Posts Tagged 'phone'

Phone sales numbers

The first thing that comes to mind when I look at the latest IDC Mobile Phone report is: who is buying all of these phones? Is cell phone turnover that high these days? Also take into account that these are just quarterly results.

Top 5
1. Nokia
2. Samsung
3. LG
4. Apple
5. Research In Motion

Despite the number shipped (110 million) Nokia is in trouble and they’ve been in trouble for a while now. The Symbian OS is flawed and it’s traditional European stronghold market is under fire from increased competition. Nokia has the most to lose. Unfortunately the good old days are over. Keep building quality phones, cut staff, and other costs, ditch Symbian, and learn to live with a smaller market share.

The biggest gains will come from Apple (obviously) as they continue to penetrate new markets and sign agreements with local carriers. They aren’t concerned so much with overall units shipped in comparison to profits. So long as they continue to sign profitable agreements with international carriers willing to bend to their will, Apple will continue their methodical approach to entering certain countries.

Research In Motion (RIM) is also looking good. While they aren’t going to be number 1 with their current phone offerings they are positioned well to stay in the top 5. The handset viewed as the business person’s smartphone is a strong competitor to the Apple iPhone. Growth should continue but not as the same rate as Apple.

Expect Samsung and LG’s numbers to drop going forward. While Samsung might hang on in the short term with the success of the Galaxy line it won’t for long. I would expect compelling handsets from HTC and Sony Ericsson to put a dent in their units shipped.

For consumers, let’s hope cheaper, non-contract phones flood the market for our hard earned money. New features, cheaper voice and data plans, and don’t forget, awesome phones.

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Mobile Platform Sales and loyalty

Android phones are selling like hotcakes. Compared to the iPhone the Motorola Droid sold more units in the first 74 days. This is certainly good news for Google and Motorola, whose mobile division has been on life support for a while now. Still the dividing line between iPhone users and Android users is still clearly apparent. Each have their own loyal users who swear by their mobile platforms.

Ultimately the success and failure of any platform is its applications. The iTunes store had a bit of a head start but made the best of it racking up tons of applications for every possible use. However the inconsistent approval process has deterred some developers away, often claiming censorship, favoritism, and heavy restrictions. The Android store boasts 30,000 apps currently available for download (Apple has about 140,000). Still some ways to go but it’s still good news for Google.

The odd man out? Research In Motion. While still the “business man’s phone” Blackberry users still have their loyal users in tow. However with newer flashy features available on other platforms the numbers are beginning to weaken. In a recent survey 40% were willing to trade their Blackberry for an iPhone. While only 32% would trade it for a Nexus One. Probably just a case of “the grass is greener”. Still plenty to choose from and many features to offer. Making the phone decision even harder. Try to stick to a short term contract and try them out. You may like what you find.

Google Problems

Remember the excitement when you spotted a Google camera truck driving around you neighborhood? Well they weren’t just collecting photos as it turns out. When making the rounds the Google fleet may have collected some personal data in the process. Oops. So what’s a little personal data? Um, maybe a few emails from unprotected wifi networks? Kinda like a roving fleet of wireless wire tappers at your disposal. Nothing significant was collected (they say) and also you have to remember that the trucks/cars were always on the move and access points can only stay in range for so long. By the way, if you haven’t secured your wireless network, now is probably a good time to do so.

I guess the Google phone experiment is over … after 4 months. I’m not exactly sure what sort of success they were expecting from their online store. To be come a major phone distributor? Boost their Android platform? Or maybe just make a bit of money? I guess after Verizon and Vodafone pulled their support the writing was on the wall. Perhaps they would have had more success if they stayed in “beta”. Way to stick with it guys! For those who still want the phone you will be able to get it at some retail locations and from the web store for the time being.

Should You Lock In for another 3 years?

With the wireless industry in Canada to become more competitive in the new year existing carriers are trying desperately to keep their customers. Offering shiny phones for a brand new 3 year commitment. So should you do it? I guess it really comes down to whether you’re happy with your service provider. In some rural areas you don’t really have a choice with the service provider you have but some of the major city centers will have customers jumping ship for greener pastures. Here’s what to expect:

Rogers – phones for $1, initially requires a data plan but can be canceled later, 3 year commitment. Rogers services bundle discounts 15% CSRs are bending over backwards to get you to sign up for another 3 years, no need to threaten to cancel either.

Bell – talk and data plans from $40/month, new deal with the Source to distribute their phones. I believe they also offer a bundled service discounts. No really good phone deals. I’m guessing they are betting on the Olympics to boost their customer base along with touting their high speed wireless network.

Telus – smartphones for $0, $50 for 3 year contracts requires data plan. Great marketing as usual. Have you seen the hippo commercial? Now available at Black’s Camera locations.

Wind – building up steam with their cheap, no contract plans. The only downside is that you have to buy the phone up front. The company seems to be very responsive and listening to the community. Number portability not a problem. Some real promise with the way this company is defining itself.

Dave Wireless – other than no contracts not much has been revealed. New company Dave Wireless says it won’t compete on price.

Public Mobile – no contract (I see a recurring theme here) $40/month for UNLIMITED talk and text. It looks like they are aiming for the entry level market to try to scoop customers away from Koodo and Fido. Phone offering doesn’t look great at the moment.

It looks like pricing should should get a bit cheaper for all but premium services (data) will still end up costing you $50+ a month. I’m still wondering who’s cell towers the new service providers will be running off of. You can be sure that which ever salesperson you speak to they will be extra nice in an effort to get your business. I think one of the barriers to switching for existing customers is the “bundling” aspect. Many already enjoy the “bundle discounts” from having multiple services with one company. Definitely a smart move by those companies who implemented it.

Competition is still good. Hopefully this will be a good time for you to negotiate a better plan with your carrier or even cut ties and move on. Now, what shiny phone should I pick?

Are you ready to switch phone companies?

Wind Mobile has moved quickly since getting the green light from the industry minister. Retail locations have opened up and they have teamed up with Blockbuster as a distribution partner. Just some quick numbers.

The cheapest plan $15 a month
$5 voicemail
$5 unlimited texting
No contracts

The only thing that might hold customers back is the initial cost of buying the handset. $450 for a Blackberry Bold 9700 might scare some people off. In the long run, it still works out to be cheaper but most consumers are used to the “free phone” business model other companies have been doing. I think a lot of consumer don’t realize that their monthly charges over the course of their contract ends up paying for the subsidized phone buy costs more in the end. The no contract thing forces Wind to charge customers the full price for the handset upfront.

The other thing bugging potential new customers is the inability to port a phone from another carrier. I think once they build up a bit of a user base activating an unlocked gsm phone on Wind shouldn’t be a problem. As well the number of handsets should expand. Porting a phone number as well should be available soon.

If you have no plans to switch you still might be in luck. The added competition should force your existing wireless service provide to offer you a more competitive contract. Rogers, Bell, and Telus have had it good for a while now and the recent text messaging fees they have been cashing in have padded their profits nicely. Just make sure you aren’t paying for those free text messages. Hopefully we’ll see a return to good customer service.

Police Cell Phone searches still require a warrant

Criminals can all breathe a collective sigh of relief with the court ruling. The close decision I think reveals a technology gap with what judges believe phones do and what they think they do. Which obviously is a problem when you are dealing with supreme court judges, most of whom think Motorola flip phones are “da bomb”.

One simple analogy is obtaining a search warrant for phone records. If the cops need to go to a judge to get the phone records for a home phone, why shouldn’t the same apply to a cell phone? Especially if the cops want to see what phone numbers were recently dialed? What if the phone is locked and requires the ‘*#’ combo? Does that count as being openly available for anyone to see? In the end if this keeps a criminal out of jail, of course that’s bad news. But I don’t think anyone is willing to sacrifice their rights to put a few more people behind bars.

So a quick recap, you get arrested, the cops cannot search your phone without a warrant, which requires reasonably cause. So stop talking about the crimes you’ve committed and start using code words. Get hip to the lingo my homie.

LG phone strangely absent

Rogers wireless scored a coup by getting the LG Eve (GW620), one of a few select wireless providers to get one however something is strange. Despite showing up on their website and commercials, I’m not seeing the phone out the real world. Nor am I seeing any popular technology gadget sites talking about it or even reviewing it. So what’s the deal?

Is the phone a dud? Reception issues? Camera quality perhaps? On paper the specs look decent and the phone appears to be a reasonably well designed device. Compared to the Motorola Cliq they’ve removed the directional pad to make texting easier. Touchscreen? Yes. QWERTY keyboard? Yes. Wifi? Yes. 3G? Yes. Very nice specs and with a cheap price over a 3 year contract. At this price point it should be getting scooped up by students everywhere. Perhaps iPhone contracts are getting in the way. Well Christmas IS just around the corner maybe we’ll see more handsets out in the wild shortly.

Can anyone comment?

Updated Dec. 30/09
AH HA! So it is indeed a dud! One of my friends was chatting with Rogers reps on the phone and in-store and the phone is a mere $400 for a reason. RF performance is below average, touch screen is uber sensitive to the point that it is annoying, no physical phone button sucks, non intuitive UI, Android less than stellar performance (hardware issue?). As well if you’re considering the Sony X1, don’t. That phone is also a major dud. Looks like I’m heading to ebay to pick up a Motorola Droid/Milestone.

Electronista Review
Howard Chui Review


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