BARCELONA, Spain--Google and Facebook executives said that they are willing to work together to expand access to the Internet and basic web services, despite their contrasting visions for doing so.
In an effort to boost its smartphone market share, Microsoft plans to introduce Windows Phones that cost $75 to $100 in Africa this year, according to a Microsoft executive.
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.
Facebook wants everyone across the world to have Internet access--partly so they can log onto Facebook--and the company quietly created and launched a new app to make sure consumers in emerging markets with older and slower wireless networks can still experience the benefits of the social network on their phones.
In the next few weeks Google and its partners will expand the search giant's Android One phone initiative beyond India to the neighboring countries of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The world's first Android One phone was unveiled in September for around $105, and the wider program represents Google's most intensive effort yet to not only expand Android to entry-level phones in emerging markets also to control the user experience.
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.
We are now entering a new phase of competition in the global smartphone market and the likes of Lenovo and Xiaomi are poised to make life a lot more difficult for market leaders Samsung Electronics and Apple. How Samsung and Apple respond will go a long way to determining whether they can maintain their status as market leaders, though I think Samsung has a lot more to worry about right now than Apple does.
HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--Motorola Mobility has been through several near-death experiences in the past few years, but its impending acquisition by Lenovo will allow it to double the number of markets it competes in and ride the trend toward lost-cost smartphones, according to Motorola President and COO Rick Osterloh.
Research firms Gartner and CCS Insight think much of the mobile phone shipment growth that will occur in 2014 will be driven by low-cost smartphones, underlining a shift down market that vendors and platform companies have been keen to take advantage of in their search for growth.
As expected, Google announced the first phones as part of its Android One program, and the software giant is teaming up with local device makers in India to produce smartphones that cost around $105 without subsidies. The Android One initiative is Google's boldest attempt yet to increase smartphone penetration in emerging markets and ensure that Android maintains its firm grip on the low-cost smartphone market.