Tag Archives: China Mobile

Samsung readies dual-mode 4G TDD/FDD LTE phones for China

Samsung Electronics is positioning itself to be one of the first handset vendors to tap into China’s upcoming market for 4G services by introducing new Galaxy S4 phones capable of operating on both FDD and TDD LTE networks. The South Korean company will bring FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 mini phones to China once the country officially launches commercial 4G services, the company said on Thursday. Currently, most Western nations are deploying 4G networks using FDD LTE technology. But in China, the government has been heavily promoting the use of TDD LTE networks. The country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, with 740 million customers, has been building trial networks with the 4G standard.Local officials have said China will issue the 4G commercial licenses later this year. Research firm IDC expects that could be as soon as September. China is the world’s largest smartphone market, and Samsung reigns as the country’s top vendor with a 19 percent share, according to IDC. The research firm’s forecasts show that in 2014, a quarter of all smartphones shipped to China will be designed for 4G networks. By 2017, that figure will reach 50 percent Samsung’s dual mode phones will allow users to seamlessly roam over different LTE networks, the company said. The handset maker plans to launch other TDD-LTE devices in other markets in the third quarter.

Outside of China, TDD LTE networks are seeing growing adoption in certain nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. 

In Australia, local carrier Optus will launch the FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode phones in a few weeks.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

China Mobile's profit rises 0.3 percent

China Mobile, the country’s largest wireless carrier, reported weak profit growth in the first quarter as it struggled to squeeze more revenue out of existing customers.

For the quarter ended on March 31, China Mobile said its net profit reached 27.9 billion yuan (US$4.5 billion), 0.3 percent up on the same period last year.

Revenue in the quarter reached 134.7 billion yuan, up 5.7 percent year over year. China Mobile added 16 million customers during the period, bringing the total number to 726 million, it said Monday.

The carrier, however, said it continues to face unprecedented competition from rival telecom carriers. Unlike its competitors, the company has yet to offer Apple’s iPhone as part of its smartphone offerings, an untapped opportunity according to analysts.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2036082/china-mobiles-profit-rises-03-percent.html#tk.rss_all

Nuance and AutoNavi Announce Collaboration to Lead New Era of Voice-Enabled Navigation Services in C

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Nuance and AutoNavi Announce Collaboration to Lead New Era of Voice-Enabled Navigation Services in China

Nuance and AutoNavi Partner to Bring Voice-Enabled Navigation Solutions to Automotive Manufacturers and Navigation Device Providers

BURLINGTON, Mass. & BEIJING–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Nuance Communications, Inc. (NAS: NUAN) announced its strategic collaboration with AutoNavi (NAS: AMAP) , a leading provider of digital map content and navigation and location-based solutions in China, to bring more intuitive voice-enabled navigation capabilities to the Chinese market. Specifically, the two companies will collaborate on the voice-enabled navigation product AutoNavi Map that will be made available in the second quarter of 2013 to the world’s automotive and navigation device manufacturers developing navigation offerings supporting Chinese languages.

As a result of its collaboration with Nuance, AutoNavi will be able to deeply integrate voice data to their core navigation data and further optimize the user experience for its map navigation products shipping in China, as well as meet the localization demands of global automotive manufacturers in the China market. AutoNavi will rely on Nuance’s voice technologies to provide more accurate voice recognition and text-to-speech.

As China‘s leading digital map data provider for in-car navigation, AutoNavi has developed a comprehensive nationwide, high quality and dynamic digital map database. Currently, AutoNavi is providing navigation data products and services to more than 100 models of domestic and foreign auto brands and navigation application software to mainstream automotive manufacturers. Along with the scalability of its digital map data and location-based service, AutoNavi has also developed two core mobile map apps, Amap and aNav, which have both maintained a number-one market position in China Mobile map and navigation market. At the beginning of 2013, AutoNavi announced that its free mobile map application—Amap has surpassed 100 million users, further demonstrating its distinct advantage and leadership position.

“With the rapidly expanding automotive market in China, navigation innovation is incredibly important – it must be up to date and accurate, as well as intuitive to use behind the wheel,” said Yongqi Yang, AutoNavi Executive Vice President of Automotive Business. “Nuance’s automotive voice expertise and technologies deeply integrated as part of our core navigation and map data will enable us to quickly innovate voice-enabled navigation services that automotive manufacturers and navigation device providers can then bring to market as part of a safer, smarter in-car experience in China.”

“The world’s automotive and navigation device manufacturers need access to dynamic

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/17/nuance-and-autonavi-announce-collaboration-to-lead/

China Puts Another Tech Company in the Hot Seat

By Chris Neiger, The Motley Fool

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Well, it seems China is at it again. China National Radio chastised Microsoft  yesterday for not following a national warranty law for its Surface Pro tablets. The criticism comes on the heels of Apple  getting rebuked for poor customer service in China.

Bloomberg first reported on China‘s criticism of the Surface warranty, and said that the national warranty law China is referring to is for notebook computers (which would seem to exclude tablets). That law says that notebooks must have a one-year repair warranty and two-year warranty for the main parts of the computer.

It’s hard not to draw a connection between China‘s public criticism of Apple a few weeks ago and the new attack on Microsoft this week. Apple CEO Tim Cook responded to China‘s disapproval by issuing an apology for its customer service in China after two weeks of repeated disparaging comments from Chinese press and celebrities. The apology statement also said that Apple would make its warranty more clear, would update the warranty policy for the iPhone 4 and 4S and provide more training and oversight to Apple Authorized Service Providers. The apology has, so far, taken Apple off of China‘s naughty list. 

What’s odd about the criticism of Microsoft’s warranty policy is that the Surface tablet launched in China back in October and the Pro and new Chinese Surface version just launched in the country. This means that the products would be covered under Microsoft’s most comprehensive warranty right now. It’s hard to imagine that many of Microsoft’s tablets are falling apart and being returned for service so soon after their launch.

But the big question for investors is why the Chinese government and the press are targeting American tech companies. Some have speculated that the Chinese government is retaliating because Congress forbid American telecom companies from buying certain parts from Chinese companies ZTE and Huawei due to security concerns. 

As competition heats up in the technology space, the Chinese government may be protecting its own interests as well. China owns about two-thirds of the world’s largest telecom company, China Mobile, and parts of other Chinese tech companies. Bashing Apple and Microsoft could directly or indirectly benefit Chinese technology companies, or help foster better deals between American and Chinese companies. 

Although the reasoning behind the attacks may not be clear, the importance for companies like Microsoft and Apple to receive positive (or at least neutral) press in China, is. China is now the largest mobile market and American tech companies can’t afford to lose face in the country. If the attacks keep coming against Microsoft, CEO Steve Ballmer may want to follow Apple’s lead and issue an apology. Investors should keep an eye on China‘s public criticism of tech companies closely, as their attacks could sway public opinion of products and services in the country. So far, it hasn’t seemed to hurt Apple or Microsoft’s sales, but further attacks could have negative results for both.

Microsoft has struggled to gain momentum in the mobile market, …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

This Should Have Nokia Fans Jumping for Joy — Right?

By Tim Brugger, The Motley Fool

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First, the good news: Nokia isn’t just the leading manufacturer of Microsoft‘s Windows 8 global smartphone market. According to a recent report from AdDuplex, it’s absolutely destroying the competition. Combined with the Q4 announcement of 4.4 million Lumias sold, that should make even Nokia bears stand up and take notice. But with so many ongoing questions regarding the impact of Windows 8 in the smartphone OS market, does Nokia’s resurgence even matter?

The envelope, please
As of April 4, the date of AdDuplex’s report, Nokia was the manufacturer of choice for 80% of all Windows 8 phones in use worldwide. HTC was a distant second, holding 14% of the Windows phone market, and Samsung, with its limited Windows smartphone alternatives, accounted for 5%. A smattering of others, including Huawei, ZTE, and Acer, shared what little was left.

Nokia’s dominant position isn’t entirely a surprise. As the world’s No. 2 phone manufacturer, and the first to go all in with Windows 8, Nokia was always going to be ahead of the pack. But 80% is a staggering market share.

Fools should also note the growth of Nokia’s Lumia 920, its latest, greatest, and most expensive smartphone. The Lumia 920 has taken over the top spot of all Windows 8 phones worldwide, jumping from fourth place just a month ago.

With Nokia’s earnings announcement slated for April 18, let’s hope CEO Stephen Elop shares Lumia sales numbers specific to the China Mobile deal Nokia inked late last year. With 700 million subscribers, China Mobile is the world’s largest wireless carrier; a good start there would certainly help to explain the jump in Lumia’s position and position Nokia for further growth.

Internationally, Nokia dominates Windows 8 smartphone sales the way Samsung and Apple do in the U.S., with more than 90% market penetration in its top 10 markets. South America in particular loves its Nokia Windows 8 smartphones; four of Nokia’s top 10 countries by market share hail from the continent, with Argentina clocking in at 99% market share for all Windows 8 phones in use. Impressive.

Now for some perspective
Windows Phone, while growing market share in the U.S., remains a distant fourth behind Google‘s Android, Apple iOS, and BlackBerry , according to recent data from comScore. Android OS and iOS together own slightly more than 90% of the market domestically, and the story’s about the same internationally. Nokia and Microsoft can only point to Windows Phone 8’s movement in the right direction. Along with iOS, Windows 8 was the only operating system to increase its share of the domestic mobile OS pie the past quarter, up to 3.2% from 3% in November.

The battle lines have been drawn, and for mobile OS developers, that means the immediate objective is a fight for third place. Unseating Android and iOS will have to wait. Right now, BlackBerry’s holding onto that position. With its new BB10 slowly but surely rolling out across various markets, it should be able …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Why It's Time to Buy Apple

By Kevin Chen, The Motley Fool

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Just last September, investors were anxious to load up on more shares of Apple as it approached its 52-week high. Now, several months later, investors are bearish on Apple — even as Apple trades for a mind-boggling low P/E of 10. So why aren’t investors buying now?  

When thinking about Dell and the post-PC world we live in today, investors really have nothing to fear about Apple. The company remains the leader in technology today and will be for some time to come.

Borrowing from Michael Saylor, CEO of Microstrategy, Fool contributor Kevin focuses on how Apple has become more than a technology company: It’s become a fashion statement. And when analyzing the Chinese market and the Chinese consumer, that perspective becomes even more important. Digging through Apple’s dealings with China Mobile and the smartphone market, investors can easily see how Apple may be ready to pop once again thanks to Chinese demand.

To learn more about why Apple is a best buy today, watch the video below.

There’s no doubt that Apple is at the center of technology’s largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool’s senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Vodafone Group Expands International Presence

By Sam Robson, The Motley Fool

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LONDON — As the M&A rumors continue to swirl around Vodafone  , specifically its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, the British telecom Goliath pushes on with expanding its international presence.

Yesterday, Vodafone announced that it has formed a consortium with China Mobile to bid for a mobile telecommunications license in Myanmar, formerly Burma, believed to be an important new market for the mobile industry.

The news follows the government in Myanmar doubling the number of mobile operators from two to four, and backing plans to encourage the country’s development of mobile infrastructure. The two new licenses will authorize the license holders to build, own and operate a mobile network on a nationwide basis for an initial term of 15 years.

Myanmar currently has a GDP growth rate of 5.5% per year, a comparatively young and highly literate population of around 60 million, and its and mobile phone penetration is currently below 10%, which is much lower than many emerging countries.

Elsewhere, Reuters reported that Vodafone is thought to be in talks with Deutsche Telekom in Germany over a wholesale deal “that would enable the British group to offer its German customers superfast broadband and a TV service,” according to “a person familiar with the situation.” 

Earlier this year, it had been thought that Vodafone was eyeing up a potential acquisition of Kabel Deutschland, with CEO Vittorio Colao saying “I’d like to provide pan-European unified services,” but making no mention of a specific company. 

A one-stop shop to include bundles of wireless, web, television, and phone service is a promising prospect to consumers, while a fixed-line offering in the country would strengthen Vodafone’s operations that are needed to connect its radio masts as well as handle the volumes of Internet data, as it currently has to rent capacity from its rivals’ fixed networks in continental Europe.

Both companies are yet to comment on the speculation.

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The article Vodafone Group Expands International Presence originally appeared on Fool.com.


Sam Robson owns shares of Vodafone. The Motley Fool recommends Vodafone. The Motley Fool owns shares of China Mobile. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Innovation or Stagnation in the Chinese Mobile Market?

By Dan Newman, The Motley Fool

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Chinese cellular service providers are not happy with competition, and they’ve enlisted the help of a government ministry to help find a solution. However, this kind of state intervention against new technologies could set a tone for the future of Chinese innovation, and could base investing in China much more on government policy than a company’s merits.

The disruption
With the rise in popularity of Tencent‘s WeChat application, which subverts the mobile companies’ usual text and multimedia message plans, China Mobile , China Unicom , and China Telecom have been talking with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to look into ways to charge for the free application. Because of WeChat and similar services, the telecom companies not only get stung by a drop in traditional messaging, but typically provide location services used by the app for no charge. Because of the potential hit to revenue, China Unicom CEO Chang Xiaobing hopes that services like WeChat will be “free today, for-pay tomorrow.”

For an example of the slowing text use, take China Mobile. Even though its users still sent 8 billion more text messages in 2012 compared to 2011, that growth amounted to a little over 1%. However, the newer messaging services like WeChat require data usage, and China Mobile‘s wireless data traffic increased over 280% from 2011 to 2012. While WeChat’s 300 million users use fewer conventional texts, they continue to gobble up data.

Globally, the volume of texts is expected to increase nearly 60% by 2016, but during the same time, instant messaging will more than quadruple and double its share of the messaging market to about 35%.

Users of WeChat have expressed their rage over any plans to charge for the service, but if the MIIT obliges the phone companies and implements new fees, it’s likely another free service will take WeChat’s place. Investors in Tencent also lost some faith when the MIIT hinted at such a charging scheme for the application, sending the stock down over 1.5%. In the meantime, the dispute raises many questions for business in China. Will the government hamper new business at the expense of innovation to enrich established corporations? How much control can the government wield over new services, and is it possible to regulate every new threat? How can investors protect themselves from such unforeseen regulatory action?

On the other hand
The MIIT is also opening up competition in China‘s mobile industry, allowing mobile virtual network operators to begin leasing network access from current network operators and reselling it to consumers. This could allow Tencent to run its own wireless service, although it would still have to come to an agreement with current network providers. The mobile Chinese market remains a dynamic and quickly changing story.

It’s incredible to think just how much of our digital and technological lives are almost entirely shaped and molded by just a handful of companies. Find out “Who Will Win the War Between the 5 Biggest …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Why Is the Chinese Government Out to Get Apple?

By Evan Niu, CFA, The Motley Fool

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In recent weeks, state-owned media outlets in China have been bashing Apple  in a comprehensive smear campaign. The government might be trying to retaliate for a recent attempts by the U.S. government to ban telecom equipment purchases from ZTE and Huawei. Another possibility is that the government is trying to give China Mobile  more leverage in its negotiations with Apple, since the government indirectly owns 74% of China Mobile. The negative publicity is a risk factor, but CEO Tim Cook’s recent apology has been well-received.

In the video below, Fool contributor Evan Niu, CFA, discusses the implications for investors.

Is Apple a buy? The Motley Fool’s senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

More Wireless Competition in China?

By Dan Radovsky, The Motley Fool

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China‘s three mobile operators, China Mobile , China Telecom , and China Unicom , may not only have to start gearing up for more competition, but also provide the network capacity for their new rivals.

Last January, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information, or MIIT, sought public comments on its plans to encourage more mobile competition by allowing mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs, access to the country’s already installed wireless network infrastructure.

The window for that input closed on Feb. 6, and “as soon as in May,” according to media reports repeated by ShanghaiDaily.com, the MIIT will allow MVNO applicants to begin operating.

An MVNO buys network access from an established mobile operator and resells wireless services under its own brand. In the U.S., MVNOs include brands such as Virgin Mobile, which leases service from Sprint Nextel , and TracFone, which gets wireless access from AT&T and Verizon , as well as Sprint.

The government‘s proposal states any private Chinese company with telecom experience and employing over 50 people can apply for the two-year MVNO trial, according to ShanghaiDaily.com. The MIIT plan is for the wireless operators to provide the MVNOs use of their networks at “fair or favorable” prices, according to the draft proposal. The software company Ufida told ShanghaiDaily.com it had applied to become an MVNO.

Rumors of China allowing MVNOs to operate have been swirling around for at least 10 years, according to informa writer Tony Brown. He described an encounter back in October 2003 when a loose-tongued telecom industry executive told him about a done-deal in the strictest of secrecy: “Virgin Mobile is going to launch as an MVNO in Shanghai,” he told Brown.

That sure thing never happened, of course, but the MIIT call for input in January reminded Brown of that encounter and had him speculating on what companies would be likely MVNO candidates — and what that would mean for the actual operators that would have to service them.

If the mobile operators bring in lightweight companies just to meet the two-MVNO per operator mandate from the MIIT, the threat of serious competition is lessened. Those minor MVNOs could include electronics retailers who already sell handsets for the operators. That type of MVNO partner wouldn’t be a threat, but would not offer any — please excuse this overused word — synergy to the relationship.

On the other hand, partnering with a popular over-the-top, or OTT, company that provides broadband content delivery, such as audio and video, outside the control of an Internet service provider, could bring more subscribers to the network — but at some risk, depending on which direction the revenue from that increased traffic would flow.

Popular Chinese messaging service operator Tencent, and Chinese search engine Baidu , according to Brown, would be able to use being an MVNO to their own advantage, as well as providing upside to the mobile network they would use.

The OTTs would gain from not having to …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

It's Time for Apple to Take the Competition Seriously

By Chris Neiger, The Motley Fool

Source: comScore. 

This graph doesn’t account for revenue market share, but it’s a good indicator of which OS consumers are using on their smartphones. Obviously, the U.S. market isn’t the only area Apple is focusing on, so let’s take a look at how the company is doing compared to competitors in emerging markets.

The emerging markets game
China officially became the world’s largest smartphone market this year , and it’s still growing. Although demand for Apple products is strong in China, Samsung still comes out on top when it comes to smartphone market share in the country.

Source: Yanhap News. 

China is one of Apple’s main priorities right now, and with China Mobile in the process of building a new 4G network, Apple could soon release a China Mobile iPhone that could bring market share gains for Apple. But the company can’t forget the other emerging markets around the world, where its competitors are already dominating.

In India, Apple currently holds the second spot in revenue market share — with 15.6%. Meanwhile, Samsung has a staggering 38.8% in the country.

Source: CNN.

Apple has helped its iPhone sales in India by setting up installment plans for the phones, but it’s clear from the graph that Apple has a long way to go in making a dent in India.

Innovation is key
For Apple, and for most tech companies, innovation is key to winning market share and bringing in profits. Nokia failed to tap into the changes in the smartphone market and saw Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android steal the smartphone show. The company that once had 30% of the mobile phone market share now holds just 3 %. Nokia is a prime example how tech companies, particularly mobile ones, can fall out of favor quickly if they miss out on tech trends.

On the same note, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted back in 2010 that the company missed the mobile cycle and has to play catch-up . Now, it’s three years later and the company has released its latest version of Windows Phone and a new tablet line. But Microsoft is nowhere near being a mobile dominator in the smartphone or tablet market and is still fighting for mobile relevance.

Apple isn’t at risk of falling into tech irrelevance, but Nokia and Microsoft’s missteps should serve as a reminder to the iMaker that no company is impervious to changing trends and fierce competition. The mobile world moves incredibly fast, and Apple investors need to see that old spark of innovation that many hope the company still has. Whether it’s the launch of an

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With the Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch last week, it’s hard not think of how the new phone could hurt Apple‘s iPhone sales. Previous versions of the Galaxy have been a strong competitor to the Cupertino company’s flagship product. But recent comments from Apple’s Phil Schiller suggest the company is having a hard time seeing the competition from the right perspective.

What did he say?
Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of worldwide marketing, said the following statements to the Wall Street Journal last week:

  • “Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn’t as good as an iPhone.”
  • “When you take an Android device out of the box, you have to sign up to nine accounts with different vendors to get the experience iOS comes with .”

The same day he spoke with The Wall Street Journal, Schiller said this to Reuters about the amount of Android smartphones activated compared to Apple:

“At Apple we know that it’s not just enough to have products pumped out in large numbers. You have to love and use them. There is a lot of data showing a big disparity there.”

Schiller’s comments came the day before Samsung launched its new phone, and while no one can fault him for believing in his company (he is Apple’s marketing exec after all), the statements fall somewhat flat against the data on what consumers are actually using. In Q4 2012, Android smartphones made up almost 70% of smartphone market share by sales — while iOS took about 21%, according to Gartner research . Android’s market share increased more than 18% while iOS’ share decreased about 3% year over year.

In the U.S., the Android platform accounts for more than 50% of OS market share as of January.

Source: comScore. 

This graph doesn’t account for revenue market share, but it’s a good indicator of which OS consumers are using on their smartphones. Obviously, the U.S. market isn’t the only area Apple is focusing on, so let’s take a look at how the company is doing compared to competitors in emerging markets.

The emerging markets game
China officially became the world’s largest smartphone market this year , and it’s still growing. Although demand for Apple products is strong in China, Samsung still comes out on top when it comes to smartphone market share in the country.

Source: Yanhap News. 

China is one of Apple’s main priorities right now, and with China Mobile in the process of building a new 4G network, Apple could soon release a China Mobile iPhone that could bring market share gains for Apple. But the company can’t forget the other emerging markets around the world, where its competitors are already dominating.

In India, Apple currently holds the second spot in revenue market share — with 15.6%. Meanwhile, Samsung has a staggering 38.8% in the country.

Source: CNN.

Apple has helped its iPhone sales in India by setting …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Good News for Apple: China Mobile Goes All-In With 4G

By Chris Neiger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

In the mobile world, Internet speeds reign supreme. The faster and more reliable the network, the better the chance of wooing customers. For China Mobile , a company that already has 715 million subscribers, a faster network means the chance for not just more customers, but an iPhone as well.

Spending at the speed of light
In an annual report released yesterday, China Mobile announced it will spend about $6.7 billion this year building a new 4G network. The company will build a TD-LTE 4G network that will reach 500 million users across 100 cities in China. Just to put that number in perspective, more of China Mobile‘s customers will have 4G coverage than there are people in the entire United States.

That may seem like a ridiculous comparison to make, but it puts the network potential for China Mobile in perspective. The new 4G network is significant for China Mobile because the company currently has a smaller percentage of its customers on its 3G network than competitors China Telecom and China Unicom .
 

Source: Yahoo!.

Just a few days ago, China Unicom said it would build a 4G network once Chinese officials issued licenses. But those licenses won’t be granted until later this year, which gives China Mobile a leg up over China Unicom in the pursuit of 4G. Many analysts think China Unicom is the least ready of the big three China telecoms to build a 4G network.

Reports that China Telecom was testing 4G networks surfaced back in November, which could prove problematic for China Mobile if both companies launch their 4G around the same time. China Telecom is said to be using the global 4G standard of FDD-LTE, as opposed to China Mobile‘s TD-LTE, which may make it easier on handset makers who already sell FDD-LTE phones. China Telecom is one of China Mobile‘s toughest competitors, and the two will battle it out to be the best 4G network over the next few years.

Competing with Chinese rivals for faster speeds is one way China Mobile is trying to stay on top, but the company also needs a 4G network to lure handset manufacturers like Apple onto its networks.

You can (finally) have your precious iPhone
Tech investors have probably had their fill of stories on why China Mobile doesn’t carry the iPhone, when the company will get it, how the talks between Apple and China Mobile are going, etc. But this move to 4G is a significant step in making the iPhone officially available on China Mobile‘s network.

Over 10 million people already unofficially use their iPhones on the Chinese company’s network, albeit around 2G speeds, but this network expansion will bring an official China Mobile iPhone that much closer to reality. Although nothing official has been announced, a China Mobile iPhone could significantly bring up Apple’s smartphone market share in the country. As it stands right now, Apple is third place, …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

China Mobile Prepares for Apple

By Evan Niu, CFA, The Motley Fool

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The inevitable union between Apple and China Mobile will open many doors for both companies. However, if there’s one thing that history has shown, it’s that iPhone users gobble up massive amounts of data.

You may remember when AT&T‘s networked strained for years under the load of all those iPhones when Ma Bell enjoyed its iPhone exclusivity. Consumers frequently derided the iPhone’s data capabilities, and AT&T’s network was the culprit because the carrier simply didn’t know what it was getting itself into.

AT&T was then required to plunge billions of dollars over several years to beef up capacity. At this point, the data bottlenecks are mostly a thing of the past as other carriers now offer the iPhone, spreading out consumption over multiple networks.

That’s a fate that China Mobile is looking to avoid, as Reuters reports the company is planning on investing up to $6.7 billion in its network this year. That will also be spent on developing its 4G network, while China is still in the midst of its transition to 3G. The country is expected to issue 4G operating licenses later this year.

China Mobile’s network uses a unique time division standard, which has historically been a technical hurdle for carrying the iPhone. The newest iPhone 5 supports the standard, and future models are also expected to be TD-compatible. The largest Chinese carrier also said it was planning on spending $4.3 billion in device subsidies this year, an increase of 13% from last year.

Smaller rivals have continued to chip away at China Mobile’s lead, particularly in the lucrative 3G-subscriber market. Getting the iPhone will help turn the tables. There are already 10 million iPhone users on China Mobile’s network, but the aforementioned incompatibilities relegate them to 2G data speeds.

It would also give Apple access to the largest mobile subscriber base in the world, which now sits at 715 million as of the end of January. Beefing up the network in preparation of the iPhone is the right move to make.

There is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool’s senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

var FoolAnalyticsData = FoolAnalyticsData || []; FoolAnalyticsData.push({ …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Apple Can Breathe Snapdragon Fire Back To $650

By Trefis Team, Contributor

Quick Take Apple is rumored to have chosen Qualcomm’s Snapdragon over its own A-series chips for the low-end iPhone. While such a move might save on costs, it is a departure from its usual strategy of tightly controlling the smartphone experience that has worked well in developed markets. Either way, Apple needs a cheaper iPhone for the emerging markets where low-end Androids are rapidly taking away market share. China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless carrier, should be Apple’s key target with the cheaper iPhone. …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Apple's Down in China, but Far From Out

By Chris Neiger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Samsung recently took the top spot for smartphone market share in China, leaving Apple behind in the No. 3 spot. Apple may not be king in the largest smartphone market in the world, but its profits, and demand, speak for themselves in the country.

Who’s who in Chinese smartphones
Samsung’s whopping 30 million smartphone sales in China last year deserves a tip of the hat. The company surged from 10.9 million sales in 2011 to 300% increase in 2012. But despite the huge sales gain, the company took only an additional 5.3% of the smartphone market share. Granted, that was enough to stay ahead of Apple, which currently holds 11%. Here’s the breakdown of smartphone market share by sales.

Source: VentureBeat.

While it’s obvious Chinese consumers are willing to put a Samsung device in their pockets, investors can look beyond market share to some more concrete numbers: revenues.

In 2011, Apple’s sales in China were $4.08 billion. In 2012, that number increased by 67% to $6.83 billion. That’s a significant increase in sales in the region, considering its growth in North and South America was 15% and 13% in Europe. But one of the most important facts to remember is that Apple isn’t even on China‘s largest mobile network, China Mobile . Samsung and Lenovo, who lead in smartphone sales market share, both have deals to sell phones on China Mobile. Meanwhile, Apple has managed to claim the third spot without any deal with the company — but it’s coming.


Source: Apple.

Apple wants its iPhone available to China Mobile’s 700 million customers, and China Mobile wants to officially offer the coveted and social status-raising iPhone. As China Mobile’s 3G network grows, both companies cannot wait much longer to strike a deal. At the 2012 China Mobile Worldwide Developer Conference, the company’s president said about working a deal with Apple: “Technology is not a problem, [it’s] mainly about business model and benefit-sharing issues.” It’s high time Apple and China Mobile worked out some sort of deal.

As of this time last year, about 15 million China Mobile customers used their unlocked iPhones on the company’s 2G network. With millions of Chinese consumers already unofficially using new iPhones on China Mobile’s network, it shows how much demand there is for a China Mobile iPhone.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty said last month that Apple could add $2.4 billion in iPhone revenue and triple its customer base in China if the company debuted an iPhone “Mini”. No one knows whether or not Apple will release a cheaper iPhone in China, but we do know that Apple won’t let an opportunity like China Mobile pass by. With Apple focusing much of its attention on the country, a deal with China Mobile is the next logical step to building its presence in China.

Taking it slow
Some investors may not …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Does China's 4G Boom Make Alcatel-Lucent a Buy Today?

By Andrew Tonner, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

The 4G wireless market in China is growing fast, and that creates opportunity for Alcatel-Lucent. Or does it? In this video, Andrew Tonner describes why he thinks Alcatel is on the outside looking in on this market. To be sure, Alcatel is in the midst of a turnaround, but China may not be a big part of its future. Andrew describes some of the problems Alcatel faces in the Chinese market and looks at the competitors that seem to be winning the 4G wireless battle.

More great advice from The Motley Fool

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The article Does China’s 4G Boom Make Alcatel-Lucent a Buy Today? originally appeared on Fool.com.


Andrew Tonner has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of China Mobile. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Does This Mean Apple Doesn't Need a Low-End Phone?

By Tim Brugger, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Much has been made lately of the growth potential that the entry-level phone market represents. As the leader in the high-end smartphone arena, rumors surrounding Apple‘s needs for a cheaper alternative to supplement its dominant share of the full-featured smartphone market are nothing new. I’ve suggested the same thing on more than one occasion. But a new report by research firm IDC detailing 2013 smartphone sales growth adds another wrinkle to the “iPhone Mini” debate.

The data
For smartphone users, the notion of going back to a feature phone — you know, the “old days” — is borderline heresy. But for the majority of the billions of mobile-phone users around the world, old-school feature phones are the devices of choice. Either because unsubsidized smartphones cost too much for the majority of buyers, or because few emerging markets can boast the widespread, lightning-fast networks we’ve become accustomed to in the States, feature phones continue to dominate the global phone market — for now.

According to the IDC report, 2013 will be the year of the smartphone — the first year in which smartphones gain a slim 50.1% majority of the global mobile market. For Apple, and its brethren in the smartphone marketplace, that’s encouraging data, to say the least.

Much of Apple’s nearly 20% drop in share price year to date has been attributed to concerns about continued growth, particularly overseas, where Apple allegedly has nothing to offer customers but its expensive, high-end iPhones. Added competition, compressed margins, and uncertainties about developing the “next great thing” have also taken their toll on Apple’s valuation. As for the low-end phone market, there’s no doubt it offers tremendous upside — a threefold increase in sales by 2016, according to research firm IHS.

As for the smartphone market in 2013, the IDC report confirms what many of us have long thought: China and India offer the most upside for mobile-phone manufacturers, including those in the surging high-end smartphone market.

Does this change the game for Apple?
It’s no accident that Apple CEO Tim Cook has spent so much time in China of late. Cook recognizes that global growth isn’t just a good idea for Apple — it’s a necessity. And as the IDC report confirms, China will remain a key market for all phone manufacturers for years to come. Cook’s conversations with China Mobile are probably an effort to secure a deal like the one Nokia has: Offer China Mobile‘s 700 million customers the latest, greatest smartphone — in Nokia’s case, the Lumia 920T — and subsidize the cost so that it’s virtually free with a service contract.

China Mobile‘s one of the earliest major Chinese carriers to begin the transition to faster 4G networks, which also bodes well for high-end smartphone manufacturers.

With Apple’s margins already under pressure, the expected boost in global high-end smartphone sales in 2013 (and beyond) may have some Apple fans wanting to ditch those oft-rumored plans for a …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Can Apple Afford to Wait On a Larger iPhone?

By Evan Niu, CFA, CFA, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

There are two things that Apple needs to do in order to satisfy investors craving continued iPhone growth: launch a mid-range iPhone as well as a larger iPhone. The company has waited much longer to expand the iPhone into a broader product family than it has with other devices like the iPod and iPad, and this expansion is now overdue.

Numerous reports have now speculated that while Apple is indeed planning to launch a more affordable model this year, the larger one may not see the light of day until next year. Can Apple afford to wait?

Wait for it
Yesterday, Japanese blog Macotakara reported that the mid-range iPhone made out of polycarbonate is still on track for a 2013 launch, and will retail for $330 — the same starting price point as the iPad Mini. The polycarbonate model will likely be thicker to increase durability and save costs.

Following that report, Chinese site EMSOne separately speculated that the more affordable iPhone would launch in August alongside the iPhone 5S that will feature incremental upgrades in line with the tick-tock strategy that Apple repurposed from Intel. Only the flagship iPhone 5S is said to include compatibility with China Mobile‘s unique network and the mid-range model will not be supported on the largest wireless carrier in the world. There’s notably no mention of a larger iPhone.

These rumblings corroborate with the 2013 product roadmap that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo laid out in January. The analyst adds that the flagship should see the inclusion of a fingerprint sensor to increase security and leverage Apple’s $356 million acquisition of AuthenTec last year. Kuo has a solid track record with accuracy, so his predictions carry more weight than others’.

It just so happens that Jefferies analyst Peter Misek also released a research note in February saying that Apple has been running into manufacturing challenges in scaling up its display size from 4-inch to 4.8-inch. This is because Apple recently adopted the relatively new in-cell touch technology in its displays that integrates the touch sensors directly into the LCD panel in order to make the iPhone so thin.

Yields on the larger in-cell panels are proving to be low and Apple has extremely high quality standards. The difficulties are compounded since Apple also has very high volume requirements due to the popularity of its devices. An alternative would be to switch back to on-cell displays or other technologies with better yields. Either way, Misek similarly thinks the larger iPhone is being pushed out to 2014.

Long live the Phablet King
The phablet trend is getting stronger with no signs of abating, at least among OEMs. Not one to be shown up, Samsung’s latest attempt at overcompensation is the Galaxy Note 8.0 that features an 8-inch display.

The South Korean conglomerate was at risk of losing its title as the Phablet King when Huawei unveiled its 6.1-inch Ascend Mate, topping the …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance