North America and Western Europe are going to peak in terms of smartphone sales growth in the next couple of years, according to a new report from research firm CCS Insight.
Last week the largest U.S. wireless carriers agreed to let customers who have fulfilled their contracts unlock their phones and tablets and move to another carrier. Yet according to the consumer advocate who spurred the movement to change unlocking policies, Sprint and T-Mobile US in particular are not fully meeting their six commitments under the new policy.
As part of an agreement between the CTIA and FCC, the nation's largest U.S. wireless carriers agreed to let customers who have fulfilled their contracts unlock their phones and tablets and move to another carrier.
Samsung Electronics lost its crown as the world's sole top smartphone vendor to Apple in the fourth quarter for the first time in three years, according to analysts, following Apple's record iPhone sales and another drop in sales and earnings for Samsung's mobile division.
Huawei wants to increase sales in its consumer unit this year to $16 billion from around $12 billion in 2014, in part by focusing on higher-end smartphones. The company wants to boost its smartphone unit sales to 100 million this year from 75 million last year.
At a nondescript office building here, Verizon Wireless puts devices through a torture test. The carrier's Device Lab, its main device testing facility, is located here, about an hour's drive southwest of New York City. In fact, the complex is Verizon's original headquarters, before it moved a short drive away to Basking Ridge in 2005. The device testing lab still plays a critical role in Verizon's operations, and has likely grown in importance over time as smartphones have grown more complex and integral to the lives of the carrier's customers. Here is a photo tour of that facility.
Research firm IDC expects total smartphone shipments of nearly 1.3 billion units in 2014, which would indicate a 26.3 percent increase over 2013. However, IDC thinks growth will slow in 2015 down to 1.4 billion units, or a 12.2 percent year-over-year growth rate.
Dramatic structural changes in mobile communications technology supply, with the demise of vertical integration, is forcing those who are developing standard-essential technologies for 4G and "5G" networks to monetise these efforts through patent licensing, as well as their own product sales.
Samsung Electronics said it will cut the number of smartphone models it offers in 2015 by at least 25 percent in a bid to slash costs and boost profits.
Samsung Electronics' third-quarter profit plunged thanks in large part to a steep decline in its mobile unit's profit and sales, as rising competition from Chinese rivals like Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi has started to take a toll. Samsung said its mobile performance in the current fourth quarter remains uncertain, but the company hopes to bounce back thanks new phones with flexible displays in 2015 as well as more competitive phones at different price points.