Archive for the ‘Sony Ericsson’ Category
It was day 2 (almost on its way to day 3) of the MWC in Barcelona and it was Android’s day to shine. Several carriers and smartphone makers announced today that they will be launching devices powered by Google’s Android OS. First up, Vodafone announced that it will launch HTC’s Magic, the keyboard-less G1. Following up on Vodafone’s announcement with 1-2-3 punches, Heuwei launched its sleek-looking Android device; Acer is working on 2 Android based devices while Samsung does one better by launching 3 Android devices and potentially a Linux Mobile phone too.
In other news, Nokia announced that it will bundle Skype software on all its N-series phones starting with the N97. Also, a group of 17 phone manufacturers and carriers, under the auspices of GSM, adopted the universal charger standard. Phone manufacturers including LG, Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and operators like AT&T, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Telefonica agreed to use the microUSB socket as the standard power sockets on all their phones by 2012. Key holdouts include Apple, RIM and Palm, though RIM already uses MiniUSB on its Blackberry devices.
Mobile World Congress is shaping up to be a solid conference with tons of phones being released at that time. One such phone is the Sony Ericsson’s Hikaru, an update to the W910 Walkman series phone. It comes with the following features:
- A 2.6 inch display
- An 8MP camera
- Walkman player 4.0
- A 3.5mm headset jack
- Stereo speakers
- Dedicated music keys (on its right side)
- And 8GB of internal memory
The phone will be released sometime in Q2. The price is unknown at this time.
Here is a cool invention that turns an ordinary Sony Ericsson cellphone into a mobile medical lab. Professor Aydogan Ozcan of UCLA used off-the-shelf parts costing $50 to produce remarkable images of particles in a small sample of fluid. The amazing thing about this is that the cellphone can be loaded with accompanying algorithm that can then count microparticles in the photo faster than a human can. Alternately, the photos can be sent to a lab using the cellphone which can further analyze the sample and send a text message back with results. This innovation has immediate application in field medicine, disaster recovery efforts, and scores of rural and developing nations where there are fewer hospitals and healthcare is harder to reach.
Yesterday, both Nokia and Samsung announced dismal Q4 results due to the worldwide economic woes. Nokia announced their quarterly profits fell by 53% year over year from €2.6 billion in 2007 to €1.2 billion in 2008. Nokia’s market share fell from 40% in Q4 2007 to 37% in Q4 2008 which equals to 113 million units shipped in Q4. For 2008, Nokia shipped 305 million units, down 9% from 2007. The only bright spot in q4 for Nokia was its services and software sales which were up 37% to €158 million.
Samsung also reported a Q4 loss, its first ever since 2000. However, the loss was primarily due to its chips and LCD businesses. It mobile handset business actually grew in Q4 2008, posting an increase of 14% in sales over Q3 2008. However, its operating profit for Q4 was down by 69% over Q3. Samsung shipped approximately 200 million units in 2008 an increase of 22% over 2007. In Q4, it shipped 52.8 million units, an increase of 2% over Q3 2008 and 14% increase over Q4, 2007.
Sony Ericsson also suffered similar fate as Nokia and Samsung. SE shipped 24.2 million units in Q4 2008 which is 21% below Q4 2007 numbers. Its sales were consequently impacted and at €2.9 billion, were down by 23% over Q4 2007. It reported an operating loss of €262 million which is a 22% decline over Q4, 2007.
LG on the other hand had a great quarter fueled by solid demand in Europe and Asia. It shipped 25.7 million handset in Q4, 2008 which brought in $3 billion in sales revenue and reflect a sales growth of 40.3% YoY and 16% QoQ.
All companies expect Q1 2009 to be down by 5-10% from Q1 2008.
Inside scoop is that SE is working on a Walkman branded gaming phone named Yao or W395. This phone is based on its F305 gaming phone. In addition, it has dedicated gaming buttons on the front. The specs also include a 2Mpxl camera, Bluetooth connectivity and being a Walkman branded phone, it also comes with music software.
SE plans to release it in April though final price and countries are unknown yet.
According to DigiTimes who compiled the list of world wide shippment of mobile phones, LG has overtaken Motorola, albeit barely, by shipping 100 million mobile phones compared to 99.9 million for Motorola. 2009 promises to be a competitive year for both of these manufacturers with Motorola shipping several devices to Verizon this year and LG has promised to have 100 different devices shipped this year too.
The top 5 shippers of mobile phones for 2008 (with millions of units) were:
Nokia – 470
Samsung – 200
LG – 100
Motorola – 99.9
Sony Ericsson 96.6
This means that the top 5 manufacturers shipped nearly a billion phones in 2008.
[Via Boy Genius Report]
Samsung announced that it will be launching an Andriod based, touchscreen phone in partnership with Sprint and T-Mobile later this year. While the details are still sketchy, the phone will include Google Maps, G-Talk messenger, G-Mail and Google Search. Also unclear is the launch date and pricing. Though Samsung has said that they were accelerating their development efforts to meet the carriers needs.
In a seperate annoucement, Sony Ericsson said that it is changing its strategy this year and focusing on high-end smartphone including an Android-based device. It has put its idea of developing cheap phones for the emerging markets on hold. Consequently, it does not expect to be profitable this year. While SE has not committed to delivering an Android based device this year, it is expected that the device will come this year given that SE has joined the Open Handset Alliance and has voiced its support for the OS.
After a month long hiatus and attending CES, I am back. Here is a quick round-up of the mobile related news from CES. First off, this year the CES was decidedly low key. The focus was more on personalization and content. Hence there were not many ground-breaking devices unvieled at the show. Rather, there were numerous services and new content being presented. Also, from an overall show perspective, there were a lot of thin LED and Plasma TVs from numerous vendors including Samsung, Panasonic and Sony. Of these, the Sony OLED and the thin LEDs from Panasonic were truly jaw-dropping. One thing that was not jaw-dropping were the numerous bad acts that the exhibitors had to entertain the audience in the expo center with Casio having perhaps the worst act, a single dude who could barely play the piano, let alone sing.
Coming back to the mobile scene, Sony unveiled several devices including camcorders, TVs and a couple of new phones as part of its joint venture with Ericsson on the opening day of the show. SE unveiled a Walkman and two Cybershot branded phones, the W508, C510 & C905 respectively. The W508 is a flip phone and the C510 is a candybar with a slider for the camera lens and flash. Both these phones are middle of the line products focusing on their respective strengths, namely the music aspects for Walkman which includes FM radio, SensMe, TrackID, Shake/Gesture control and PlayNow, while the C510 focuses on picture taking with features like 3.2 Mpxl camera (incidently, the W508 also has the same camera), Shutter Smile, Face Detection, Photo Fix, and autofocus. Both phones have the quad-band EGDE/GRPS and tri-band HSPDA for worldwide roaming. These phones because of the HSPDA capabilities will likely be launched on the AT&T network with the C510 slated for release in Q1 and W508 in Q2.
The C905 is a 8.1Mpxl camera-phone with quad-band GSM, HSPDA, and WiFi capabilities. The camera has autofocus, geotagging, smile detection, face detection, a self timer, and a digital zoom capabilities. The unlocked phone is expected to be released in Q2 in USA and is currently available in Europe for €499.
Perhaps, the biggest announcement from mobile phones perspective was the Palm Pre announcement alongwith its new OS the WebOS and its Touchstone charging center for the Pre. The Pre is Palm’s curvy, touchscreen competitor to Apple iPhone. It has a full QWERTY keyboard that slides out underneath and runs on the EV-DO Rev A and will be launched in first half of 2009 exclusively on Sprint. The touchscreen is a 3.1-inch 320 x 480 multitouch display with a single silver button at the bottom and lower half of the screen capable of interpreting gestures. It also has a 3.2Mpxl camera, 802.11b/g WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth with A2DP and 8GB of built-in flash storage. Palm also launched a cool looking wireless charger for the Pre called the Touchstone. This hockey-puck shaped and sized charger holds on to the Pre magnetically in whatever position it is put on.
Steve Ballmer of Microsoft announced that its partners had sold 20 million Windows Mobile based devices in 2008. Also, Microsoft and Verizon Wireless announced an important deal where in Microsoft Live Search will be the default search engine on all VZW phones for the next 5 years. Going forward, Microsoft plans on focusing on fewer than the 140 different devices that currently run Windows Mobile to better compete with other operating systems.
Three phones from LG, namely the Dare, Vu and Invision were awarded the CES Innovation Awards by CNET at the CES 2009. Dare with its 3 inches touchscreen was also awarded the Best of Innovation. The Vu and Invision were awarded for their mobile TV capabilities. The big announcement for LG was the phone watch which is a watch with a large (for a watch) screen which displays incoming phone numbers, 7.2-Mbps HSDPA, voice recognition, Bluetooth, speakerphone, an integrated music player, video calling, and a touchscreen. Users can talk using Bluetooth headset. However, there is no word on how long the battery will last and the LG person in the booth was very evasive about it.
Samsung introduced the Pico projector for mobile phones which can project content from your mobile phone on any surface.
Nokia did have one new device, 1006, which was designed at its San Diego facility and features large, bright color display, voice memo, speakerphone, as well as a phonebook capable of holding 500 entries. The new curved sleek device will be made available in blue and silver. Other than that, it also announced that several of its devices including its vaunted N97, the award-winning E71, the E63 and 7510 will be launched in the North American market during the year.
Rumor has it that Best Buy is getting ready to launch the Sony Ericsson’s much-talked-about, Windows Mobile-based smartphone, the Xperia X1. According to Boy Genius Report, the phone will start selling next month and will cost $799. This phone is unlocked, so you could take it to any carrier of your choice so long as it supports UMTS/HSPDA. So, you could potential use it on T-Mobile and AT&T.
Rumors have it that Sony Ericsson is going to make an announcement on November 6th to add a new phone in the Walkman series, code-named Rika which will be launched as Walkman W705. According to Boy Genius Report, this phone is Walkman version of G705 and has the following specs:
2.4″display (320×240) 3.2MP non-AF camera with LED flash Wi-Fi, aGPS, Bluetooth 2.0 (A2DP) 4 Gb M2 and HPM-77 Clear Audio Experience (similar to the W902/W980) YouTube application Chat view for messaging 3.5 mm audio jack Available in Passionate Red and Luxury Silver
The phone will also be launched on the Orange network with Orange-specific branding. In addition, SE will also announce a high end portable speakers, MBS-900, which is a stereo speaker with Bluetooth, touch controls and OLED display.