The high-end SmartPhone market growth is decelerating, iPhone’s decline on a large base leaves significant opportunity for other brands, if one proves able to come up with a truly innovative model. HTC suffered a vicious cycle in the last 18 months with a series of mistakes but we now expect a virtuous cycle to start after strong feedback of HTC One and HTC Butterfly.
“One” and the “Butterfly” have successfully made the much awaited impact in the smartphone market and are poised for a strong HTC recovery. HTC “One” has out-innovated other smartphone rivals in the high-end smartphone market, in our view.
HTC “One” was seeing very strong initial responses and we view it as a ‘killer’ product which will stand out amongst its rivals, especially Samsung Galaxy S4. Recent expert reviews and online polls rate HTC One better compared to Samsung Galaxy S4. Continue reading HTC One / Butterfly SmartPhones to Put HTC Back in Big League
On day two of Google I/O 2013 Google conducted Glass track of sessions which proved to be the most popular at the conference with all sessions filled to capacity and in need of overflow rooms. Glass remains in developer preview with more than 2000 developers in Google’s Glass Explorer Project having received the device about a month ago.
How Google Glass Works ?
The Glass display shows what Google refers to as the Timeline, which is a series of pages called cards. Cards may be text, images, video or instruction menus. Glass users can scroll through these cards using the multi-touch panel on the ear lug. User can activate Glass’ basic functionality of web search and photo and video capture through voice commands. Glass also integrates with Google+ so users can share their photos and videos. Sharing is a core functionality of the Glass software available to all apps for the device. Continue reading Google Glassware, GDK at Google I/O 2013
The Indian Market has tremendous appetite for Low Cost yet feature filled SmartPhones/ Tablets as consumers search value for money thus giving an opportunity for new class of whitebox tablets expands the global market into a new entry level tier of products for emerging markets. The whitebox tablet ecosystem began coming together in 2010 as digital photo frame and MP4 makers began adding features to their products with early versions of Android 2.x. The early devices had limited traction due to still buggy software and inadequate communication features.
Last year, we have seen an inflection point in this market with the introduction of Android 4.0, a release that standardised applications across smartphones and tablets and brought Android’s more successful ecosystem into the tablet market. ARM provided the shot in the arm by lowering the entry barrier for chip companies to enable low-cost computing, allowing multiple Chinese IC design companies to reach over 1 GHz single and dual-core products with GPU cores capable of processing multimedia video and games. Continue reading The Cost of Whitebox Tablet / China Set for Your Own Branding vs Nexus / iPad / Galaxy
In the last 6 months the Apple Stock has fallen 40% making the case stronger for Investors to push for the Lower Cost iPhone or a SmartPhone that addresses the $300 segment. Why it makes sense for Apple for a lower cost iPhone is because of the market dynamics in the smartphone industry, especially the low-to-mid range segment and thus Apple has to encash on the potential launch of such a device. We’ll also see how this could impact iPhone’s total addressable market. Going forward, expect hardware margins erode and Apple has to innovate in maintaining its dominance in the Platform and Deliver Services to keep its growth chart healthy.
Smartphone saturation in mature markets should begin to weigh on the overall smartphone industry growth going forward. Data suggests smartphone penetration has reached 40%+ in developed markets in 2012, up from just 10% in 2007. At the same time, smartphone user penetration in emerging markets remains at just above 10% today. We see the mix Continue reading Will Low Cost iPhone Help Apple Fight Samsung / Android Mobiles ?
In conversation with Micromax, leading Mobile handset manufacturer in India and with distributors like Redington, we get a sense of the real mobile handset market adopted by the masses. Wireless Operators are trying to encourage smartphone adoption (which consequently helps push data services) by lowering entry price point, bundling data & offering financing options, uptake is yet to pick-up pace and is constrained by the still high smartphone entry cost and telcos reluctance to give handset subsidies.
Smartphone penetration in India currently stands at 9% of the total handset sales of ~200m pa in India but is inching up. Samsung, with its wide product portfolio of Android Mobiles and aggressive Marketing focus, is the market leader in the segment (~50% share) followed by Micromax (~25%). The Average Selling Price of entry level smartphone in India is still greater than Rs 6,500 and hence the constraint in large scale adoption. Continue reading SmartPhone Penetration Rising in India, Entry Cost a Barrier for Mass Adoption
Apple has sold its flagship product iPhone traditionally through Wireless Operators. However, with just 5% of Indians opting for Post-Paid mobile connections, Apple’s strategy won’t work in this Geography. Apple is now also selling through distribution channel partners like Ingram Micro / Redington. To make them affordable, iPhones are offered on interest-free installments (6-12 months) as Apple has tied up with Retailers and Banking Channels. Continue reading What is Apple’s iPhone Marketing Strategy in India ?