9 Dec 2013
Last week, AT&T announced lower pricing options for their contract subscribers by splitting device subsidy costs from service plans. This seems like a direct result of T-Mobile's move to eliminate subsidies and slash contract prices. This move should have major repercussions for operating margins at carriers and the sales of premium smartphones.
5 Dec 2013
My previous post explained the mechanics of the profit trap and ways to identify basis of competition shifts in the smartphone industry. My hypothesis was based on the distribution of customers across the spectrum of identity and utility, i.e. the identity-utility continuum. It may be worthwhile to delve a little deeper into the impact of utility and identity on consumer purchasing behavior and basis of competition. In retrospect, this post may have been better served as a "prequel" to profit trap mechanics.
2 Dec 2013
In my post on Apple & Samsung's Profit Trap, I had explained how profit share was a flawed metric for gauging the long-term health of a company or platform. I had also detailed the perils of relying on a premium hardware strategy. While this post generated a lot of discussion, the mechanics of the "profit trap" still seem to be poorly understood. The goal of this post is to identify the primary customer segments and regions that could signal a shift in the basis of competition.
28 Nov 2013
Data on the Chinese smartphone market is extremely hard to come by. So when Baidu releases a report with install base and sales figures on Chinese Android smartphones, Google translate becomes every analyst's best friend.
26 Nov 2013
In my post on smartphone segmentation by usage, I had hypothesized that the smartphone market was segmenting around use cases rather than price points. Smartphones with larger screen sizes (or phablets) were a better fit for use cases focused on pocketable computing, while devices with smaller screens were better suited for communication use cases. NPD's research on data/app usage by screen size seems to confirm my hypothesis.
22 Nov 2013
With Android 4.4, Google has been attempting to lower hardware requirements and eliminate the need for using older Android versions on low end devices. Interestingly, Android 4.4 also ships without the AOSP browser app. Let's take a look at Google's motivations for this move.
18 Nov 2013
Smartphone Market Share by Country - Q3 2013: Android Dominates Outside US, Windows Phone Grows in Europe
It's time for my quarterly recap of smartphone market share trends by region. As usual, global sales figures are from Gartner, while region-wise market share figures are from Kantar. In Q3, Android continued to lead the market, the iPhone saw a cyclical decline leading up to the iPhone 5C/5S launch and Windows Phone continued to grow at a smaller scale.
14 Nov 2013
Yesterday, Motorola announced the Moto G, a high-quality smartphone priced at just $179-$199. This announcement marks the first true shift in Motorola's traditional hardware-based strategy since the Google acquisition. This move invalidates suggestions about Google targeting hardware profits.
11 Nov 2013
In my previous posts, I theorized that Microsoft's strategy to boost developer interest through sales of Windows 8 PCs was flawed and was unlikely to create a strong app ecosystem. With this in mind, let's take a look at the most recent data for the Windows 8 store and gauge Microsoft's progress.
7 Nov 2013
Over the past week, both Blackberry and Nokia were in the news for very different reasons. Blackberry abruptly abandoned their auction process and opted to raise $1 billion in debt to attempt a turnaround. Meanwhile, as the Microsoft deal awaits closing, Nokia announced that Lumia shipments hit an all-time high in the most recent quarter. Let's take a deeper look at the prospects of each company.