My favourite week in the mobile industry trade fair calendar is rapidly approaching. Yes, I am talking about Mobile World Congress in Barcelona--the show that has ballooned from a modest event in Cannes to a rather bloated celebration of anything that has the remotest connection to mobile or wireless technology (including smart toothbrushes with Bluetooth for optimal brushing!).
The fourth-quarter earnings season is coming to a close, so now it's time to see how the nation's top wireless carriers stacked up against each other in terms of key metrics. Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson has assembled these slides that provide an in-depth look at how Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile US performed in the fourth quarter. Dawson's research covers relatively standard metrics including revenue growth and net adds, but also includes deep dives into prepaid vs. postpaid performance, subscriber acquisitions vs. losses, and more. Special Report
Motorola Mobility President Rick Osterloh blasted Apple's prices as "outrageous" and said that Motorola and Apple have different design philosophies and strategies. The comments appear to be a slap back against Apple executive Jony Ive, who appears to have issued veiled insults against Motorola in a recent magazine article.
Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai confirmed that the company is willing to get out of the mobile phone business, although the electronics giant currently has no plans to do so. When asked about Sony's TV and mobile phone units during a presentation of Sony's latest turnaround strategy, Hirai said he would not "rule out considering an exit strategy," according to Reuters.
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.
Total smartphone shipments in Western Europe increased by 6.4 per cent year-on-year to reach a record high of more than 145.8 million units in 2014, with the total value of the shipments increasing by 1.7 per cent to $62.4 billion (€54.8 billion).
Smartphones continue to dominate the device category with 1,395 products launched.
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is launching an online store in the United States this year, but it won't be selling smartphones. Instead, it will sell products like headphones and a wearable. The effort is part of the company's strategy to position Xiaomi as more than just a smartphone maker.
Microsoft released an early "technical preview" version of Windows 10 for smartphones to those who have registered for its "Insider" program, but only made the software builds available to customers with a few mid-range, Lumia-branded Windows Phones.
As wireless carriers increasingly embrace equipment installment plans (EIPs), they are working to mitigate the risk of those plans to their balance sheet by turning to a variety of financing alternatives, according to a report from investment bank Jefferies.