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.
Samsung Electronics forecasted that its operating profit in the third quarter fell by as much as 60 percent year-over-year amid stagnating smartphone sales. However, the company is hopeful that sales will pick up in the fourth quarter and said it is readying new phones in the low-to-midrange market to help it recover ground.
The smartphone revolution has greatly expanded the size of the handset market with global revenues doubling in the last six years, as consumers substitute more expensive smartphones for their feature phones and basic phones. Yet changes have devastated most of the leading incumbent handset vendors.
Samsung Electronics saw sales and operating profit at its key mobile unit fall in the second quarter as the company faces intensifying competition from low-cost Chinese rivals and growing worries from investors of its ability to maintain its position as the No.1 handset and smartphone maker.
Huawei said its smartphone shipments jumped 62 percent year-over-year in the first half of 2014 and that it is on pace to reach its goal of shipping 80 million smartphones for the full year.
The House on Friday passed legislation that makes it legal for consumers to unlock their cell phone and take it to another carrier, and President Obama indicated he will sign the bill into law.
LG Electronics reported a return to growth in its mobile unit in the second quarter after a string of financial losses. The company posted a new record in terms of smartphone shipments for the period thanks in large part to the launch of its latest flagship device, the G3.
Microsoft appears likely to phase out the Nokia brand in its mobile products, especially smartphones, following its $7.5 billion deal for Nokia's devices and services business, according to newly leaked internal documents.
The number of people using smartphones around the globe will continue to accelerate in 2014, growing to 1.76 billion people--up more than 25 percent over 2013, according to a new report from eMarketer. Around 1.4 billion people owned and used smartphone monthly worldwide in 2013, according to the firm.
China will surpass the United States as the world's largest handset market by revenue in 2014, not just in volumes, according to a new report from research firm Strategy Analytics.