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   Technology StocksSmartphones: Symbian, Microsoft, RIM, Apple, and Others


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From: Eric L10/29/2013 9:43:50 AM
   of 1647
 
Samsung's Android: Fork Google ...

>> Samsung is pulling another Android, but this is even bigger

Kevin C. Tofel
GigaOm
October 28, 2013

gigaom.com

Summary: As Samsung built up a global audience for its Android phones and tablets, it pushed internal development on its own Galaxy features and functions. Now that third-party developers can code for them, Samsung is gaining more control over its flavor of Android.

As much as Google likes and touts that Android is open, that freedom may come with the cost of some control over the platform. Amazon may have started the first truly successful “fork” of Android, but Samsung is going after the whole place setting.

Samsung kicked off its first Developers Conference on Monday and based on the keynote message, I wouldn’t be too happy if I were Google. This is no small effort from Samsung, which sells the most Android devices by a large margin compared to its peers. An announced 1,300 event attendees are on site in San Francisco and heard that Samsung is releasing five new SDKs for various devices ranging from phones to tablets to televisions.

To give an idea of what Samsung is doing, just look at the new Mobile SDK: It supports Samsung’s pen, gestures, multiwindow and motion features with 800 APIs available to developers. If that number doesn’t grab you consider what Samsung said about opportunities for developers. Simply by adding the digital pen to a phone in the first and subsequent Galaxy Note handsets, more 1,800 pen-enabled apps were created. And the company sells two televisions every second. Clearly, Samsung is trying to entice developer attention for its platform.

Wait, isn’t Samsung’s platform Android? Absolutely! Samsung has effectively built an individual, closed environment of apps and features on top of the open Android. Amazon has done much the same with its Fire OS on Kindle Fire tablets but the approach was a little different.

Amazon didn’t start out with Google Android, but instead used the Android Open Source Project — software without core Google apps and services — for the Kindle Fire. In contrast, Samsung used the full Google Android software to build up a huge global audience and now it’s going to make sure it, not Google, owns those customers. I barely heard Android mentioned in the keynote, in fact.

Samsung’s approach doesn’t just end with its popular phones and tablets though.

As my colleague Janko Roettgers reported earlier, Samsung’s new Multiscreen SDK applies to another Samsung product — televisions:



The new SDK, once adopted by developers, will make it possible to press a button on your phone to launch an online video stream, or even a game, on your TV. Sound familiar? That’s not really a coincidence — but Samsung thinks that it can one-up its competition.

That last phrase is central to what I heard during the Samsung Developer Conference Keynote. Samsung has clearly become successful and profitable by pushing Android devices as well as adding its own add-on features and functions. That’s clearly not good enough for the company now because Android by itself can only take it so far and doesn’t give Samsung total control over its own destiny. In addition to the above mentioned SDK’s, Samsung also offered ones for Multiscreen Gaming, Smart TVs and KNOX, the company’s enterprise grade security software.

At this point, Samsung is taking advantage of its dominant position as the Android device leader to become the “de facto” Android phone and crush any remaining competition. And I’m not sure what Google can do about it save for pulling more and more key functions out of the Android software and instead make them standalone apps in the Google Play store. Even if it does, the damage is already done from where I stand: Samsung has built its mobile business on Android and can now push forward with less “help” from Google.

As long as Samsung remains a helpful partner in the Android ecosystem and properly licenses Google apps and services for devices, it’s not as if Google can wrest Android away from Samsung. And Google has zero control over the extra features that Samsung has added to devices such as digital inking with the S-Pen, S-Voice for text input, Samsung Wallet for payments and gesture-based navigation using sensors.

The overall strategy Samsung has employed so far is clever: Build up a massive global audience for products using someone else’s software while also creating your own apps to start taking the place of integral Android features across smartphones, tablets, televisions and even smartwatches. Thanks to Android, Samsung hasn’t needed to develop an operating system of its own. Why should it when it can slowly transition developers and users to create software for its own hardware? ###

- Eric -

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From: Eric L10/29/2013 10:33:08 AM
   of 1647
 
Strategy Analytics Smartphone Sales in Q3 2013 ...

>> Samsung & Huawei Outperform as Global Smartphone Shipments Reach Quarter-Billion Units in Q3 2013

Neal Mawston
Strategy Analytics
October 28, 2013

blogs.strategyanalytics.com

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually to reach a record 251 million units in the third quarter of 2013. Samsung captured a record 35 percent share of all smartphone volumes worldwide, while Huawei jumped into third place in the rankings.

Global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually from 172.8 million units in Q3 2012 to 251.4 million in Q3 2013. This was the first time ever that smartphone shipments exceeded a quarter-billion units in a single quarter. Smartphones accounted for 6 in 10 of all mobile phones shipped worldwide. The smartphone industry’s robust growth is being driven by strong demand for LTE models in developed regions like the US and 3G devices in emerging markets such as China.

Samsung grew 55 percent annually and shipped a record 88.4 million smartphones worldwide, capturing a record 35 percent marketshare in Q3 2013. Samsung shipped over two times more smartphones than Apple during the quarter. While shipments of the flagship Galaxy S4 model softened, solid demand for the new Note 3 phablet and for mass-market devices like the Galaxy Y helped to lift Samsung’s volumes.

Apple shipped 33.8 million iPhones worldwide in Q3 2013, up from 26.9 million a year earlier. Apple grew just 26 percent annually during Q3 2013, which is around half the overall smartphone industry average of 45 percent. Apple’s global smartphone marketshare has dipped noticeably from 16 percent to 13 percent during the past year. Nonetheless, we expect Apple to rebound sharply and regain share in the upcoming fourth quarter of 2013 due to high demand for its new iPhone 5s model.

Huawei was a star performer as global shipments grew 67 percent annually to 12.7 million units in Q3 2013. Huawei captured 5 percent marketshare and became the world’s third largest smartphone vendor. The popular P6 and G610 models have been among the main drivers of Huawei’s success. Huawei remains very strong at home in China, but its position is less robust in other major markets like the US and Europe. Huawei will need to expand aggressively in the American and European markets if it wants to seriously challenge the big two of Samsung and Apple next year.

Other findings from our research include:

* LG shipped 12.0 million smartphones worldwide for 5 percent marketshare in Q3 2013. LG grew 71 percent annually, making it the fastest-growing vendor among the top five brands. LG has been expanding rapidly in Europe, but China and India remain weak spots;

* Lenovo shipped 10.8 million smartphones worldwide for 4 percent marketshare and fifth position in Q3 2013. Lenovo is popular among mass-market consumers in China and it is expanding internationally. Two of the world’s top five smartphone vendors came from China -- Lenovo and Huawei.





The full report, Huawei Reaches Third Place as Global Smartphone Shipments Reach Quarter-Billion Units in Q3 2013, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here: tinyurl.com ###

- Eric -

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From: Eric L10/29/2013 2:07:47 PM
   of 1647
 
IDC Preliminary Estimated Handset and Smartphone Sell-In for Q3 2013 ...





>> Record Smartphone Shipments Grow the Market 38.8% in the Third Quarter of 2013, Making Way For A Strong Holiday Quarter, According to IDC

IDC
Framingham, Mass.
October 29, 2013

assets.fiercemarkets.net

The worldwide smartphone market grew 38.8% year over year in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. Vendors shipped a total of 258.4 million smartphones in 3Q13, establishing a new record for units shipped in a single quarter by more than 9.0%. The previous high was 237.0 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2013.

In the worldwide mobile phone market (inclusive of smartphones), vendors shipped 467.9 million units in 3Q13 compared to the 442.7 million units shipped in 3Q12, representing 5.7% year-over-year growth. Third quarter shipments were up 7.0% when compared to the 437.4 million units shipped in 2Q13. "The third quarter was up substantially over the previous quarter, which was also a record quarter for shipments, showing the real momentum of the smartphone market," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Price points have declined significantly, driven largely by low-cost Android solutions. This has helped China to become one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world, accounting for more than one third of all shipments last quarter. We expect this trend to continue going forward."

The Android smartphone platform has created vast opportunities for new vendors to get into the
smartphone space and, in turn, has produced new competitive pressures at the top of the market.
Smartphone shipments from vendors outside of the top 5 grew from 33.7% of the market in 3Q12 to
41.3% in 3Q13.

"Beyond Samsung and Apple at the top of the rankings is a tight race of vendors trying to break out from the pack," says Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "In 3Q13, Chinese vendors Huawei and Lenovo moved past LG, and not far behind are two more Chinese companies, Coolpad and ZTE. Any of these vendors could change position again next quarter. But in addition to having close shipment volumes, they all have one key ingredient in common: Android. This has been a huge factor in their success, but it also speaks to the challenges of differentiation on the world's most popular platform."

"Looking ahead, we anticipate strong momentum going into the fourth quarter, and another record quarter and year in the worldwide smartphone market," added Llamas. "With already strong growth in 3Q13 and multiple vendors launching flagship models, the market will be poised to reach one billion units for the year. It's a significant milestone considering the market shipped just half a billion units in 2011. Moving forward, what remains to be seen is how the various companies and platforms will stay differentiated and relevant in the increasingly competitive market."

Smartphone Vendor Highlights

Samsung easily maintained its leadership position, shipping more units than the next four vendors combined. Samsung's flagship models received the lion's share of attention during 3Q13, with more carriers adding the Galaxy S4, continued demand for the Galaxy S III, and the introduction of the Galaxy Note 3. Despite the popularity of those models, it was the company's long line of mass-market smartphones that helped fuel volumes to reach a new record level.

Apple's total volumes speak to the early success of the iPhones 5S and 5C, and the softening demand of older devices prior to the new models launching. The iPhone 5S lived up to the hype of the gold case and the fingerprint sensor, and the iPhone 5C with an array of colors. At the same time, limited usability on the fingerprint sensor and higher-than-expected pricing on the iPhone 5C drew mixed reactions. Still, this did not prevent Apple from enjoying a record 9 million units shipped in their debut.

Huawei returned to the list of top five vendors after a one-quarter hiatus, narrowly beating out Lenovo and LG. In fact, less than a million units separate Huawei from the next two vendors, underscoring how tightly contested the market has become following Samsung and Apple. Huawei relied on Asia/Pacific for the bulk of its shipment volumes, but the company continued to make headway into Europe and the Americas with volumes exceeding one million units in each region.

Lenovo posted the largest year-over-year increase among the leading vendors, enough to push past LG to claim the number four position worldwide. The company relied on its stronghold in Asia/Pacific, and particularly China, where the overwhelming majority of its smartphones went. Lenovo has also made continued progress in other markets, pushing into Latin America and EMEA.

LG slipped to fifth place, but nevertheless posted strong double-digit year-over-year smartphone growth (72.2%). Although volumes were flat from the previous quarter (12.0 million units), LG's product portfolio shows continued maturity at the high-end of the market. Key to its success was the launch of the Optimus G2 and a continued strong reception for the Optimus G and the Optimus G Pro. In contrast was LG's performance in emerging markets, where 3G competition intensified.

About IDC Trackers: IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC: IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 49 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting idc.com

# # #

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From: Eric L10/29/2013 5:01:39 PM
   of 1647
 
LG: Mobile Sales in Q3 2013 ...

LG Electronics reported its first operating loss at its mobile unit in a year.

Android not so lucky for Lucky Goldstar.

• 12 million smartphones, down from 12.1 million QoQ.

• 18.3 million total handsets, up from 16.2 million total handsets QoQ.

• LG's mobile comm business up 24 percentYoY to ~$2.86 billion with a $75.3 million operating loss.

>> LG posts first loss in mobile unit in a year as competition intensifies

Phil Goldstein
Fierce Wireless
October 24, 2013

fiercewireless.com

LG Electronics reported its first operating loss at its mobile unit in a year. The loss is likely due to intense competition and higher marketing costs for the company's flagship G2 smartphone.

The company maintained its momentum in the smartphone market, selling 12 million smartphones in the period, only down slightly from the record 12.1 million it had in the second quarter. LG spokesman Ken Hong said the company sold 18.3 million total handsets (smartphones and feature phones) in the quarter, up from 16.2 million total handsets in the second quarter and 14 million handsets in the year-ago period.

Overall, sales in the company's mobile communications business jumped 24 percent year-over-year to around $2.86 billion. However, the unit reported a $75.3 million operating loss, its first since the third quarter of 2012.

LG said that its profitability and average selling price were affected by increased competition and higher marketing investments. The company said it improved LTE device sales by 31 percent from the second quarter due to the launching of the G2. However, 3G-only device sales declined due to intensified competition in developing markets.

"What worries me is that although its mobile unit saw increased sales in the third quarter, it registered a loss," Choi Nam Kon, a Seoul-based analyst at TongYang Securities, told Bloomberg. "That's a signal the market is becoming increasingly competitive and difficult. LG has to slash handset prices further in order to survive in this cutthroat battle."

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) are supporting the G2, giving LG an opportunity to get broad carrier distribution for a single high-end smartphone model, something it has not previously been able to do, and that its competitors have. Verizon and AT&T started selling the phone in September for $199.99 with a two-year contract; T-Mobile is offering it for $0 down with monthly payments of $25 per month for 24 months, and Sprint has the phone online for pre-order for $99.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 credit promotion.

The smartphones has 5.2-inch 1080 IP IPS HD display and is powered by Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) quad-core 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800 processor. A key design feature of the phone is that its front and sides have no physical buttons, with the volume and power controls on the back of the phone, in what LG calls the "rear key." LG said this change gives users more control since the buttons are located where users' index fingers normally sit when holding the phone. Some reviewers have panned this feature.

Andy Kim, senior vice president of marketing at LG's mobile unit, told Bloomberg that marketing costs for the G2 were the biggest in company's history. Looking at the fourth quarter, LG said it will face intensified competition but plans to increase sales in the premium segment with the full-fledged global launch of the G2, while enhancing marketing for both mass market LTE and 3G smartphones "in order to maximize sales during the peak season and to improve brand power and market position." ###

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From: Eric L10/31/2013 9:06:58 AM
   of 1647
 
Q3 2012 Tablet Unit Sell-In and Share (IDC) ...



Table Note: Year-over-year growth calculations are based on preliminary shipment data and may vary from estimates based on rounded figures above.

“White box tablet shipments continue to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market”

>> Android Growth Drives Another Strong Quarter for the Worldwide Tablet Market, According to IDC

IDC
San Mateo, Calif.
October 30, 2013

Worldwide tablet shipments grew to 47.6 million units in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13) according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. While slightly below the firm's forecast, the number still represents 7.0% growth over the previous quarter and 36.7% growth compared to the third quarter of 2012. Android products once again drove much of the shipment growth in the market as iOS growth stalled and Windows tablets continued to struggle to win over consumers.

With no new iPad product launches in the second or third quarter to drive volume, Apple experienced a quarter-over-quarter decline in shipments from 14.6 million in 2Q13 to 14.1 million in 3Q13. Year over year, iPad shipments grew less than one percent. Apple's slowing growth—caused in part by its decision in late 2012 to move its product launches from earlier in the year to the fourth quarter—has caused the company's tablet market share to slip to 29.6%, its lowest share to date. However, with the new iPad Air shipping November 1st and the refreshed iPad mini with Retina scheduled to roll out later in November, IDC expects Apple to enjoy robust shipment growth during the fourth quarter.

"With two 7.9-inch models starting at $299 and $399, and two 9.7-inch models starting at $399 and $499, Apple is taking steps to appeal to multiple segments," said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst with IDC's Tablet Tracker. "While some undoubtedly hoped for more aggressive pricing from Apple, the current prices clearly reflect Apple's ongoing strategy to maintain its premium status. It's worth noting that Apple wasn't the only one to increase the price of its small-sized tablet during this product cycle: Both Google and Amazon increased the price of their newest 7-inch tablets from $199 to $229 to cover the higher costs associated with high resolution screens and better processors."

Samsung once again secured the second position with shipments of about 9.7 million units. The company, which owes a measure of its tablet success to its ability to bundle them with other successful Samsung products, such as smartphones and televisions, grabbed 20.4% of the worldwide market. ASUS, which makes the Nexus 7 for Google, shipped about 3.5 million total units during the quarter for a third place finish and 7.4% market share. PC powerhouse Lenovo moved into the number four tablet spot with shipments of 2.3 million units and a 4.8% share. Finally, Acer rounded out the top five with 1.2 million units shipped and a 2.5% share. Notably, vendors from outside the top five were responsible for over one third of the shipments in 3Q13. IDC tracks dozens of tablet vendors, and this quarter "Others" represents a combination of major vendors (such as Amazon, Microsoft, HP, and Dell) and lesser-known, so-called white box vendors that typically sell ultra-low cost Android devices at often unsustainably low margins.

"White box tablet shipments continue to constitute a fairly large percentage of the Android devices shipped into the market," said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. "These low cost Android-based products make tablets available to a wider market of consumers, which is good. However, many use cheap parts and non Google-approved versions of Android that can result in an unsatisfactory customer experience, limited usage, and very little engagement with the ecosystem. Android's growth in tablets has been stunning to watch, but shipments alone won't guarantee long-term success. For that you need a sustainable hardware business model, a healthy ecosystem for developers, and happy end users."

About IDC Trackers: IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools. The IDC Tracker Charts app allows users to view data charts from the most recent IDC Tracker products on their iPhone and iPad.

About IDC: International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 49 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com ###

- Eric -

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To: Eric L who wrote (1615)11/1/2013 12:22:46 PM
From: Eric L
   of 1647
 
Strategy Analytics Smartphones Sell-In by OS in Q3 2013 ...

'Microsoft Hits 10 Million for First Time as Android Reaches Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013'







>> Android Captures Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013

Strategy Analytics
October 31, 2013

blogs.strategyanalytics.com

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments reached 251 million units in the third quarter of 2013. The Android operating system reached a new record of 81 percent global share, mainly at the expense of BlackBerry and Apple. Microsoft Windows Phone doubled its marketshare and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform.

Global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually from 172.8 million units in Q3 2012 to 251.4 million in Q3 2013. Growth was driven by robust demand for Android and Microsoft models in developed and developing markets, notably Europe and Asia.

Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments reached a new peak in Q3 2013, with four out of every five smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came mainly at the expense of BlackBerry, which saw its global smartphone share dip from 4 percent to 1 percent in the past year due to a weak line-up of BB10 devices. Apple also lost some ground to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market. Android will need to take further shipments from Apple if it wants to keep growing in the future, but this is unlikely in the near-term as the new iPhone 5s model is proving popular and it will help Apple to regain volumes worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Microsoft shipped more than 10 million smartphones worldwide in a single quarter for the first time ever in its history during Q3 2013. Microsoft has doubled its global smartphone marketshare from 2 percent to 4 percent in the past year. Microsoft grew its smartphone shipments by 178 percent annually in Q3 2013 and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform. Microsoft’s growth is almost entirely due to Nokia and its steadily improving Lumia portfolio across Europe, Asia and the United States. However, Microsoft is clearly still at a low level of share worldwide and it is struggling to gain serious traction in several major markets like Japan, South Korea and Africa.

The full report, 'Microsoft Hits 10 Million for First Time as Android Reaches Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013,' is available to subscribers of Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service now. ###

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From: Eric L11/3/2013 10:12:23 AM
   of 1647
 
Samsung to hold a rare analyst day on Wednesday ...

"Though the share price has recovered [from an early June through mid-July slump], Samsung is trying to address lingering concerns in the market. It has invited 350 analysts and institutional investors to a special meeting Wednesday at a Seoul hotel for a rare gathering with the company’s top management. While other big technology companies routinely hold such sessions, it is Samsung’s first “analyst day” since 2005, and only its second one ever."

More on the Samsung and Wireless board here: Message 29206170

- Eric L. -

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To: Eric L who wrote (1607)11/4/2013 2:21:23 PM
From: Eric L
   of 1647
 
Latest Complete Kantar Worldpanel Sales Share Tables (9 markets + EU5) for 3 m/e September 2013 ...



>> Nokia and Windows global momentum continues

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech
04/11/2013

The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to September 2013, shows Windows Phone now makes up one in 10 smartphone sales across the five major European markets¹, has overtaken iOS in Italy, and is gaining momentum in emerging markets. Android remains the dominant operating system across Europe with 71.9%, an increase of 4.2 percentage points compared with the same period last year.

¹ The big five European markets includes UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Windows Phone, driven almost entirely by Nokia sales, continues to make rapid progress in Europe and has also shown signs of growth in emerging markets such as Latin America.

Dominic Sunnebo, strategic insight director at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, comments: “With the smartphone market in developed countries so congested, it is emerging economies that now present manufacturers with the best opportunity for growth.

“Nokia dominated in Latin America for many years, and while its popularity declined with the fortunes of Symbian it now has an opportunity to regain the top-spot. The majority of consumers in Latin America still own a Nokia featurephone and upgrading to an entry level Lumia is a logical next step. Price is the main barrier in developing markets and the budget Lumia 520 opens the door to smartphone ownership for many.”

In Britain, Windows accounts for 11.4% of the market. Android is still the number one operating system with 58.4% while BlackBerry now only has 3.1%. Apple’s iOS has dipped by 1.0 percentage point to 27.0%, although it is expected to strengthen at Christmas.

Sunnebo explains: “August is traditionally a quiet month for Apple as consumers wait for the release of new models, and strong sales of the iPhone 5S and 5C at the end of September did not manage to make up for the lull. The full impact of the new iPhones will be seen at Christmas when iOS is expected to bounce back strongly in Britain, the US and Australia.”

Local brands growing in China

China is increasingly dominated by Android which accounts for 81.1% of the market, up 14.6 percentage points from last year. Domestic manufacturers made up 44% of smartphone sales in the latest period, compared to just 30% the previous year. Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Coolpad handsets are particularly popular outside of China’s largest cities and represent a more value-for-money option than global brands.

Sunnebo comments: “Chinese consumers are prepared to make a huge investment in their smartphone, with some spending up to 70% of their monthly salary on a new device. With such a high investment, Chinese consumers want to get the best value for money and are increasingly opting for a high-spec local brand over a low-spec global equivalent. The message for global manufacturers is clear – Chinese consumers demand value, and overpriced entry-levels models no longer cut it against increasingly impressive local competition.”

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech: Urban China Smartphone Sales Data to Q313



Smartphone % penetration in Great Britain stands at 68% in September, with 87% of devices sold in the past three months being smartphones. ###

- Eric L. -

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To: Eric L who wrote (1621)11/5/2013 11:58:41 AM
From: Eric L
   of 1647
 
Kantar Worldpanel Comtech US Smartphone Sales Table and PR Report for 3 m/e September 2013 ...




>> LG rockets to third in U.S. Smartphone sales

Kantar Worldpanel Comtech
November 4, 2013

kantarworldpanel.com

LG grew to 7% of smartphone sales in the U.S. market in the 3 month period ending September 2013, marking its highest share of sales over the past year. With a growth of 2.6% points, LG was able to capture third place in U.S. sales, according to data released today by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The sales growth comes as a result of strong sales amongst first time Smartphone buyers on T-Mobile, Sprint and the MNVO’s. The Optimus L9 helped drive much of the sales growth on T-Mobile “no-contract” plans and the wider availability on Metro PCS. The Optimus L4 on Verizon also helped fuel the increase vs. Q213.

In smartphone sales, Android has retained its lead for the 3 month period ending September 2013, with a 57.3% sales share of the smartphone market. iOS follows with 35.9% sale share, an increase of 1.3% versus the same period a year ago.

Windows saw an uplift in sales share in the latest period with share up to 4.6%, with the budget Lumia 521 selling well on T-Mobile amongst consumers who do not want to be tied into a contract.

Verizon is the top carrier, with a 34.9% share of smartphone sales in the 3 months ending September 2013 (seeing growth of 6.8% points). AT&T maintained second at 22.0%, with T-Mobile and Sprint virtually tied for third with 14.4% & 14.2% of smartphone sales respectively.

The data is derived from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA’s consumer panel, which is the largest continuous consumer research mobile phone panel of its kind in the world, conducting more than 240,000 interviews per year in the U.S. alone. ComTech tracks mobile phone behavior and the customer journey, including purchasing of phones, mobile phone bills/airtime, and source of purchase and phone usage. This data is exclusively focused on the sales within this 3 month period rather than market share figures. Sales shares exemplify more forward focused trends and should represent the market share for these brands in future.

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Global Strategic Insight Director, Dominic Sunnebo states, “Q3 is traditionally a quiet quarter for Apple as consumers wait its new flagship iPhone and this has been no different-strong sales of the iPhone 5S/C at the end of September did not manage to make up for a dip in August as consumers awaited the new product release. The full impact of the iPhone 5S/C launch will be felt in the Christmas quarter, where share is expected to bounce back strongly in the U.S., with AT&T set to benefit the most.” ###

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From: Eric L11/22/2013 2:00:21 PM
2 Recommendations   of 1647
 
Google: Regaining Control of Android (Vision Mobile) ...

It had become painfully clear to Android’s executives: they had officially lost control. Something had to be done. There was only one option: to strip Android naked. Senior Analyst Stijn Schuermans explains how Google made it tough for ambitious rascals to fork Android and dump Google.

>> The Naked Android

Stijn Schuermans
Vision Mobile
November 19 2013

visionmobile.com



It had become painfully clear to Android’s executives: they had officially lost control. The operating system had been forked by Amazon and too many Asian handset makers. Worse, it had become too easy to replace Google Play with a proprietary app store yet leverage existing Android apps; too easy to replace Google’s services (Maps) with 3rd party alternatives (Nokia’s HERE). Even the Android brand wasn’t the king of the hill anymore, being eclipsed by Samsung’s Galaxy.

Something had to be done. There was only one option: to strip Android naked.

And so that’s what Google did. It let go of control over Android-the-OS. Instead it consolidated control on the APIs needed to make apps, consolidating them within the Google Play Services app. If any rascals want to fork the Android operating system, let them: they can no longer take the entire app ecosystem with them.

Google’s control of Android is eroding

Several years ago we wrote a post criticising Google’s openness statements around Android. Our 2011 study on the Open Governance Index found that Android is the most closed of all mobile open source projects. We were also the first to document the Android control points in 2010, three years before the EU finalised its antitrust investigation. Android has been open to developers, but not to handset makers who have had to comply with Google’s draconian certification and bundling of their apps and data mining software.

Despite the open source and zero-priced nature of the Android OS license, Google could not easily be bypassed. OEMs needed Google for the trademark, Google’s killer apps that leverage its online services and identity (GMail, Maps, and many others) and the Play Store, to get access to the hundreds of thousands of apps that end-users demanded. By cleverly closing down those parts of Android that matter, Google had gained a large amount of control over those who wanted to make an Android handset. A reaction was inevitable.

Over time, Google’s control points were systematically attacked and eroded. Amazon and Yandex, to name just a few, successfully replaced the Google Play store with their own app and content stores. The One Platform Foundation (led by Yandex and Opera) attempted to liberate in-app payments and the app store packaging format from Google’s control, so that you can publish an app on multiple stores with a single click. Nokia HERE (formerly known as Navteq) provided a decent licensable alternative to Google Maps. Samsung spent a lot of effort in recreating all of Google’s services. Samsung also spared no expense in creating its own Galaxy brand, which is becoming as well-known as Android.



With Google partially losing control over Android’s app ecosystem, the advertising giant had to do something. It decided to strip Android naked (a term coined by Nicolas Sauvage). It did so by shifting the control points one level up.

Closing down the APIs

Instead of gaining control through operating system certification, Google moved more and more critical APIs out of the open source operating system and into its proprietary Google Play Services software. [Update: VM just learned Google will ship Android 4.4 without the Chrome browser or any other browser, just the WebView. The emulator has it but not real devices. It’s up to each vendor to create a browser app using the WebView (such as Samsung) or to get license to preinstall Chrome.]



This had an immediate advantage: it reduced the fragmentation problem that had been plaguing Android for years.

Google Play Services is a piece of software that Google can update silently (without the user’s action or even knowledge) and over the air. Google no longer depends on handset makers and operators to update the software that app developers depend upon. Many users might (and do) have old Android versions on their devices: 26% of devices still use v2.3 Gingerbread, released almost three years ago, while only 2,3% uses v4.3 Jelly Bean, released in July 2013 (source: Google, Nov 1, 2013). Over 99% of devices, however, can run the latest version of Google Play Services. It is this which matters most to app developers.



But this was just the start.

Controlling app development

Many developers will now be using a mix of OS and Google Play Services APIs; the former being available on any Android fork, the latter not. Before, the API gap between Google’s version of Android and forks of the OS was mostly in-app billing (the problem that OnePF was trying to fix). Now this gap includes many important services that a lot of developers depend upon: authentication, location APIs, messaging, to name just a few. Developers will now be forced to rewrite parts of their app for each Android fork they want the app to be distributed on.



ARS Technica has done a good job of documenting the end-user implications of this move. Yes, you have your photo, email and other apps in Android public codebase (AOSP), but they are poor cousins of their Google-supported versions. Google seems to prioritize APIs that add innovation and end-user value to their services, so that AOSP apps look outdated. But beyond the effect on end users, the implications for device makers are far more widespread and lasting.

Google’s move puts up the pressure on Amazon and other Android spinoffs to provide alternatives APIs on top of Android to replace those incorporated in Google Play Services. Some are trying: Amazon for example recently added analytics and split testing capabilities to a list of APIs including login, backend services, billing, push messaging, ads and of course the Amazon Appstore for distribution. Amazon and other are taking great pains to making migration to new APIs as easy as possible, e.g. by showing how to match the Maps APIs with theirs.

Even so, companies who fork Android will have to convince developers – who have limited resources and attention spans – that their version offers a large enough user base to be worth supporting. Only a few, if any, will succeed.

The endgame for Google: flatten, expand, mine

The “Android ecosystem” has become a misnomer. It really should be called the “Google Play Services ecosystem”. (Sadly, it doesn’t’ have the same ring to it.) Google has re-established firm control over the apps that drive Android’s success as a platform.

Android as an operating system is still important to Google in the light of its defensive strategy to flatten everything standing between the user’s eyeballs and Google’s ad inventory. Android has succeeded, and will continue to succeed, in preventing any mobile platform from becoming a monopoly in the way that Microsoft Windows was on the PC.



But Google’s strategy has two more pillars: to expand its footprint across the user journey with more services, and to increase the value of its ads by data-mining the user’s behavior. Not Android, but Google Play Services is now driving Google’s expand and mine imperatives.

Google has certainly shown mastery in making open source work to its advantage. Of course, we can’t assume that this is the end of this story. If you were Amazon, Yandex or Samsung, how would you react? ###

- Eric L. -

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