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.
Google sent out invitations for a media event in India on Sept. 15, according to gadget website NDTV, where it is expected to formally announce the first low-cost smartphones as part of its Android One initiative.
One of the major themes I'm hearing here at the Mobile World Congress trade show is that handset makers across the board are focusing on affordable smartphones.
BARCELONA, Spain- The GSM Association (GSMA) revealed mobile money services are enjoying rapid growth globally at the Mobile World Congress trade show, with 24 million new users accessing services in the year to end-June 2013, and the number of registered accounts almost trebling over two years.
Mozilla is partnering with Shanghai-based Spreadtrum to help drive down the costs of chipsets for smartphones and make the $25 price point a reality. In addition, the company announced that its Firefox OS will expand to 12 more markets (on top of the existing 15 markets). Those new markets initially include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Argentina and Ecuador.
Facebook's $16 billion deal for over-the-top messaging service WhatsApp likely will not have a major impact on U.S. carriers and other Western operators because most have begun offering unlimited voice and text messaging. However, the action could put pressure on carriers in emerging markets, according to industry analysts.
The latest versions of the Apple iPhone went on sale in Italy, Russia, Spain and more than 25 additional countries on Friday, but analysts warned that the new iPhone 5s and 5c models are still too expensive in many emerging markets including Russia, which has just reopened its doors to the Apple smartphone after previously giving it the cold shoulder.