3 Feb 2014
Last week, Google announced that it had reached an agreement to sell Motorola's handset division to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. As with last month's Nest acquisition, this led to a range of reactions from industry observers. Let's take a look at the rationale driving this deal.
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.
30 May 2013
In my last post on the "profit share" trap, I had explained the natural evolution of the smartphone industry. In this post, I will be exploring the two primary market segments shaping the short to medium term growth prospects of smartphone OEMs. As per my definition, segmentation is not based on platform, but by usage patterns.
27 May 2013
Over the past few days, there has been a lot of noise in the tech media about the supremacy of "profit share" over "market share", specifically related to Apple's performance in the smartphone market (but it can be extended to Samsung as well). Most proponents of this argument seem to fundamentally misunderstand the long-term relevance of the "profit share" metric. Let's make a more educated comparison between the two metrics to understand how each can be used to analyze the smartphone industry.
23 Apr 2013
Microsoft announced their fiscal Q3 (calendar Q1) results last week, and the figures were surprisingly stable given the steep decline in PC shipments this quarter. Microsoft announced Q3 revenue of $20.49 billion and an operating income of $7.61 billion. The Windows division revenue was flat sequentially, at $5.7 billion. However, a deeper look at the numbers show some worrying signs.
8 Mar 2013
Microsoft has decided to cut Windows 8 license fees to OEMs, in an attempt to lower prices and boost lackluster demand for Windows 8 devices. The $20 discount will apply only to 11.6" and below touchscreen devices. For devices below 10.8", Microsoft will also offer free copies of Office 2013.
29 Jan 2013
IDC recently released their global smartphone shipment figures and the list of top five vendors looks very different from what an industry watcher may have been used to. While Samsung and Apple have retained their industry leading positions, RIM, HTC & Nokia no longer make the list and have been overtaken by Sony, ZTE & Huawei. Let's take a look at the drivers of success & failure in this market.
20 Nov 2012
My post on Windows 8's pre-launch metrics suggested that the platform would see poor demand in the market and now, early reports seem to concur with that prediction. According to a report from Paul Thurrott, sales of Windows 8 based devices are far below Microsoft's expectations. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has taken to blaming OEMs for their failure.
9 Nov 2012
When Microsoft announced their intentions to be a "devices and services" company, I stated that it could pose a risk to their OEM relationships. With the Surface RT launch behind us, it looks like the Windows RT platform could be the first victim.
16 Aug 2012
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.
3 Aug 2012
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.
30 Jun 2012
Hewlett-Packard has reportedly abandoned plans to release ARM tablets based on Windows RT, in response to the announcement of the Microsoft Surface. The report also states that multiple OEM partners are scrapping Windows RT tablet plans and focusing their efforts on the Android platform. This was inevitable, as the Microsoft Surface was a direct attack against OEM partners.
19 Jun 2012
Microsoft has just announced that they will soon be selling their own Windows 8 tablet, the Microsoft Surface, in both ARM and x86 versions. In certain ways, this is a truly innovative product, but the biggest question few seem to be asking is "How will OEMs handle this?".
22 May 2012
Recent reports from the Wall Street Journal have stated that Google plans to expand its annual Nexus device program to five OEMs, from its previous approach of partnering with a single manufacturer. Google also plans to sell these devices online through the Play Store. Let's take a look at the top five reasons for Google's strategy shift.
21 Apr 2012
In recent days, there have been many reports stating that numerous Android handset manufacturers are working on launching smartphones with their own forked versions of Android. Recent comments by Skyhook CEO, Ted Morgan, and the success of Amazon's Kindle Fire seem to have fanned these flames even more. But ignoring Skyhook's stormy relationship with Google, is this really a sound business strategy for OEMs? Let's take a look.
28 Mar 2012
Lately, there have been a spurt of reports and surveys detailing the concern the developer community has about Android fragmentation. But is fragmentation as big of a problem as it's made out to be? Let's take a look.