31 Aug 2012

Early WP8 Lumia Unveiling Hints at Poor Q3 for Nokia

Nokia Lumia WP8

Nokia is set to unveil its next generation of Lumia devices, powered by Windows Phone 8, in an event next week. But ZDNet reports that the official launch of Windows Phone 8 will not be until October 29th, just in time for the holiday season. So why exactly is Nokia unveiling these devices almost two months before they can be purchased?

29 Aug 2012

HTC Looking to Re-enter Tablet Market

HTC Flyer Tablet

According to a report from Digitimes, HTC is looking to re-enter the tablet market with a new 7 or 10 inch model by the end of 2012. HTC had previously paused its tablet efforts after the failure of its 7 inch Flyer and 10 inch Jetstream models. The move seems to be driven by the success of Asus, with the co-branded Nexus 7 tablet.

27 Aug 2012

Apple-Samsung Verdict: Who Won the Marketing Battle?

iPhone vs. Samsung Galaxy

With the first leg of the Apple & Samsung's patent dispute at an end, let's take a look at what impact this could have on the real battle in the marketplace.

25 Aug 2012

Nexus 7 Set for Europe Launch; Could Boost Q4 Sales

Nexus 7 Europe

According to a report from Techcrunch, the Nexus 7 is set to launch in European countries on September 3rd. If Asus manages the supply side effectively, this could lead to a boost in sales in Q4 2012, with the holiday season coming up.

23 Aug 2012

BB10 May Cause Enterprise Exodus

Thorsten Heins BB10 RIM

According to a report from BGR, devices based on RIM's upcoming Blackberry 10 operating system will be incompatible with RIM's current Blackberry Enterprise Services (BES) platform. BB10 devices will need a new version of the BES, which will be integrated with RIM's Mobile Fusion cross-platform device management platform and will be incompatible with current Blackberry devices.

21 Aug 2012

iPad Mini BOM Estimate: $299 Price Looks Likely

iPad 2

In my previous estimate of the iPad Mini's BOM, I had done a rough calculation of the device's cost structure based on the BOM of the iPad & the Kindle Fire. Now that we also have the Nexus 7's BOM, we can try and get a more accurate picture of the iPad Mini's BOM and hence, the likely price it may launch at.

16 Aug 2012

Microsoft Surface at $199 Price: The Good, Bad & Ugly

Microsoft Surface $199

According to a report from Engadget, Microsoft may be planning to price the Microsoft Surface RT tablet at just $199. I had previously stated that the pricing & OEM impact would be two of the largest challenges facing Microsoft with the Surface launch. Let's take a look at how this pricing strategy affects those and the potential impact it could have on the market.

14 Aug 2012

Nexus 7 Sales Volume: Estimate Based on Supply Chain Data

Nexus 7 Sales Volume

How many Nexus 7 units have Google & Asus sold so far and how many do they expect to sell this year? Those are the questions everyone wants an answer to and I'm going to attempt to do just that. Digitimes recently reported that suppliers will be shipping 4 million touch (OGS) panels for the Nexus 7 in Q3 2012. Based on this, and some other data we already have, we can make an educated estimate of the Nexus 7's sales volume.

10 Aug 2012

ComScore Tablet Survey: Purchase Drivers & Income Demographics

ComScore Tablet Survey
Image Credit: ComScore TabLens

ComScore recently announced the launch of ComScore TabLens, a monthly, 3 month rolling survey of over 6,000 US tablet owners. The survey had a number of interesting findings, but in my opinion the two most important were tablet purchase consideration factors and income demographics of tablet owners. These are probably the most useful inputs when it comes to projecting the state of the tablet market in the coming years.

[News Update] IBM Interested in RIM's Enterprise Services Business

IBM Blackberry Services Division

According to a report from Bloomberg, IBM is interested in acquiring RIM's Enterprise Services Business. The unit owns servers & network infrastructure used to support Blackberry services.

9 Aug 2012

[News Update] Samsung not interested in BB10 or RIM

Samsung Blackberry 10

According to Reuters, Samsung has denied any interest in acquiring RIM or licensing their upcoming Blackberry 10 operating system. RIM's shares had risen more than 5% on rumors centered on Samsung's interest in RIM, driven by a report from Jeffries & Co. analyst, Peter Misek. As I stated in my previous article on RIM's licensing strategy, OEMs have very little motivation to consider such a deal.

[News Update] Pre-Paid Smartphone Sales Double in the US

Pre-Paid Smartphone Sales Growth
Image Credit: NPD Group

The NPD Group just released US smartphone sales figures for Q2 2012. The chart above shows that Samsung & Apple now own about 43% of US smartphone sales. More importantly, it shows that sales of pre-paid (non-subsidized) smartphones have doubled from a year ago. This is a fairly surprising development as the US market has long been dominated by subsidized phones. This may not be great news for Apple's iPhone.

8 Aug 2012

[News Update] Acer CEO Criticizes Microsoft Surface, Hints at OS Alternatives

Microsoft Surface

Acer CEO, JT Wang, has strongly criticized Microsoft's strategy with the Surface tablet for entering direct competition with OEM partners. While numerous hardware partners have criticized Microsoft after the Surface announcement, Wang's indictment is the strongest one yet. According to him, Microsoft's Surface tablet would be "negative for the worldwide ecosystem" and even hints at abandoning Acer's partnership with Microsoft.

7 Aug 2012

iPad Mini vs. iPod Touch XL: Apple's Branding Dilemma

iPad Mini vs. iPod Touch XL

We have seen numerous leaks about Apple's rumored 7.85" tablet, most of which suggest a launch in Q4 of this year. While everyone (me included) has repeatedly referred to this device as the "iPad Mini", we still have no word on what the device will be branded as. This may pose an interesting dilemma for Apple.

3 Aug 2012

RIM May License BB10; OEM Interest Questionable

Blackberry 10 Licensing

In an interview with the Telegraph, RIM's CEO, Thorsten Heins, has stated that RIM may look to license the Blackberry 10 platform to larger OEMs. While this signals that RIM may finally be ready to face market realities, this strategy may not be as easy to execute, as it seems.

2 Aug 2012

AT&T Looking to Limit iPhone Sales

AT&T iPhone Sales

Looks like AT&T really wants to prove me right. According to a report from BGR, AT&T has instructed its retail staff to push Android & Windows Phone based smartphones and limit sales of iPhone models. Even though AT&T has issued a denial, certain impromptu checks by Forbes staff show they may be some truth to this report. This obviously comes as no surprise to regular readers, but for the benefit of all readers let's take a quick look at the primary reasons behind this move.

1 Aug 2012

[News Update] Nokia Surges on Lenovo Buyout Rumor; Lenovo Denies Interest

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop

According to a report from Reuters, Nokia's stock price has jumped by more than 10% on rumors of Lenovo's interest in buying the Finnish cellphone maker. Volumes were nearly double that of Nokia stock's 90 day daily average. Gianfranco Lanci, head of Lenovo's EMEA operations categorically denied any interest in Nokia.

[News Update] iPhone Pricing "Dictatorship" to Blame for Emerging Market Struggles

iPhone 4S

MTS' Vice-President of Marketing, Vasyl Latsanych, has strongly criticized Apple for being heavy handed about the iPhone's pricing policies in Russia. MTS is the iPhone's largest carrier in Russia, where the device is priced above $1000.