| InterDigital, Inc. (IDCC) and Sony Corporation of America (SNE) today announced the launch of a joint venture to combine Sony’s consumer electronics expertise with InterDigital’s pioneering wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) and bandwidth management research. The joint venture, called Convida Wireless, will focus on driving new research in the growing field of M2M wireless communications and other connectivity areas.|
Convida Wireless represents a new collaboration between Sony, a longtime technology leader, and InterDigital Solutions, a unit announced in October by InterDigital that explores new engagement models with industry players. Based on the terms of the agreement, the parties will contribute funding and resources for additional M2M research and platform development, which will be carried out by InterDigital Solutions. Stephens Capital Partners LLC, the principal investing affiliate of Stephens Inc., a full service investment banking firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, will be a minority investor in Convida Wireless. The agreement also includes a patent license from InterDigital for Sony’s 3G and 4G products.
|The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a Report and Order establishing rules to help speed the deployment of Internet services onboard aircraft. The Commission’s action enables broadband providers to meet increasing consumer demands and promotes the economic growth and job-creating impacts of ubiquitous broadband. This action also continues the FCC’s efforts to update and streamline regulatory requirements across the agency.|
Since 2001, the Commission has authorized a number of companies, on an ad hoc basis, to operate Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft (ESAA), i.e., earth stations on aircraft communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service (FSS) geostationary-orbit (GSO) space stations. Installed on the exterior of the aircraft, the satellite antenna carries the signal to and from the aircraft, providing two-way, in-flight broadband services to passengers and flight crews. The Report and Order formalizes ESAA as a licensed application in the FSS and establishes a regulatory framework for processing applications while ensuring other radio service operations are protected from harmful interference. Rather than have to license on-board systems on an ad hoc basis, airlines will be able test systems that meet FCC standards, establish that they do not interfere with aircraft systems, and get FAA approval.
| Boost announced that starting on or about 1/20/13, Monthly Unlimited plans will offer 2.5GB/month of full speed network data but will slow to 3G speeds of 256kbps for continued data use after 2.5GB. Customers that go over the 2.5GB threshold may experience slower page loads, file downloads and streaming media. Data speeds will restore to full 3G/4G speeds when a customer’s new monthly plan begins.|
Keep in mind that 2.5GB per month is a lot of wireless network data and Boost Mobile anticipates that ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE of Boost subscribers will actually reach that.
To give you an idea, it's about 400,000 Mobile Internet page views, about 90,000 emails (without attachments), 91 hours of streaming music or 20 hours of video clips, in a month*. See FAQs: http://www.boostmobile.com/support/faq/#!/reduced-data-speed
| The number of smartphone shipments to rise from 700 million in 2012 to 1.37 billion by the end of 2017. Apple's iOS and Google's Android will continue to dominate the market with a combined market share of 81.7% of smartphone shipments in 2017, up from 78% in 2012. Unlike OS market share, handset vendor market share will be volatile during the forecast period. Smartphone vendors can be removed from the top share positions in less than a year (for example, HTC and RIM in 2011), because the market evolves extremely fast and competition is fierce.|
Operators should resist the temptation to develop their own smartphone platform. A bad track record in software and content distribution and a lack of hardware design and capabilities are major pitfalls for any operator-controlled smartphone platform.
Executives seeking detailed market research on global smartphone markets and spectrum valuation will benefit from the two reports previewed below.
Smartphone markets: worldwide trends, forecasts and strategies 2012-2017
Retaining established smartphone users is as important as capturing new ones. 75% of worldwide smartphone shipments will correspond to handset upgrades in 2017 (see Figure 1). This will create a significant strategy shift for stakeholders. Operators will have to increase the value of smartphone contracts by offering early handset upgrades and larger data allowances to retain customers, and handset vendors will have to develop stronger app and content ecosystems (as Apple has done) in order to increase loyalty.
|Just imagine it: you're holiday shopping, or perhaps ordering a drink at your favorite coffee shop. While the gift wrappers start cutting colorful paper or the barista begins steaming your nonfat soy milk, you settle the bill with a simple tap of your smartphone against the merchant's point-of-service terminal. It's not the future you're looking at – the technology is already here, albeit at an emerging level. A combined 13% of Americans indicate that they have either paid in this manner themselves (4%) or witnessed it firsthand (8%), with predictably stronger experience levels among smartphone owners (18%, 7% and 11%, respectively).|
But is this just a passing gimmick, or the first indicator of a fundamental shift in how Americans are likely to pay for goods and services in the years to come? The majority of Americans appear to be anticipating the latter, with over six in ten indicating that they believe smartphone payments will eventually replace both payment card (66%) and cash (61%) transactions for a majority of purchases.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,383 adults surveyed online between November 14 and 19, 2012 by Harris Interactive.
Change is down the road – but not necessarily around the corner…
While many Americans perceive this change in payment culture as a likely eventuality, considerably fewer appear to perceive it as imminent: although the aforementioned two-thirds (66%) believe smartphone payments will eventually replace payment card transactions, considerably fewer (32%) believe this will happen in less than five years. Similarly, fewer than half of those Americans who believe smartphone payments will eventually replace cash for the majority of purchases (61%) believe this will happen in less than five years (26%).
| Consumer Cellular, the number one rated cell phone service for the third consecutive year and exclusive wireless provider for AARP members, introduces its newest offering geared toward seniors: the Doro PhoneEasy 618, available now through Consumer Cellular and in January at Sears stores. The launch marks the U.S. debut of the award-winning Swedish manufacturer’s updated flip phone, now complete with a simple camera and MMS functionality to enable users to capture, send and share photos anywhere in the world.|
“We have found that although seniors still tend to be wary of technology, their attitudes have greatly improved in recent years as phones – like those in the Doro PhoneEasy line – have incorporated features and functions tailored to their needs”
The Doro PhoneEasy 618 replaces its predecessor, the Doro PhoneEasy 410, with plenty of upgrades, most notably a 3.2-megapixel camera and MMS picture messaging. The camera features an 8x zoom, has a built-in flash, and is easy to use with an intuitive menu and a dedicated key.
The Doro PhoneEasy 618 also provides more people with the opportunity to communicate via MMS. In just a moment, photos can be sent to and received from friends and family. Plus, for those who find it challenging to write text messages, the Doro PhoneEasy 618 allows users to record a voice message and send it using just a few keystrokes. Lastly, an external display and caller ID feature was added to this model, allowing users to see who is calling without opening the phone.
| The worldwide smart connected device market – a collective view of PCs, tablets, and smartphones – grew 27.1% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) reaching a record 303.6 million shipments valued at $140.4 billion dollars. Expectations for the holiday season quarter are that shipments will continue to reach record levels rising 19.2% over 3Q12 and 26.5% over the same quarter a year ago. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker, 4Q12 shipments are expected to reach 362.0 million units with a market value of $169.2 billion dollars. Holiday season growth will be driven by tablets and smartphones, which are expected to grow 55.8% and 39.5% year-over-year respectfully, while PCs are expected to decline slightly from this quarter a year ago.|
From a vendor perspective, Samsung maintained the top position in 3Q12 with 21.8% market share based on shipments. Apple, which ranked second overall in shipments, led all vendors in value with a total of $34.1 billion in 3Q12 and an average selling price (ASP) of $744 across all device categories. Following Samsung's 21.8% share and Apple's 15.1% share were Lenovo (7.0%), HP (4.6%), and Sony (3.6%). While Samsung, Apple, and Lenovo have all grown share over the past year, HP, which is virtually non-existent in the mobile space, has dropped its share from 7.4% in 3Q11 to 4.6% in 3Q12 with shipments declining -20.5% during that time.
"The battle between Samsung and Apple at the top of the smart connected device space is stronger than ever," said Ryan Reith, program manager, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. "Both vendors compete at the top of the tablet and smartphone markets. However, the difference in their collective ASPs is a telling sign of different market approaches. The fact that Apple's ASP is $310 higher than Samsung's with just over 20 million fewer shipments in the quarter speaks volumes about the premium product line that Apple sells."
| The GSMA held its first GSMA Connected Women conference in Europe, bringing together more than 250 telecommunications industry professionals to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing women in technology today. Through a range of keynote presentations and panel discussions, the GSMA Connected Women: Enriching the Mobile Ecosystem eventexplored how to attract, nurture and promote more female talent within the mobile industry, a sector that has revolutionised the lives of billions of people around the world.|
"Women today comprise 40 per cent of the global workforce and account for more than half of university graduates, and yet we see only three to five per cent of senior management positions in technology being held by women," said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. "This is a critical challenge that we must address immediately - as an industry, we will be at a disadvantage if we cannot attract and retain the most talented individuals, many of whom are women. The Connected Women event focuses attention on the many opportunities available to women in technology, and particularly in mobile, and how we can foster the next generation of business leaders."
According to a Grant Thornton International business report issued earlier this year, women hold only 21 per cent of senior management positions globally across all industries and over the last 10 years, this number has remained largely unchanged. Most studies put the number of women in senior management positions in technology companies even lower, at around three per cent to five per cent. In the 2012 Fortune 500 rankings, the number of female CEOs was 18, up from 12 in 2011, but women still accounted for only four per cent of the ranking.
|MetroPCS Communications, Inc. today announced that, on November 19, 2012, MetroPCS received a request for additional information (the "Second Request") from the U.S. Department of Justice (the "DOJ") in connection with MetroPCS' proposed transaction with T-Mobile USA, Inc. ("T-Mobile") pursuant to the business combination agreement, dated October 3, 2012, by and among Deutsche Telekom AG, an Aktiengesellschaft organized in Germany ("Deutsche Telekom"), T-Mobile Global Zwischenholding GmbH, a Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung organized in Germany and a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom ("Global"), T-Mobile Global Holding GmbH, a Gesellschaft mit beschrankter Haftung organized in Germany and a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Global ("Holding"), T-Mobile, a Delaware corporation and direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Holding, and MetroPCS. The Second Request was issued pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR Act").|
The effect of the Second Request is to extend the waiting period imposed by the HSR Act until 30 days after MetroPCS and T-Mobile have substantially complied with the Second Request, unless that period is extended voluntarily by the parties or terminated sooner by the DOJ.
MetroPCS intends to cooperate fully with the DOJ to obtain approval of the transaction as soon as possible and remains confident that the DOJ will find that the transaction is both pro-competitive and pro-consumer. Completion of the transaction is subject to MetroPCS shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. MetroPCS continues to expect the transaction will close in the first half of 2013.
|Worldwide sales of mobile phones to end users reached almost 428 million units in the third quarter of 2012, a 3.1 percent decline from the third quarter of 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. Smartphone sales accounted for 39.6 percent of total mobile phone sales, as smartphone sales increased 46.9 percent from the third quarter of 2011.|
While the mobile phone market declined year-on-year, Gartner analysts said there were positive signs for the industry during the third quarter.
"After two consecutive quarter of decline in mobile phone sales, demand has improved in both mature and emerging markets as sales increased sequentially," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. “In China, sales of mobile phones grew driven by sales of smartphones, while demand of feature phones remained weak. In mature markets, we finally saw replacement sales pick up with the launch of new devices in the quarter.”
Smartphones continued to fuel sales of mobile phones worldwide with sales rising to 169.2 million units in the third quarter of 2012. The smartphone market was dominated by Apple and Samsung. “Both vendors together controlled 46.5 percent of smartphone market leaving a handful of vendors fighting over a distant third spot,” said Mr. Gupta.
Nokia slipped from No. 3 in the second quarter of 2012 to No. 7 in smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2012. RIM moved to the No. 3 spot with HTC not far behind, at No. 4. “Both HTC and RIM have seen their sales declining in past few quarters, and the challenges might prevent them from holding on to their current rankings in coming quarters,” added Mr. Gupta.
| |A consumer survey conducted by IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc. which examined inflight Wi-Fi usage in the U.S. this year has found that, on flights lasting longer than one hour, passengers who used a personal electronic device (e.g. tablets and smartphones) onboard spent, on average, over 40 percent of their flight time on it.
The survey asked more than 1,000 U.S. respondents the percentage of flight time they spent using at least one of their electronic devices. Although less than 30 percent of respondents did not use any personal electronics devices during flight, of those who did, almost 50 percent used the devices for up to 40 percent of their flight time. Approximately 8 percent of respondents spent more than 80 percent of their time on at least one of their electronic devices.
Rose Yin, market analyst at IMS Research, commented, “Although not all passengers use inflight Wi-Fi, it is clear that many still brought along and made use of their electronic devices to help pass time onboard. We also found that regardless of whether inflight Wi-Fi is offered or not, the amount of time spent on these devices varies little; as passengers can just prepare enough offline content prior to boarding to help entertainment themselves later on.”
Further breakdowns showed that MP3 players are the most popular device used inflight, with almost a third of respondents using them onboard, followed closely by laptop PCs. Despite the rapid growth in uptake of tablet PCs, fewer than 1 in 5 passengers made use of these during flight. However, this proportion is still much higher than the percentage ownership of tablet PCs in the general population, and is expected to continue to rise in the future.
| The majority of U.S. smartphone users are on either the Apple iOS or the Android platform. What defines each user base and how do these two groups of consumers differ? To answer this question, iGR fielded a Web-based survey of 1,001 U.S. consumers during the second week of September 2012, which coincided with Apple's announcement of the iPhone 5.|
"Beyond some basic differences, such as service providers and mobile phone brands, other differences became apparent when we analyzed these groups' responses to our survey," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "These groups not only have distinct demographic profiles, they also display different trends in their recent and planned purchases, the other computing devices that they use, their use of cellular data services, their desired improvements to their cellular data service, and their use of WiFi on their smartphone."
For example, Apple and Android users identified different factors that they found important when rating their service providers. Apple users were more likely to rate their service provider according to the quality of the voice or data network and the speed of the data network. On the other hand, Android users were more likely to say that customer service, cost of service, and device selection/choice were most important.
In addition, iGR's new study found that:
| The Android smartphone operating system was found on three out of every four smartphones shipped during the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12). According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, total Android smartphone shipments worldwide reached 136.0 million units, accounting for 75.0% of the 181.1 million smartphones shipped in 3Q12. The 91.5% year-over-year growth was nearly double the overall market growth rate of 46.4%.|
"Android has been one of the primary growth engines of the smartphone market since it was launched in 2008," said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Mobile Phones at IDC. "In every year since then, Android has effectively outpaced the market and taken market share from the competition. In addition, the combination of smartphone vendors, mobile operators, and end-users who have embraced Android has driven shipment volumes higher. Even today, more vendors are introducing their first Android-powered smartphones to market."
"The share decline of smartphone operating systems not named iOS since Android's introduction isn't a coincidence," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The smartphone operating system isn't an isolated product, it's a crucial part of a larger technology ecosystem. Google has a thriving, multi-faceted product portfolio. Many of its competitors, with weaker tie-ins to the mobile OS, do not. This factor and others have led to loss of share for competitors with few exceptions."
Mobile Operating System Highlights
| CompanionLink Software, a pioneer in mobile synchronization for the original Palm ecosystem, has updated their Palm Desktop migration guide for compatibility with Windows® 8 and DejaCloud Sync. The guide helps people set up Palm Desktop with new PC operating systems and migrate Address Book, Date Book, To Do, and Memo information to a new PC.|
CompanionLink products keep Palm Desktop synchronized to current devices including Nexus tablets and phones, Samsung Galaxy phones, iPhone® 5 and iPad mini. CompanionLink’s app, DejaOffice, supports Address Book, Date Book, To-Dos, and Memos including Business and Personal categories, Pictures, Private memos, Recurring events and Alarms.
“Palm Desktop is fast and easy to use,” said Wayland Bruns, CTO for CompanionLink. “Mobile professionals depend on their history of calendar data and important Contacts and Notes. We are happy to continue to support this community by providing USB, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Cloud synchronization with everyone’s favorite and familiar contact manager.”
CompanionLink was recently featured in a ZDNET article by David Gerwitz. CompanionLink for Palm Desktop supports synchronization with Palm Desktop v4 and Palm Desktop v6, starts at $14.95 and comes with free telephone support and a 90-day money-back guarantee. A CompanionLink subscription comes with access to DejaCloud, the only secure cloud sync tool that guarantees your data is not sold, farmed or used for advertising. For more information, visit www.companionlink.com/palmdesktop.
AT&T, Google and Starbucks today announced that they have joined the Power Matters Alliance (PMA). Founded by Powermat Technologies and Procter & Gamble, the PMA's Honorary Chairman is Google's Vint Cerf – one of the fathers of the Internet - and its board now also includes AT&T, Duracell and Starbucks. The US Government's Energy Star and Federal Communications Commission – both PMA members - are board observers.
| The worldwide mobile phone market grew 2.4% year over year in the third quarter of 2012 (3Q12), driven by heavyweights Samsung and Apple as Nokia dropped off the Top 5 list of smartphone vendors. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 444.5 million mobile phones in 3Q12 compared to 434.1 million units in the third quarter of 2011.|
In the worldwide smartphone market vendors shipped 179.7 million units in 3Q12 compared to 123.7 million units in 3Q11. The 45.3% year-over-year growth was slightly above IDC's forecast of 45.2% for the quarter.
Equally noteworthy was the decline of Nokia, which was replaced by Research In Motion as a Top 5 smartphone player. Nokia's exit from the Top 5, where it had resided since the inception of IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004, was precipitated by the rise of Samsung and Apple globally and high-growth vendors like Huawei in China, where Nokia was the dominant player as recently as the third quarter of 2011.
"Nokia's share losses have meant gains for competitors," said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "The company's transition away from Symbian-powered smartphones to ones shipped with Windows Phone has left ample opportunity for rivals to steal share away from Nokia over the past 18 months. However, the smartphone market is still relatively nascent, which means there's room for multiple vendors and operating systems to flourish, including Nokia."