Archive for July 2008
IDC today published a state of the mobile phone industry called the Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker. According to this report, mobile phones shipments continue to see solid 115.3% growth worldwide in Q2, 2008 despite challenging economic conditions worldwide. This is thanks in large part to the smartphone features like GPS, multimedia and touchscreen. Vendors continue to experiment and provide new functionality even in emerging market. Here is a snapshot of the top 5 vendors courtesy of IDC (shipment are in millions of units).
Vendor Q208 Q208 Q207 Q207 2Q08/2Q07
Shipments Market Shipments Market Growth
Nokia 122.0 39.9% 100.8 38.0% 21.0%
Samsung 45.7 14.9% 37.4 14.1% 22.2%
Motorola 28.1 9.2% 35.5 13.4% -20.8%
LG Electronics 27.7 9.1% 19.1 7.2% 45.0%
Sony Ericsson 24.4 8.0% 24.9 9.4% -2.0%
Others 58.1 19.0% 47.7 18.0% 21.8%
Total 306.0 100.0% 265.4 100.0% 15.3%
Here is a good in-depth comparision of Samsung Omnia and HTC Touch Diamond from an Italian site CellularMagazine.it.
US currently has four major mobile phone operators: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile USA and Sprint. Clearly, AT&T and Verizon have built up a huge lead over the other two competitors. And with Sprint leaking customers, consolidation in MVNOs (Virgin Mobile merging with Helio) and resellers switching operators, a la Qwest, it is anybody’s guess how long Sprint will survive as an independent company.
On the other hand, T-Mobile International certainly has a strong presence in Europe and is doing well there, thanks to its Duetche Telekom parent. However, in the US market, it is a different story. T-Mobile USA just passed 30 million customers in first quarter of this year. And this quarter, it has made an aggressive move to get additional revenue from its existing customer base by introducing the $9.99 home phone line. It remains to be seen how it affects it bottom line.
So, is the US market headed to be a duopoly with a distant 3rd operator? I certainly think so. It make take a few years to get there, but certainly expect this scenario to play out. I expect Sprint to be acquired by an international operator like SK Telecom or some other and it will focus its efforts on infrastructure and depend on the MVNOs and smaller players to provide the revenue. I don’t expect Sprint to be acquired by either AT&T or Verizon due to regulatory obstacles. A potential scenario could be that T-Mobile & Sprint merge. That could be interesting, however, the operate on two different platforms, GSM and CDMA respectively. That could pose some challenging integration issues. Another scenario that could happen should Sprint not be acquired, would be either Verizon or AT&T propping it up with some sort of investment, similar to Microsoft’s bailout of Apple. This could provide sufficient competition in the marketplace to keep the regulators and Congress pacified.
LG in conjunction with Dolby Laboratories, Inc. today announced that LG would be the first handset maker to include the new Dolby Mobile technology in their phones. According to the press release,
Dolby Mobile is an audio processing technology platform designed to deliver rich, vibrant audio and dramatically improve listening enjoyment. Built on Dolby’s extensive portfolio of technologies, Dolby Mobile has been optimized for mobile applications.
– Mobile Surround, which delivers a realistic surround sound experience using headphones– Sound Space Expander, which creates a wide, rich and spacious soundstage experience especially suited to music playback– Natural Bass, which adds powerful boost and bass extension– High Frequency Enhancer, which enhances music and other content by restoring high-frequency effects– Graphic EQ, which helps tune the audio experience for different content types– Sound Level Control, which helps level out audio for a more consistent playback volume– Mono-to-Stereo Converter, which improves the playback experience of user-generated content
SE4M, an Arabic blog dedicated to Sony Ericsson has unveiled some cool photos of the SE’s G705 slider. This phone has GPS, 3.2 Mpxl camera, 128 MB internal memory and Memory Stick slot. It will run on the A2 (A200) Platform and has WiFi/WLAN support. It is hard to tell what other features are available. There are rumors floating on the web about a major Sony Ericsson announcement in 2 weeks. So, is this the phone they will announce then? Don’t know but in the meantime enjoy the photos courtesy of SE4M.
The GPS device provider Garmin today announced its second quarter results. Unfortunately, they missed the Wall Street estimates and consequently, their stock is down today. In addition, to the disappointing earnings, they also delayed the launch of the eagerly-awaited Nuvifone device. According to Garmin,
“While we had hoped to have carrier launches in the fourth quarter, we have found that meeting some of the carrier-specific requirements will take longer than anticipated. We remain pleased with carrier interest in the device and are working toward making necessary design changes to meet their requirements.”
The company had originally planned to launch the phone by Q4 of this year. However, due to the delays, the device will now launch sometime in 1st half of 2009.
Samsung, last week got approval from FCC on a dual-band, CDMA with bluetooth and 2Mpxl camera. The details are sketchy as the photos are still under limited confidentiality and not released. However, based on the model number, SCH-U650, it looks like an upgrade to the SCH-U620 currently sold at Verizon. The obvious upgrade is of-course to the camera. No word on the pricing or release date yet.