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5G services launch in Korea and the USApril 08, 2019The three major carriers in Korea, SK Telecom, Korea Telecom and LG U+. officially started 5G service at mid-night of 3 April. In the US, Verizon followed suit - also on 3 April. The Korean roll out is much broader than Verizon's in the US, in terms of coverage, device support and data plan options.Subscribers Only
Samsung looks to innovative S9 camera to energize Galaxy S smartphone salesFebruary 25, 2018Samsung is packing its main innovative push into the cameras of its latest flagship Galaxy S devices. With the new super slow motion video capture, Samsung has improved on previous industry attempts to commercialize this feature. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are strong handset designs which evolve from 2017’s excellent S8. They are markedly different in camera quality and display size from the two to three year old smartphones potential customers own now which should boost upgrades. However, consumers may delay purchase because of rising flagship prices.
Google de-risks Pixel smartphone hardware business through HTC acquisitionSeptember 21, 2017Google has invested $1.1bn to acquire a part of HTC. Google’s latest hardware investment demonstrates the importance it places on mobile hardware. The move also demonstrates HTC’s importance to the Pixel line which Google downplayed a year ago.
Samsung re-launches its signature innovation brand with Note 8 smartphoneAugust 23, 2017The Galaxy Note 8 demonstrates Samsung’s confidence in its design expertise because of the strong similarities between the Note 8 and the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Samsung’s decision to launch the Note across all regions means the Note 8 should be the most successful Note smartphone for at least three years. IHS Markit expects the Note 8 Bill of Materials (BOM) cost will exceed those of all previous generations of Note models from Samsung.
Apple and Qualcomm licensing dispute – to SEP or not to SEP?August 14, 2017On January 20, 2017 Apple filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm at the Southern District Court of California. In the lawsuit, Apple accused Qualcomm of breach of contract, violation of unfair competition laws and requested judgement on royalty rate it must pay for Qualcomm’s standard essential patents. (SEPs) Since Apple’s initial legal lawsuit, both companies filed additional lawsuits in different jurisdictions and the dispute grew into a full scale patent licensing war. This article provides summary and analysis of the licensing dispute between Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc.Subscribers Only
Samsung seeks to reestablish its reputation for innovation with “infinity display” Galaxy S8March 29, 2017The S8 and S8+ are visibly differentiated smartphones because of their large Samsung displays, tiny bezels, and fast chipsets which all play to Samsung group’s competitive strengths. Samsung’s initial Bixby AI implementation falls short of its goal of being a comprehensive AI assistant because of weak app integration and limited voice compatibility. Provided Samsung can manufacture sufficient volumes of S8 and S8 + smartphones, and has no new reliability issues, the S8 will be a success for Samsung. The strong industrial design will support the Samsung brand and provide a foundation for Samsung’s ecosystem ambitions with VR, Bixby AI, and enterprise offerings.
Huawei delivers Amazon Alexa integration on Mate 9 in the USMarch 24, 2017A software update to the Huawei Mate 9 in the US installs Huawei’s Alexa app on the handset. With the integration of Amazon Alexa, Huawei is taking its virtual assistant strategy beyond China where the company is relying on its own ecosystem.
BlackBerry has a chance of new success, with veteran smartphone brand licensee TCLFebruary 25, 2017TCL launches the first BlackBerry smartphone, the flagship KEYone, since it secured a brand license from BlackBerry the company. The new BlackBerry portfolio has a chance of success, because few companies now offer BlackBerry-style design and features, and the productivity-focused smartphone segment is underserved. But TCL must be careful not to price itself out of its target segment.
Smartphone patent licensing landscape in key regionsAugust 17, 2016The objective of the article is to examine patent rulings in the past few years that have made major impacts on the smartphone industry in four different regions: United States, Europe, India and China. In particular, this article will examine the following two aspects of the patent industry that are relevant to the smartphone market: I. Rulings made on Standard Essential Patent (SEP) royalty rates II. Recent changes in patent laws for each regionSubscribers Only
Smart Nokia phone strategy dances around Microsoft’s exit from the featurephone businessMay 18, 2016Microsoft sold its featurephone business unit to HMD and Foxconn for $350m. HMD also acquired the licence to produce Nokia branded smartphones and tablets, finalising Nokia's return to the smartphone market after selling that business to Microsoft in 2014.Subscribers Only
Cracks appear in Apple as iPhone shipments decline for first timeApril 27, 2016Apple released its financial results for the first calendar quarter of 2016. Its revenue fell considerably over the past year from $58bn to $50bn. iPhone shipments dropped 16% from last year, while the average selling price of their handsets dropped by 7% as well.
iPhone SE targets an underserved segment, but will not change the iPhone's fortunesMarch 21, 2016The iPhone SE is a very competent smartphone which targets an underserved market segment of consumers who want a compact smartphone which is fast and offers a great camera experience. Of iPhone models in active use, 29% are iPhone 5 models with four inch screens, and 23% are even older iPhone models with screens sized just three and one half inches.
MWC 2016: Smartphone and Smart Accessory AnalysisMarch 17, 2016At MWC 2016, the major leading smartphone makers launched new flagship smartphones as well as a new range of VR 360 degree smart accessory cameras. Including, Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge; Xiaomi Mi5; and notably LG's G5 with a modular expansion capability; and Alcatel's Idol 4S which is bundled with a VR headset .Subscribers Only
LG's modular G5 smartphone & smart accessories will energize channel partners with new profit opportunitiesFebruary 21, 2016IHS believes LG must take radical steps such as these to make its smartphone business stand out, because unless LG succeeds with the G5, VR camera and smart accessories, on LG's old trajectory IHS forecasted LG's smartphone shipments would decline 3% in 2016. Key to LG's differentiation will be its modular smartphone hardware, not VR. No other current smartphone maker has anything similar. Importantly, the modular smart accessories offer LG ways to generate profits adjacent to the commoditizing smartphone market.
Samsung's Gear 360 VR camera will be a halo product which will boost Galaxy S7 smartphone salesFebruary 21, 2016Gear 360 is a marketing vehicle for the Galaxy S7, as well as Samsung's Gear VR headset. IHS expects Samsung smartphones will outsell the Gear 360 by over one thousand times this year. In a mature smartphone market, smartphone makers compete with their older selves to drive consumers to upgrade their existing smartphones.
AT&T makes a calculated bet on the irrelevance of smartphone subsidiesJanuary 07, 2016As of January 2016, subscribers will no longer be able to get smartphones on a two year subsidised contract. New subscribers will be offered AT&T’s Next plan, and will pay instalments on the full price of the smartphone...
US operators miss benefiting from Huawei’s Nexus 6P & LG’s Nexus 5X signature Android 6 smartphonesOctober 07, 2015Nexus devices are the signature smartphones for each generation of Android and provide operators, developers and the mobile industry the first exposure to Google’s latest innovations. It's also the first time Google has chosen a Chinese brand to make a Nexus device. US telecom operators are notable among major operator groups in choosing not to range this generation of Nexus smartphones. IHS believes this lack of US operator support is because of misplaced fears. US operators should seize the tactical benefit for their customer acquisition volumes from selling these strong Nexus devices.
Revamped Android Pay will give big boost to US mobile payments as Google takes on AppleSeptember 14, 2015Google has rolled out Android Pay, its second effort in mobile payments to rival Apple Pay. At launch it is available at over one million retail locations in the US. Customers can access the service through an update to the Google Wallet app or download it from Google Play.
Samsung foregoes global release for an early Note 5 launchAugust 13, 2015Samsung launched two new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge+. While these releases were anticipated, Samsung is launching ahead of schedule to try to maximise its momentum before Apple launches new iPhones in late September. The cost for this early release appears to be a staggered regional launch. Samsung also finally launched its payment service which it initially announced in February 2015.Subscribers Only
Apple extends Apple Watch retail presence with Best Buy dealJuly 29, 2015Allowing Best Buy to stock the Apple Watch could expand Apple’s footprint to over 1200 retail locations. Best Buy has over 1000 stores in the United States, which is more than Apple’s 267 shops.. The initial agreement however only includes 300 stores in 2015. As a highly personal product with many strap options, potential customers...