Posts tagged ‘gadgets’


* Nokia Unveils $99 Asha Smartphone

WSJ: “Nokia Corp., NOK1V.HE +0.30% struggling to regain ground in the competitive smartphone market, unveiled a $99 touch-screen smartphone for India and other emerging markets to help drive sales.


At a product launch event in New Delhi Thursday, Nokia said its Asha 501 will run on the new Asha platform.

The Finnish handset maker said the smartphone will initially run on a second-generation network, but it plans to expand the device for faster 3G services.

Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop at a news conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.

Chief Executive Stephen Elop said the smartphone was built on the design inspired by the company’s higher-end Lumia smartphone and is targeted at “young, socially inspired” people.

The smartphone has a 3.2 megapixel camera, weighs 98 grams and has a memory capacity of 4 gigabytes that can be expanded to 32 gigabytes. It comes in different colors including red, green, yellow and white, the company said in a statement.

Nokia, once the world’s largest phone maker, has struggled to compete in the high-end smartphone market dominated by Apple Inc. AAPL +1.12% and Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.81% Adding to its woes is stiff competition from Chinese manufacturers as well as other low-cost Indian phone makers such as Micromax Informatics Ltd.

Up until last year, the Finnish mobile company’s last stronghold was India, but it is seeing increasing threat from Samsung in the country.

Nokia held a 26% share of the 170 million handsets shipped to India in 2012, with Samsung following closely behind with 22% of the market, data from Singapore-based mobile research firm Canalys shows.

In the fourth quarter, Nokia ranked second globally with 18% of the market, down from 23.4% a year earlier. Samsung ranked first with 22.7% and Apple Inc.’s market share rose to 9.2%.

Despite losing share to Samsung, Nokia’s handset sales improved due to strong demand for its Asha series and Lumia Windows phones, market research firm Gartner said.”

via Nokia Unveils $99 Asha Smartphone –


* Samsung Galaxy S4 lands on Bangalore, hundreds get in line

reutrs: ““I’m very excited. I’ve been waiting a couple of hours; I couldn’t get any sleep last night,” said Arif, an employee of UK retailer Tesco. He was near the front of the line of hundreds of people to line up at the UB City Mall in Bangalore to buy the new Galaxy S4 smartphone.

The phone went on sale at the Samsung store on Saturday, and Arif waited for about two hours for the privilege of spending 41,500 rupees, or about $763, on the new model, which comes with a 5-inch screen and 13-megapixel camera, and runs on Google’s Android platform.

Samsung is trying to increase its lead over Apple, a possibility for the South Korean company, considering the preference of many Indian shoppers for a good discount over products priced at the top of the line compared to their competitors. Both companies are now handing out discounts on some of their older models. The S4 also is competing with other phones on sale in India such as the HTC One and the BlackBerry Z10, not to mention Apple’s iPhone 5 — its primary rival.

Manu Sharma, Samsung India’s director for its mobile business, said Samsung is looking forward to selling more Galaxy S4s than previous phones in the line. The S3 has sold more than 50 million units since its launch last year, the Wall Street Journal reported in March.

Sharma also promised that there would be no supply problems that forced it to begin selling the S4 later than planned in the United States. The S4 is going on sale in the United States on Saturday as well, and warned that supply problems might strike there. Its reason for this? Better-than-expected demand, of course.

In Bangalore, crowd control was more of a problem than availability. People waited impatiently in a queue that snaked past a near-empty Apple Imagine store. Some people tried to shove and jump the queue, while some got into arguments with store guards who were trying to maintain order. For technology fans in India’s IT capital, arguing that it’s “just a phone” probably wouldn’t make much of an impression anyway.”

via Samsung Galaxy S4 lands on Bangalore, hundreds get in line | India Insight.


* Apple Acts to Crack India Market for iPhone

WSJ: “Apple Inc.  is overhauling its iPhone operations in the crucial Indian market, attempting to chip away at Samsung Electronics Co.’s  dominance by adjusting to the country’s retailing rules and convoluted distribution process.


But the Cupertino, Calif., company still has a long way to go.

That’s no small matter as Apple’s growth slows in the U.S. and other mature markets. India is poised to become the world’s third-largest smartphone market this year, behind China and the U.S., according to Strategy Analytics.

Apple doesn’t have any of its own retail outlets in India and relies on distributors and resellers, such as this Croma store in Mumbai.

Apple is sidestepping wireless carriers to seize greater control over marketing in India and offering no-interest loans to lure lower-income consumers. The company has also boosted staff in India by 30% to 170 employees in the past six months. And it is ramping up the introduction of other products, with the Apple TV video-streaming gadget expected to reach stores in coming weeks, people familiar with the matter say.

The result is that Apple shipped more than 252,000 iPhones to India in the quarter through December, more than triple the number in the previous three months, according to research firm Canalys.

Yet Apple accounts for just 5% smartphone shipments to India, compared with 40% for market leader Samsung. The South Korean company surged ahead by making India a high-priority market earlier than Apple did and offering a range of phones based on Google Inc.’s  Android software that start at just over $100. An older generation iPhone sells for around $500 while the latest model starts at nearly $850.”

via Apple Acts to Crack India Market for iPhone –


* China’s Huawei Creeps up on Apple, Samsung

WSJ: “As Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.  try to defend their dominance in the smartphone market, the latest data show China’s Huawei Technologies Co. coming third in terms of market share for the first time, indicating that a rapid increase of smartphone users in China and other emerging markets may be starting to alter the global landscape.

According to research firm IDC, Samsung’s smartphone market share in the fourth quarter through December rose to 29% from 22.5% a year earlier, while Apple’s share dropped slightly to 21.8% from 23%. Meanwhile, Huawei’s share rose to 4.9% from 3.5%, ahead of Japan’s Sony Corp. , whose share also increased to 4.5% from 3.9% a year earlier. Another Chinese company ZTE Corp., came fifth with 4.3%.

“The fact that Huawei and ZTE now find themselves among the Top 5 smartphone vendors marks a significant shift for the global market,” said IDC research manager Ramon Llamas.

via China’s Huawei Creeps up on Apple, Samsung – China Real Time Report – WSJ.


* Lenovo to open PC production plant in US

Maybe reverse-offshoring – at least for manufacturing – is for real?  we will keep watching out for such news.

IET Magazine: “Lenovo will open its first PC production plant in the United States with operations expected to begin in 2013.

Lenovo's laptop PCs are displayed at an electronic shop

The Whitsett, North Carolina, facility will manufacture Think-branded laptop and desktop PCs, tablets and servers aimed at the US market, Lenovo said in a statement this week.

Lenovo, the world’s number two PC maker, did not provide any investment figures but said it would create 115 jobs.

Over the past two years, Lenovo has invested in new plants and manufacturing joint ventures in China, Brazil and now the US to produce PCs and mobile Internet devices such as smartphones, it said.

Analysts have said Lenovo is set to overtake Hewlett Packard later this year as the world’s largest PC maker.”

via Lenovo to open PC production plant in US – E & T Magazine.

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* For Apple, China Is Middle Kingdom

WSJ: “Not long ago, Asia Pacific was all but a footnote in the financial statements of technology juggernaut Apple Inc. But no more.

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Apple’s sales in the fast-growing region, fueled largely by China, more than doubled and represented 26% of its $39.2 billion in sales for the first three months of the year. IPhone sales in mainland China increased fivefold from the year-ago period and more than doubled in Japan.

Asia Pacific came within striking distance of becoming Apple’s largest revenue source in the fiscal second quarter. The company took in $10.2 billion in sales for the region for the first three months of the year, compared with $13.2 billion for the Americas, long its biggest source of revenue. Apple breaks out Asia Pacific separately from Japan, where sales nearly doubled to $2.6 billion.

Its a dramatic transformation considering Apple didn’t include Asia Pacific in its geographic breakdown until it reported results for the three months ended December 2009. That’s the quarter when Apple released the iPhone in China, more than two years after the U.S. debut. Apple has also yet to ship its new iPad in mainland China, selling 11.8 million of the tablets globally in the latest quarter.”

via For Apple, China Is Middle Kingdom –

So China is rapidly becoming not only the producer but also consumer of high-tech electronic consumer products!

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