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Friday, December 21, 2012

Wholesale Cell Phones Update 12-21-12



RIM is less than two months away from releasing BlackBerry 10 and the images we’ve seen of the operating system so far look good. Now Tihnte has posted some pictures showing off BlackBerry 10′s home screen along with its notifications system and several key apps such as Twitter, Facebook and FourSquare. Some of the most interesting images are the ones featuring BlackBerry 10 Hub, RIM’s one-stop message center that lets users handle messages from multiple email accounts, BlackBerry Messenger, social networking sites and text messages all in one location. Even more intriguingly, it looks as though RIM has developed its own Siri-like application that will give users the ability to use voice commands on their smartphones.

RIM PAYS OFF NOKIA TO END PATENT LITIGATION

Following its recent loss against Nokia at a recent arbitration tribunal, Canadian smartphone giant RIM has decided to put an end to its outstanding patent fights against the Finnish mobile maker, agreeing a deal that will see it license Nokia’s patents, with both parties withdrawing “all existing patent litigation.” As part of the agreement, RIM has agreed to make a one-time payment to Nokia, following up with ongoing royalty payments. This is similar to a deal that the company signed with Apple, which continues to pay royalties after signing a licensing agreement in March 2011. “We are very pleased to have resolved our patent licensing issues with RIM and reached this new agreement, while maintaining Nokia’s ability to protect our unique product differentiation,” said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. “This agreement demonstrates Nokia’s industry leading patent portfolio and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities in the mobile communications market.”

SAMSUNG DISPLAY WILL SHOW OFF A 5.5-INCH FLEXIBLE SCREEN AT CES

Samsung’s impending Galaxy S IV may not feature an unbreakable or flexible screen, but that doesn't mean the company isn't working hard to get such high-tech displays onto its phones within the next year. Engadget reports that Samsung display panel spin-off Samsung Display is preparing to demonstrate a 5.5-inch, 720 pixel flexible screen at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Engadget cautions us not to set our expectations too high, however, because the display at CES will be “merely a component that could one day find its way into a smartphone, rather than a finished product that’s meant for consumers.”

T-MOBILE’S IPHONE-COMPATIBLE HSPA+ NETWORK NOW AVAILABLE IN NYC, BOSTON AND OTHER CITIES

T-Mobile has announced a major expansion to its iPhone-compatible HSPA+ network. The company on Thursday revealed its high-speed network is now available in 14 new markets, including large metropolitan areas such as New York City, Newark, Boston, Providence, Philadelphia, Detroit, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Tampa, among other locations. The network operates on the 1900MHz frequency, which means popular devices sold by AT&T, including Apple’s iPhone 5, will be able to access HSPA+ data speeds on T-Mobile. The company’s improved network is now available in more than 30 markets across the country and covers 100 million people.

VERIZON LAUNCHES 4G LTE IN 29 ADDITIONAL MARKETS, INCHES CLOSER TO 500 OVERALL MARKETS

Verizon Wireless flipped the LTE switch on in 29 additional markets throughout the country on Thursday, in addition to expanding coverage in 36 existing markets. The reach of the company’s high-speed network is unmatched and is now available to more than 250 million people across 470 markets nationwide. Verizon has previously announced that it expects its 4G LTE network to match its 3G footprint by the end of 2013.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Wholesale Cell Phones Industry News Digest 08/03/2012



Wholesale Cell Phones News


RIM chief: we looked 'seriously' at Android, didn't want to join the herd

RIM's current CEO Thorsten Heins has been very candid about his company's plans and past, but he has usually given the impression that the company wouldn't even consider deviating from its one true vision of a BlackBerry OS future. Although BlackBerry 10 is very much the center of RIM's universe today, Heins has revealed to The Telegraph that his firm's eyes did stray briefly -- at one point, it "seriously" investigated Android as a platform. The company ended up backing away after deciding a "me-too" strategy didn't fit the productivity-obsessed BlackBerry crowd, the executive says. RIM decided, like Nokia, that it couldn't differentiate enough in Google's ecosystem. There's still some time to go before we learn whether or not the gamble on the in-house OS pays off. If Heins' comments still leave you dreaming of what might have been, though, don't worry: at least a few companies are providing their own visions in a slightly more tangible form.

Samsung starts mass-producing 4x faster mobile flash memory, kickstarts our phones and tablets

Samsung isn't content to leave fast NAND flash memory to traditional solid-state drives. Its Pro Class 1500 promises a big jolt to the performance of frequently pokey smartphone and tablet storage. By how much? That name is a clue -- it reaches 1,500 IOPS (inputs/outputs per second) when writing data, which along with 3,500 IOPS data reads is about four times faster than any previous embedded flash chip Samsung has tested. In the real world, that leads to as much as 140MB/s when reading data and 50MB/s for writes. The speed comes after Samsung has thrown virtually every trick in the book at its new chips, including a dense 20-nanometer manufacturing process, quick toggle DDR 2.0 memory with its own controller and a new JEDEC memory standard with 200MB/s of bandwidth to spare. Samsung hasn't named customers for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB parts that are rolling out of the factories, although we'd do well to remember that a flourishing phone business doesn't guarantee that the only major customer is Samsung itself: even in the face of legal challenges, Samsung still has at least one noteworthy client that tends to snap up much of its flash supply.

Stocks soar on jobs report

Stocks rallied nearly 2% Friday as investors welcomed a stronger-than-expected July jobs report.The Dow Jones industrial average surged 250 points, or 1.9%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both up 2%. The U.S. economy added 163,000 jobs in July, an improvement from an increase of just 64,000 in June, according to a government report. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney were predicting 95,000 jobs were added last month. "It was the perfect number for the market," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott.

Apple is freaking out over top-secret market research being used in patent trial

Remember when Steve Jobs famously said that Apple (AAPL) did “no market research” to figure out what consumers want? Well, it turns out that wasn’t exactly the case, as new documents unearthed during the Apple-Samsung (005930) patent trial reveal. Network World’s Yoni Heisler writes that Apple is positively freaking out about the possibility that its extensive market research surveys of iPhone and iPad users could be made public, thus revealing the company’s special sauce recipe for attracting and keeping loyal users. All Things D reports that Apple has now lost its bid to keep the market research secret and Samsung will be allowed to use it as evidence in the trial. In particular, Heisler found a declaration to the court submitted by Apple VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak explaining why Apple’s customer surveys should remain sealed away from the public eye. “The surveys reveal, country-by-country, what is driving our customers to buy Apple’s iPhone products versus other products such as the Android products that Samsung sells, what features they most use, our customers’ demographics and their level of satisfaction with different aspects of iPhone,” Joswiak wrote. “All of that information is set out in exacting detail in the proposed exhibits. No other entity could replicate this research because no other entity has access to the customer base that Apple has.” Heisler also notes that Joswiak claims the market research reports are even kept under tight wraps within the company itself and are only revealed to “a small select group of Apple executives” and cannot be shared with anyone outside of the group without Joswiak’s express permission. In other words, part of the secret to Apple’s success is that it has been run like one of the Pentagon’s black ops teams.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Your wholesale cell phones news digest 07/27/12





Wholesale Cell Phones News


More evidence that Samsung smartphone sales steamrolled Apple in Q2


Samsung may not have figured out how to do tablets effectively yet, but it sure has smartphones nailed down. The latest numbers from IDC show that Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones in the second quarter of 2012, nearly double the 26 million iPhones shipped by Apple over the same period. Taken all together, IDC found that Samsung and Apple accounted for nearly half of all smartphones shipped on the quarter as rivals Nokia, HTC and ZTE all registered smartphone market shares of under 7%. The report essentially backs up Juniper’s findings from earlier this week that Samsung smartphone shipments roughly doubled Apple iPhone sales in the second quarter.


Sorry, Motorola: Google only loves you for your patents


Google’s love for Motorola is only as deep as its patent portfolio. Per the Wall Street Journal, Google recently filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that nearly half of the $12.4 billion it paid to acquire Motorola reflected the value of Motorola’s intellectual property holdings. In all, Google paid $5.5 billion for Motorola’s “patents and developed technology,” $2.9 billion for cash acquired, $2.6 billion in goodwill, and less than $1 billion each for “customer relationships” and “other net assets acquired.” In other words, Google placed vastly more value on Moto’s patents — and its ability to help Google combat the likes of Apple and Microsoft in court — than it did on the company’s consumer electronics business.


Big banks pump the brakes on Apple following huge earnings miss


Apple (AAPL) was and still is the darling of Wall Street. Sure, investors get the jitters from time to time, but sky-high price targets and big long-term bets are the norm for the world’s most profitable smartphone maker. Apple reported its third fiscal quarter results on Tuesday, and the company shocked the Street when it missed earnings expectations by a huge margin. Initial reactions were predictable — shares of Apple stock dipped more than 5% in after-hours trading on Tuesday — and now some big banks are pumping the brakes… albeit temporarily. Price targets on Apple’s stock are dropping all over. Some analysts like Canaccord Genuity’s Mike Walkley, who lowered his price target by $3 to $797, are making minor adjustments. A number of analysts at big investment banks are being more cautious with their clients, however — Morgan Stanley cut its price target on shares of Apple stock from to $720 from $738, and Goldman Sachs slashed its target to $790 from $850.


LG manages $138 million profit in Q2 with increased smartphone efforts


LG Electronics on Wednesday reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2012. As the company continues to push forward and pin hopes on the booming smartphone market, it has found a way to profit from its efforts with Google’s Android platform. LG saw a healthy 46% increase in net profit, which rose to $138 million.

Your wholesale cell phones news digest 07/13/12



Android accounts for more than half of all smartphones sold in U.S. and Europe


wholesale cell phones For the first time ever Android now accounts for more than half of all smartphone sales in the U.S. as well as the biggest markets in Europe and Australia, according to an analysis firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. Android sales recorded over the last 12 weeks across Europe ranged from 49.6% of all smartphone sales in Italy to 84.1% of all smartphone sales in Spain, TechCrunch reported. Spain saw the largest year-over-year increase of Android sales, up 42.8%. Android sales in the United States declined year-over-year from 57% to 50.2%, however, while sales of iOS devices increased from 28.7% to 37.4%. Despite Apple’s increased legal pressure on Android in Australia, the operating system’s share of the market there grew from 36.4% to 56.9% while iOS fell from 36.9% to 30.5%. As expected, both Research in Motion and Nokia’s old Symbian OS saw sales declines in all markets covered by the study.


Kantar data shows Apple’s grip slipping as Samsung surges


The big Eastern European mobile operator MTS recently released interesting numbers about the Russian handset market. They showed Samsung’s share of Russian smartphone market revenue exploding between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012, while Apple’s share actually declined a bit. Now Kantar has come out with its latest survey tracking the smartphone market in a variety of countries, and it contains some intriguing data points. The sampling period spans 12 weeks and ends on June 10th, so it captured some of the Samsung Galaxy S III surge as well as the strong reception to cheaper new Samsung Android phones such as the Ace 2. What’s fascinating about the new Kantar data is that is seems to affirm what the European phone industry has been buzzing about this year: Apple’s grasp of the market in Germany and France seems a lot more tenuous than its grip on the United Kingdom. 


LG looks to challenge Samsung and HTC with new super phone

LG is reportedly developing a new flagship smartphone that will help the company further compete with Samsung and HTC. According to a report from The Chosunilbo, the South Korean smartphone vendor will launch a new super phone using parts manufactured by its subsidiaries LG Display, LG Chem and LG Innotek, which have long supplied parts for other companies such as Apple. The device will be equipped with a quad-core processor and will be the first LG smartphone to feature a camera with a resolution of more than 10 megapixels. The device is slated for a September release, the report claims.



Amazon is reportedly making a phone and it just poached another Windows Phone executive


The likelihood that Amazon will launch a smartphone — or a “phablet,” as the case may be — at some point in the next six to nine months seems to grow more likely each day. Bloomberg reported last week that the company is testing a smartphone with manufacturing partner Foxconn, and The Wall Street Journal would later add that the device will likely feature a display measuring between 4 and 5 inches when it launches later this year or early in 2013. Now, Richard Williams, former director of business development with Microsoft’s Windows Phone unit, has left Microsoft to join Amazon as director of the Amazon Appstore. Williams is the second Microsoft executive to leave the company’s Windows Phone division and join Amazon, following Brandon Watson, who made the switch earlier this year.


RIM CEO tones down the happy talk, says he’s ‘not satisfied’

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has wisely decided to ditch his “there’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now” talking point. During his remarks at RIM’s 2012 Annual General Meeting today, Heins said that while he was optimistic that his company could make a comeback, he was “not satisfied” with the state of the company and acknowledged that the “next several quarters will be very challenging.” Heins also identified three key reasons for RIM’s decline in the United States: The consumer appeal of iOS and Android, the rise of bring-your-own-device policies in corporate IT departments and RIM’s own lack of an LTE-capable smartphone. He said that the release of the BlackBerry 10 operating system in early 2013 would put the company back on competitive footing in all three of these areas.

Cell phones are being monitored more than ever before

Law enforcement agencies in the United States have requested more user information than ever before, according to wireless providers. Personal text messages, locations and other information was requested more than 1.3 millions times in 2011, The New York Times reported. Wireless companies were prompted to turn over thousands of personal records each day in response to police emergencies, court orders, law enforcement subpoenas and other requests. In some cases, however, carriers rejected demands that were considered “legally questionable or unjustified.” The U.S. congress requested reports from nine carriers, including Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T, in regards to law enforcement agencies’ increase use of cellphone tracking. Over the past five years, AT&T has seen normal request triple to 700 per day, 230 of which were classified as “emergencies” and allowed access to a users texts, calls and locations. Sprint reported the largest number of request in 2011 with an average of 1,500 per day. Other carriers reported annual increases of between 12% and 16% in the last five years.

Nielsen has Android near 52 percent of US smartphone share in Q2, iPhone ekes out gains

If there was doubt as to whether or not Android would soon become the majority smartphone platform in the US, that's just been erased by Nielsen. Google crossed the tipping point in the second quarter after getting close in the winter, with 51.8 percent of current smartphone users running some variant on the green robot's OS.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wholesale Cell Phones News


Wholesale Cell Phones New 06/22


Nokia working on lower end Windows Phones to better compete with Android


Nokia CEO spoke about his long term confidence in the Windows Phone platform during a call with investors, and blamed the company’s weak sales on the sellers. “The challenge in all of this is breaking through the strength Android and Apple have in a retail environment,” he said. The executive noted, however, that Nokia needs to “compete with Android aggressively,” and pointed to the lower-end smartphone market. “The low-end price point war is an important part of that,” he said, adding that Nokia plans to offer Windows Phones at lower prices.
T-Mobile, which is the last major carrier in the United States to launch 4G LTE services has provided updates on its progress through its official blog. The basic highlights: T-Mobile will be conducting trials of LTE Release 10 equipment this summer and is still on track to launch its LTE network next year. T-Mobile is upgrading 37,000 cell sites to LTE and has already secured zoning approval for 19,500 sites. The carrier expects to have 400 sites upgraded to LTE by the end of June and 2,500 sites upgraded by the end of July.

More Americans choosing prepaid wireless

More wireless subscribers are opting out of contract service agreements and switching over to prepaid wireless. Data released by Chetan Sharma Consulting shows that US wireless carriers actually lost subscribers for the first time, as the top seven carriers in the United States lost a combined 52,000 postpaid subscribers. The drop in contract wireless s has coincided with a surge in pay-as-you-go prepaid wireless accounts, which have risen 15% year-over-year while postpaid subscriptions have risen just 1%.

Huawei building Windows Phone 8 handsets & tablets

Windows Phone 8 has both consumers and vendors excited. Microsoft's upcoming operating system will join mobile and desktop computing & it's looking to bring new partners into the Redmond-based company’s windows phone ecosystem. Huawei announced that it is now partnered with Microsoft to offer a Window Phone handset later this year. “2012 is building up to be a great year for Huawei. “We’re very excited about this relationship with Microsoft which will enable us to provide our customers with a bigger array of Huawei smartphone choices.”

Apple fined $2.29 million over misleading ’4G iPad’ claims

Justice Mordy Bromberg on Thursday found that Apple lied to customers with the capabilities of its third-generation iPad, Agence France-Presse reported. The Cupertino-based company was fined for “deliberately” misleading Australian consumers about the local 4G capability of its latest iPad and will be forced to pay $2.29 million. “The conduct concerned was deliberate and very serious,”. “It exposed a significant proportion of Australian consumers of tablet devices to a misleading representation.” While the slate features 4G LTE, the technology does not work with Australia’s wireless networks.

No keyboard to be found on first BlackBerry 10 mobile phone

RIM’s keyboards have been one of the key features of its BlackBerry phones, but the company is going all-touchscreen with the first device with it's new BlackBerry 10 operating system. As reported by CBCNews, RIM spokeswoman Rebecca Freiburger said that the initial BlackBerry 10 smartphone will not feature a physical keyboard, although she added that there would be BlackBerry 10 devices with physical keyboards coming in the future. This is the first time a RIM spokesperson has confirmed it.

Cell Phones on track to overtake Computers in Asia

Mobile phone sales in Asia-Pacific are on track to overtake PC computer sales, a top Google executive Aliza Knox, managing director of commerce for Google Asia Pacific said smartphones and tablets were becoming the primary tool for individuals to work & access the Internet, & that the Mountain View-based company is preparing to address that, “Asia has an insatiable appetite for mobile,” the executive said during a forum at the CommunicAsia telecom fair in Singapore, adding that Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea already have higher smartphone penetration rates than the United States.

LG working on a Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s S Voice competitor with ‘Quick Voice’

Samsung saw Apple’s Siri voice assistant on the iPhone 4S (which does not work well due to network capacity issues) as a threat and was quick to respond. Now LG announced that it too will bring a Siri competitor to Android devices. Dubbed “Quick Voice,” LG’s solution will launch later this month with somewhat limited functionality. It will only have access to 11 apps including email, phone and calendar, though it will also be able to search the web for weather, stock quotes and other information.

Dutch court rules in against Apple in Samsung’s favor, Apple to pay damages

A Judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of Samsung in its 3G patent case against Apple, All About Phones reported. A District Court in the Hague, Holland, ruled that the Cupertino-based company’s first- and second-generation iPads, along with the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4, infringe upon one of the South Korean vendor’s 3G patents. The patent in question, known as EP1188269, involves an “apparatus for encoding a transport format combination indicator for a communications system.” Apple will be forced to pay compensation for infringing on Samsung’s technology, however because the patent is classified as a FRAND patent, Samsung is not entitled to a sales ban. “Samsung welcomes the decision of the court in The Hague, which again confirms that Apple makes free use of our technological innovations,” a company spokesperson said. “In accordance with this statement, we will recover adequate damages that Apple and its products have caused.”

Windows Phone sales on the rise, T-Mobile says

At least one major U.S. carrier is reporting strong customer interest in Windows Phone devices, as T-Mobile says that the Nokia Lumia 710 has been one of its five most popular smartphones since its launch earlier this year. In all, T-Mobile says that “the mix of Windows Phone sales among our product portfolio has more than doubled in the past eight months” with the Lumia 710 and the HTC Radar 4G leading the charge. The carrier also reports that it has “seen a large number of first-time smartphone users select a Windows Phone as their device of choice with 55% of all upgrades to the Lumia 710 coming from a messaging or feature phone” and that “Lumia 710 users have some of the highest handset satisfaction scores among all of our customers.”

Galaxy Note II rumored to feature a unbreakable display

Following the success of the original “phablet,” Samsung is reportedly readying a sucessor for its Galaxy Note smartphone. The South Korea manufacturer will release the handset in October to compete directly against Apple’s next-generation iPhone, according to MK Business News. The smartphone’s display will be larger than 5.3-inches and will reportedly feature an unbreakable plane (UBP), which is a precursor to the flexible display. The Note II will also be equipped with a slimmer design and a quad-core processor according to the report, and it will run the upcoming Android Jelly Bean operating system.