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Nokia Smartphone Fall Bigtime – Samsung Dominates.

The latest smartphone market share rankings from analyst firms make grim reading for one-time giant Nokia; a statement from Strategy Analytics today notes that Nokia has slipped outside the top three global smartphone rankings for the first time in history, while IDC goes a step further and claims the firm has exited the top five.

Data from Strategy Analytics states Samsung shipped 56.9 million smartphones worldwide in the third quarter of 2012, the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single quarter. Apple grew a healthy 57 percent annually and shipped 26.9 million smartphones worldwide for 17 percent market share, up from 14 percent recorded a year earlier. Samsung and Apple combined now account for over half of all smartphones shipped worldwide, up from around one-third a year ago.

Strategy Analytics says Nokia shipped 6.3 million smartphones worldwide for a 4 percent marketshare in Q3 2012, dipping from 16.8 million units and 14 percent share in Q3 2011. “Nokia will need to ramp up sharply its Windows Phone volumes if it wants to recapture a top-three smartphone position in the next one to two quarters,” commented Neil Shah, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

The news from IDC is even worse for Nokia. “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,” notes a statement.

Both analyst firms differ slightly in their calculations for overall global smartphone shipments. IDC claims the total vendor market shipped 179.7 million units in Q3 2012 compared to 123.7 million units in Q3 2011, a 45.3 percent year-over-year growth rate. Strategy Analytics estimated that global smartphone shipments grew 35 percent annually from 120.0 million units in Q3 2011 to 161.7 million in Q3 2012.


Samsung Pushes ‘Bendy’ Screens Back To 2013

Samsung evidently pushes flexible AMOLED display release to 2013
Need to meet existing display demand

Reports point to delay for Samsung flexible AMOLED displays. Samsung is in no hurry to bring out its first commercial flexible AMOLED displays, thanks largely to the fact traditional displays are doing just fine.
Reports from Korean website ETNews indicate that Samsung has placed the bendy AMOLED screens on the back burner until next year.
Instead, the company apparently wants to focus on increasing flat display production.
Samsung is seeking to increase its AMOLED production from 56,000 units per month to a 64,000 unit per month yield to keep up with demand for current smartphones like Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2.
To meet that increase in production, some of the pilot lines manufacturing flexible AMOLED displays have been converted to glass AMOLED lines, slowing bendy AMOLED progress.
Reports from earlier this year indicated that Samsung decided to delay flexible AMOLED screen production due to issues with the yield and production schedule problems.
At the time it was thought that if the flexible AMOLED issues were solved by the end of the year, consumers could expect to see the first devices using the technology by mid-2013.
Whether that 2013 marker will be affected by Samsung’s take-it-slow attitude remains to be seen.
Samsung’s bendable, twistable displays were last seen in December 2011 when the company released a concept video of the technology in action.
Unlike traditional glass AMOLED displays, the flexible screens are plastic-based, requiring a different production method but making them nearly indestructible.
A practical application for the curvy screens on a smartphone or tablet is still anyone’s guess, but the technology has an undeniable cool factor that has everyone eager to see what form the malleable displays ultimately take.
By Scott Nichols

Choose The Nokia Lumia 920 Over The iPhone 5..Here’s Why

Nokia are due to launch their Lumia 920 smartphone shortly, here are some of the reasons you should choose Nokia’s smartphone over Apple’s iPhone 5.

Firstly, the Nokia Lumia 920 supports wireless charging which we hope is a real sign of things to come. A number of accessories are available which enable you to charge your smartphone without having to physically plug it in.

Another reason to get the Lumia 920 over the iPhone 5 is the stunning 8.7 mega-pixel Pureview Camera featured on Nokia’s smartphone. The Pureview camera, which has Carl Zeiss optics, uses floating-lens technology which lets in 5-10 times more light than other smartphones. This ensures your photos are always clear, crisp and bright.

Thirdly, the Nokia Lumia 920 features a super-sensitive Puremotion HD display which you can use even when wearing gloves. This’ll be a huge advantage on cold winter mornings and is something that’s not possible on the iPhone 5.

Those who love vibrant smartphones have little choice but to go with Nokia’s Lumia range as documented by a recent advert criticising Apple’s iPhone , which is only available in White or Black. When the Nokia Lumia 920 launches it’ll be available in a choice of Yellow,  Red , White, Black and Grey.

There’s very little else to choose between both smartphones because they both have an amazing touch-screen display, more than enough power and a great operating system. Both will also support 4G LTE.

Visa: Mobile Money Services Ready To Roll

LIVE FROM CTIA WIRELESS 2012: John Partridge, president of payments giant Visa, today said that the time is right for mobile payments to move into the mainstream in developed markets, following the previous success of mobile money services offered in emerging countries.

Speaking in a keynote session, the executive said: “When will mobile money be a reality in the developed world? 2012 promises to be the year when it finally makes its stake here, in developed countries like America, the United States, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, and across Europe.”

Driving adoption will be the arrival of important enabling technologies, such as NFC, claimed Partridge.

“After some false starts, NFC technology has been adopted as the global technology standard for transforming mobile phones into payment devices, and allows consumers to wave their smartphones over a payment terminal in order to make a purchase. NFC is aligned and interoperable with the global payment industry standard for chip payment cards. This is a critical step,” Partridge said.

Unsurprisingly, it was acknowledged that security will be a critical issue in supporting take-up. “If we are going to take this next step forward, and create a future in which mobile payments are part of everyday life, then we must address the fundamental requirements of security. When you pull out your card, or in future your phone, you expect your transaction to be secure, and your account to be protected from fraud. Frankly, you should expect nothing less,” he said.

The executive also highlighted the success of mobile money services in emerging territories, where they have been successful in extending banking to previously under-served consumers.

Partridge noted: “Today, more than 100 mobile money services are in operation in developing markets. This is an incredible achievement. And we applaud mobile network operators as pioneers in mobile money, for reaching so many people so quickly.”

“This opportunity in developing economies is not just a business opportunity. It is an opportunity to change people’s lives,” he continued.

Apple Has Opposition To “Nano SIM” Card


Smartphone vendors are uniting against Apple as the iPhone-maker attempts to make its miniature “nano-SIM” card technology the industry standard for the next generation of handsets, reports the Financial Times.

Apple is reportedly backed by most of the operators in Europe and has submitted its proposal to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

Nano-SIM technology is seen as an important step in the miniaturisation of smartphones but Motorola Mobility, Nokia and BlackBerry-maker RIM are opposing Apple’s attempts to make its own technology the industry standard.

The approach would mean all handset makers could use the design under licence – but there are fears that Apple may eventually own the patents on the technology. According to an FT source, the Apple design would also require a drawer-style design to protect it, forcing phone makers to re-engineer their devices.

Apple’s iPhone 4S and Nokia’s Lumia 800 already use micro-SIM cards but the nano-SIM technology will be a third smaller, leaving more space for other functions.

ETSI will make a decision on Apple’s proposals next week although the FT reports that the voting process in the independent committee has come under scrutiny following an attempt by Apple to increase its number of votes on the committee. Apple registered six European subsidiaries to become full members earlier this week with a decision on their membership due to take place today. Subsidiaries with revenue of more than EUR8 billion have up to 45 votes on the ETSI committee.

Nokia, which has the largest number of votes with 92, has questioned whether Apple should be able to obtain additional votes in this way.

Apple and Google increase US smartphone share

Apple and Google strengthened their control of the US smartphone market in the three months ended January, with three out of four devices using their software, reports Bloomberg. According to new figures from ComScore, Apple powered 29.5 percent of US smartphones, on average, in the period, up from 28.1 percent in the prior three months, while Google’s Android had 48.6 percent market share, up 2.3 percentage points. BlackBerry-maker RIM saw its share drop to 15.2 percent from 17.2 percent.

BlackBerry Warning, Weak Sales And Delays

Shares in BlackBerry-maker RIM slipped by as much as 7 percent in extended trading last night as the struggling firm reported another disappointing quarter, provided a weak sales outlook for the current period and pushed back the launch of its new device line.

For the quarter ended 26 November, net income came in at US$265 million, down 70 percent from a year ago, while sales came in at US$5.17 billion, down from US$5.5 billion. Although RIM had earlier warned of the poor numbers, the figures were still below most analyst forecasts.

It sold 14.1 million devices in the quarter, increasing its BlackBerry subscriber base to 75 million, up 5 million on the previous quarter. However, it shipped just 150,000 units of its PlayBook tablet.

More bad news was revealed on the earnings call by co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, who said that the first devices running the new BlackBerry 10 operating system would not now appear until late next year. The delay is apparently due to the firm having to wait on critical chipsets becoming available.

The delay could be highly damaging for the firm as it struggles to keep pace with rivals such as Apple, say analysts. “They’ve already got tepid developer support and then they’re going to be rolling out these phones right smack in the (midst) of an iPhone 5 (launch) most likely,” Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners, told Reuters. “By then the ecosystem runs the risk of being abandoned.”

The guidance for RIM’s current quarter – which includes the key holiday sales period – was also below par. The firm guided that profit will be between US$0.80 and US$0.95 per share, and said that sales will be between US$4.6 billion and US$4.9 billion. Analysts had projected profit of US$1.08 a share and sales of US$4.85 billion, according to Bloomberg data.

RIM said it expects BlackBerry shipments in the quarter to be between 11 million to 12 million. Analysts had projected 12.8 million units. According to Reuters, this would mark the first quarter-to-quarter decline in BlackBerry shipments for six years during the crucial sales season.

In a statement, RIM said that it “continues to have strong technology, unique service capabilities and a large installed base of customers, and we are more determined than ever to capitalise on our strengths to overcome the recent execution challenges surrounding product launches and the resulting financial performance.”

Its two co-CEOs, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, have agreed to take a pay-cut to just US$1 while they work through the problems. The firm faced renewed calls from shareholders yesterday to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive, which are currently held jointly by both Lazaridis and Balsillie.

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