1 million units and giving it a 78.1 percent market share.

Signficantly behind was the Apple iOS, shipping 51 million units and holding a 17.6 percent share.

Next came Windows Phone, with volumes of 8.8 million units and a three percent market share. It showed the largest increase for the quarter with 46.7 percent growth in the quarter.

Blackberry held 0.6 percent of the market and saw a steep decline of 77 percent compared to the same quarter in 2012.

For the whole of 2013, the Android operating system shipped 793.6 million units out of an overall market of just over a billion units.

HTC in Google tie-up

google-ICA report claimed that HTC, which has wobbled quite a bit over the last few years, is set to cooperate with Google on its next tablet.

According to Taiwanese wire, Digitimes, the two companies will jointly launch the Nexus 10 tablet.

HTC hasn’t had a great deal of success in the tablet sphere and Google has consorted with other manufacturers including Asustek and Samsung to create previous versions of Nexus tablets.

The big question is whether it is too little and too late for HTC to make progress in the tablet arena, given that there are already so many players.

Although its recent smartphones have been hailed as good bits of kit, it seems that a  lack of coordination and marketing know how has prevented HTC doing as well as it should have.

Intel has lost the plot

Intel-logoOur sister publication, TechEye, reports this morning that Intel is selling its chips at or below cost in an attempt to wrest more market share in the tablet market.

The truth is that like its joined at the hip twin, Microsoft, Intel has lost the place.

We’re not able to quantify the amount of money Intel has spent in the last years attempting to get its microprocessors into smartphones and tablets – all to very little effect.

The truth is that the last thing smartphone manufacturers want to do is find themselves in the same position as PC makers did – that is to say in the grip of a virtual monopoly.

When Intel first mooted the idea of the Atom microprocessor, senior executives maintained in the face of overwhelming evidence that its introduction would cannibalise its existing notebook market.

We have some sympathy for Intel – it invests considerable amounts in very expensive factories employing tens of thousands of people.  But its clear lack of strategy in the face of the onward match of tablets and smartphones that don’t use its microprocessors is puzzling.

A billion smartphones ship

threeiphonesIDC said that a billion smartphones shipped worldwide.

There are over seven billion humans on the planet.

IDC said that that vendors sold 1,004.2 million smartphones – a rise of 38.4 percent from 2012 – which equates to 725.3 million units in 2012.

And smartphones accounted for 55.1 percent of all mobile phone shipments in 2013 – a rise from the 41.7 percent smartphone share in 2012.

Samsung was the market leader, with Apple, Huawei, Lenovo and LG occupying the top five vendors.

Samsung shipped 313.9 million units in 2013, Apple 153.4 million, Huawei 48.8 million, LG 47.7 million and Lenovo 45.5 million.

“Others” exceeded Samsung by shipping 394.9 million units during 2013.

Samsung trims its notebook sails

Samsung HQ in CaliforniaIn further evidence that the market for X86 notebooks is on the wane, it appears that Korean giant Samsung has decided to cut down manufacturing the beasts.

According to Digitimes, it will only ship seven million notebooks during this year – that’s a drop of over 40 percent compared to 2013.

The wire said that Samsung wanted to ship 17 million notebooks last year but only managed to sell 12 million units.

Further, it has no plans to launch new notebooks in 2015, unless they are Chromebooks, Digitimes claimed.

Samsung was unavailable for comment.  Last week the giant released results that were slightly dented by a fall in demand for its range of smartphones.

Intel fails to shine

Brian KrzanichDespite getting swept up in hype over the internet of thongs, Intel’s predictions for 2014 are unlikely to bring much succour to its shareholders.

Reporting its fourth quarter results last night, its net profit rose 6.4 percent for the period ending in December but revenues only grew 2.6 percent.  Mind you, it still turned in a gross profit of 61 percent, which is no peanuts by any corporation’s standards.

CEO Brian Krzanich claimed the results were solid and the PC market is stabilising.

But its lucrative server market appears to be suffering with only a  one percent rise in its unit sales.  Krzanich said the firm had overestimated recovery in the corporate sector.

Intel is predicting a “flat” 2014 but Krzanich hopes that smartphone and tablet sales will pick up this year.  Both Intel and Microsoft have been outflanked by a change in habits from customers who prefer to swipe immediately rather than wait a good while for Intel-Microsoft tablets to boot up.