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.
Motorola announced new versions of its Moto X and Moto G smartphones as well as a new Bluetooth headset, and began selling its previously announced smart watch, the Moto 360, for $250. The company also indicated that it will continue undercutting its rivals on price in the smartphone market and that it does not plan to shrink back from smartphones, even though it is in the process of being acquired by a much larger company, Lenovo.
A clear pattern is emerging among the world's top smartphones makers as September comes into view: Almost none of them are going to use CTIA's Super Mobility Week trade show as the official launch vehicle for their latest phones and wearable devices.
LG Electronics teased in a video that it will unveil a new smart watch with a circular face next week at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin, competing more directly with Motorola Mobility's Moto 360, which has circular design and is expected to be formally announced next week as well.
Motorola Mobility's Moto 360 smart watch will cost $250 at retail, according to a leaked product page that appeared on the website of retailer Best Buy. The page has since been taken down.
Lenovo reported booming sales and profit for the second quarter and the Chinese vendor is looking beyond its homeland to emerging markets for future smartphone growth, according to CEO Yang Yuanqing. The Lenovo chief is eagerly awaiting the finalization of its purchase of Motorola Mobility, which he said will give Lenovo a leg up in North America and Latin America.
Comcast's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable is not necessarily expected to punch up the volume of dealmaking this year, but it is expected to boost prices, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Google's Motorola Mobility and BlackBerry are both banking on the shift to lower-cost smartphones for growth, evidenced by the new phones they just unveiled aimed at the cost-conscious segment of the market.
China's Lenovo is the world's largest maker of PCs, but it is hoping to use mobile as a way to slingshot into further growth in the years ahead. A BusinessWeek profile of the company highlights how its $2.91 billion purchase of Google's Motorola unit is a part of how the company is positioning itself not as a Chinese company, but as a global one poised for growth.
It would take a major reversal of fortunes for Samsung Electronics and Apple to lose their places as the No. 1 and 2 smartphone market vendors, respectively, but according to industry analysts competitors Huawei, Lenovo and LG Electronics are grabbing more market share and are starting to loosen the grip the leaders have on the market.