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Showing posts from July 28, 2013

Why Nokia Is Focusing On Cameras

Nokia has carved itself something of a niche in the last couple of years.

From the launch of the Pureview 808 Symbian phone, through to the recent Lumia 1020 the company has focused on cameras and optics as its main selling point.

If the info in the above infographic is correct then the company might just have identified a good strategy.

70% of people identify taking pictures as their primary usage of a smartphone. That's an awful lot of buyers who are going to find the Lumia range difficult to pass up on.

There's no detail as to where the information was obtained, the size of the sample or the demographics relating to the survey. Still makes for some interesting reading - especially if you identify yourself as part of the 70%.

Global Smartphone Market Belongs To Android

Strategy Analytics report on the smartphone market in Q2 2013 confirms what every other metric is telling us. Android has the smartphone market well and truly wrapped up, with just shy of 80% of all sales.

The more interesting figures are further down the table.

Despite selling more phones than a year ago Apple market share has now dipped under 14%.

And whilst Windows Phone continues its slow but steady growth, BlackBerry has all but disappeared. As has Symbian. Never having been a fan if either I can't say I'm particularly sorry about that.

Can Apple and Microsoft pull back some ground on Android? The new iPhone(s) should give Apple a boost, but they may not ship until the fourth quarter - and in the meantime I wouldn't be surprised to see a fall off in sales as potential buyers wait for the next big thing.

As for Microsoft, the battle for third place in the market looks like it's won, so the company needs to recalibrate its targets. Nokia is currently building the best …

Sony Figures Might Silence Nokia Naysayers

Sony shipped 9.6 million handsets last quarter. After three and a half years in the Android market space Sony hasn't really made a great deal of progress.

Which paints Nokia's decision to choose Windows Phone over Android in a much better light.

Nokia's growth has seen it go from zero to just shy of 8 million Windows Phone sales in a little under half that time.

The decision to be a big fish in a little pond has been heavily criticised by some, but if Nokia continues its rate of growth it could be outselling Sony by the end of the year.

Sony's dilemma is how to compete with Samsung's ability to fill every niche with a competitive device.

Nokia's problems look trivial by comparison.

I doubt that this will reduce the mindless calling for a Nokia Android device that follows each and every Lumia that launches.

Wii U Sales Flag Trouble Ahead

Nintendo originally projected nine million sales for its new Wii U console at launch. Now almost a year later that figure stands at just over three million and, disastrously, sales for the last quarter amounted to a poor 160,000.

Whilst healthy DS sales kept the company in the black its not hard to see hard times ahead for Nintendo. Mobile gaming is more and more of a smartphone thing and its console future looks bleak.

The problem is very much one of market size. I just don't see the console market supporting three large vendors. As I've said before, Nintendo looks vulnerable with its focus on younger games players who aren't going to be interested in either a console or mobile games platform when iOS devices are cooler, do more and have cheaper titles.

Its time for Nintendo to start thinking about its future as a software developer and begin building a solid catalogue of games to sell on other platforms.

Apple Looking At Large Screen Tablets, But For Which Platform?

So it's looking like Apple is planning on competing in the race for screen inches, with several industry insiders reporting larger screen test devices appearing. I think its a good bet that a larger screened iPhone will appear sooner or later.

What's rather more interesting are the rumours of Apple looking at 13" touch screens.

If this turns out to be true I just can't see the device destined to use them being an iPad. At 9.7" the iPad has already reached the limits of both an iOS powered device and a tablet first design.

So if it's not destined for an iPad, where will Apple be using such a large touchscreen?

My guess is that the next MacBook Air will be a hybrid device, much like the Asus Transformer and HP Envy Split.

Its importance for Apple can't be understated. iPad sales were down last quarter (when did that last happen to a mainstream Apple product?) and Windows managed to take a good chunk of the market.

And with Microsoft's latest advertising ca…

Tablet Numbers Are In: Android Ahead

Android now holds a position in the tablet market as dominant as it is in smartphones. IDC's Q2 sales figures show that Google's operating system powered 67% of all tablets sold in the last three months. For Apple poor iPad sales meant that its market share dropped to 28% - essentially a reversal of the relative positions of one year ago.

We already knew that Apple sold fewer iPads than a year ago, and that those it did sell were mostly entry level iPad Minis. For Google the position is similarly interesting - more than a third of the total tablet market were white box Android tablets, essentially no-name Chinese imports at the commodity end of the market. These have reached the stage of being impulse buys - however the experience isn't always good and longer term I have to wonder whether poor experiences with these Android devices will push people away from the platform next time they buy.

Microsoft managed to capture 4.5% of the market with Windows 8/RT tablets, much be…

Pitching The iPhone 5C

So multiple leaks have all but confirmed the presence of a new, polycarbonate, mid-range iPhone 5 variant - apparently carrying the moniker 5C.

Having made the decision to deliver a cheaper phone Apple actually have a more difficult issue to consider: how should this new phone be priced and specced?

Part of the appeal of Apple's products has been the enhanced resale value - the iPhone being a particularly good example of this. Reselling your current model iPhone prior to the release of a new model can net you as much as 75% of its purchase price. Enough to fund an upgrade to the new model when its launched.

By reducing the entry level for an iPhone 5 with a cheaper model that market for second-hand phones could be damaged, which in turn could further damage the demand for the top end model, whatever that might turn out to be.

Apple has also to consider the effect that a lower end phone will have on the sales to first time iPhone buyers. The launch of the iPad Mini prompted a coll…