Category Archives: Smartphone

Smartphones help Huawei to 40% revenue growth over H1

Huawei MWC 2016

Huawei has released financials for the first half of 2016 demonstrating a 40% revenue boost to $37 billion, partly owing to a healthy performance in the consumer business unit.

Although operating margin for the period has declined from 18% to 12%, the company posted stronger revenue growth for the period, slightly offsetting the decline. During the first six months of 2015 revenues grew 30%.

“We achieved steady growth across all three of our business groups, thanks to a well-balanced global presence and an unwavering focus on our pipe strategy,” said Sabrina Meng, Huawei’s CFO. “We are confident that Huawei will maintain its current momentum, and round out the full year in a positive financial position backed by sound ongoing operations.”

The decrease in the operating margin reflects the progress of the larger smartphone industry, as well as the competition which is increasing worldwide. Huawei currently sits in third place in global market share of the smartphone market, though it has been investing heavily to penetrate western markets in recent months. Samsung and Apple are currently defending their position as the top two, though Huawei’s efforts to chance the mid-range market are seemingly paying off.

Set against a backdrop of declining smartphone shipments, Huawei has held onto its strong position in the Chinese market, increasing its shipments from 11.2 million to 16.6 million in Q1 2016, compared to the same period in 2015. The move increased its market share from 10.2% to 15.8% taking it to the top of the Chinese leader board, while Apple lost ground dropping from 12.3% to 11%.

While this may be seen as unsurprising in some quarters of the industry, success in the international markets is becoming more apparent. According to research from Gartner, sales of smartphones to end users totalled 349 million units in the first quarter of 2016, a 3.9 percent increase over the same period in 2015. Samsung accounted for roughly 23% of the market, whereas Apple was just under 15%. Huawei increased its share 5.4% to 8.3%, taking it to third in the global market share tables. The company is expected to continue to ramp up its R&D focus over foreseeable future.

Although the company did not detail the enterprise business units figures though that is likely to be outlined in the coming weeks. The enterprise business, which includes cloud computing, storage, and SDN products, Safe City and Electric Power IoT solutions, did announce healthy growth of 44% to $4.5 billion during its annual Global Analyst Summit in April.

In the carrier business, the role of 5G and IoT was reaffirmed, and the team will be focusing on four areas within the telco industry, business, operations, architecture, and networks. While the carrier business has been demonstrating strong growth throughout the world, it has struggled in the US after its technology was effectively banned over concerns it would be used by Chinese authorities to spy on the US. While Huawei has continually denied the allegations, it has struggled to rebound and reassert itself in the market.

Elsewhere in the industry, competitor Ericsson has been experiencing slightly different fortunes after CEO Hans Vestberg resigned following another difficult quarter for the company. Last week, the company reported an 11% annual decline in net sales with pressure continuing to build against Vestberg.

IBM announces $200 million Indosat Ooredoo cloud deal

Money cloudIBM has announced a five-year $200 million contract with Indosat Ooredoo to develop and deliver solutions on IBM’s cloud platform, Bluemix.

As part of the deal, IBM and Indosat Ooredoo will build an integrated command centre to serve local clients, of both organizations. The move forms part of IBM’s expansion plans for the cloud business, which coincides with the company’s recent win in South Africa, where it will open its first cloud data centre in the country.

“This collaboration shows how IBM’s expertise, technology and services can help Indosat Ooredoo and Lintasarta lead market change in Indonesia while also transforming their existing operations,” said Martin Jetter, SVP, IBM Global Technology Services.

Indonesia’s telco and technology market has been growing rapidly over recent years. Smartphone growth has been healthy in the world’s fourth most populous country, as penetration of total mobile phones is expected to reach 53% in 2017, up from an estimated 24% in 2013. This demonstrates huge potential for growth, as smartphone penetration in China during 2013 was estimated at around 71%.

Outside of Indonesia, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to be a significant growth area for the cloud industry. Market research firm IDC, estimates that by 2018, more than 70% of enterprise organizations in the region will access public cloud IaaS and SaaS capabilities via aggregation hubs.

Jakarta has regularly been quoted as the city which produces the largest number of tweets per day, though this is not solely down to consumers. Businesses regularly use social media, most notably twitter, to communicate with its customers, more so than in western markets.

“Use of smart mobile devices is becoming pervasive, opening up enormous opportunities for local businesses – so we are excited to be working with Indosat Ooredoo and Lintasarta to help clients tap into the power and flexibility of cloud-based solutions and digitally transform their businesses,” Jetter said.

Indosat Ooredoo’s subsidiary, Lintasarta, will jointly develop and deliver cloud-based solutions with IBM, accelerating collaboration and automation of software delivery and infrastructure changes. Customers of the telco will also have access to IBM’s cloud-based enterprise mobility management platform.

“We will be able to bring a greater range of higher value services to market more rapidly, with the confidence of knowing that we are collaborating with one of the world’s largest and most innovative technology companies,” said Alexander Rusli, President and CEO of Indosat Ooredoo. “This landmark alliance will reshape the local market and help Indonesian customers and organizations tap into the most advanced technology available anywhere in the world.”

Alongside the deal, IBM has also announced that it will open its first cloud data centre in South Africa. Working in collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom, the move aims to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the African continent.

“Our new Cloud Data Center gives customers a local onramp to IBM Cloud services including moving mission critical SAP workloads to the cloud with ease,” said Hamilton Ratshefola, IBM Country GM in South Africa. “It also gives customers the added flexibility of keeping data within country which is a key differentiator for IBM.”

The announcement adds to IBM’s growth on the continent, where it currently has a presence in at least 24 countries. IBM has highlighted that Africa is a substantial market for future international growth of its cloud business.

Cloud backup could save phone retailers days of support time – study

contentCloud-based backup and transfer systems could save 7.3 wasted lifetimes, according to recent 451 Research into the time consuming inefficiencies of modern phone sales, reports

American consumers lost 4.5 million hours waiting for their content to be transferred between their old and new smartphones in-store this holiday season, according to the study conducted on behalf of Synchronoss Technologies. That wasted time converts into 187,500 days, 514 years or 7.3 wasted human lifetimes. Cloud based backups, which run in the background, will give smart phone users their lives back, Synchronoss claims.

As 59% of Americans buy new smartphones in physical stores, and each customer now has an average of 10.8GB of picture files, videos and games to transfer over the in-store Wi-Fi connecting their old and new devices, waiting times are likely to get increasingly long, according to Synchronoss. The picture is largely the same in Europe, with 64% of sales in the UK being conducted in store and with an even bigger proportion, 67%, in France. The store channel was used by 62% of Germans, 51% of Italians and 65% of Spanish phone purchasers.

In the study, conducted independently by 451 Research over the holiday season, 33.3 million devices were sold in that period throughout the US and 19.6 million of them were bought in a shop, with 23% of these shoppers asking the sales reps to transfer their personal content for them. At a transfer rate of 10.8GB per hour, that equates to a 4.5 million hours of waiting time.

Device financing, leasing and accelerated upgrade programmes will only make the demand for upgrades – and the subsequent waiting time situation – worse, according to Synchronous, which argued that its new cloud based Backup & Transfer service is the answer.

“Carriers and retailers must deploy backup and transfer solutions so customer content is securely hosted in the cloud before they walk into stores and can be ported to a new device at any time,”

said Daniel Rizer, Synchronoss’s EVP of Product Management.

Roll With the Times and Grow Your Business

If you are in your 40’s you were born into a world which is now long gone. Your first date was set up via a landline phone – maybe even a rotary dial! The first music you listened to was from a tape cassette or a vinyl record; flying was not like taking a bus; e-mails were unknown and… well, you get the picture.

Then along came mobile telephony and the internet and they changed the world forever. Today our lifestyle, information and hobbies, as well as work, can be found in one single device which is permanently connected to the internet – and of course it is also in our pocket most of the time.

Mobile Payment Future Is Tied to Services

Guest Post by Nick Nayfack, Director of Payment Solutions, Mercury Payment Systems

Consumers are already using their smartphones when they shop. They just need the incentive to take the next step to making a purchase with their phone. According to Google, some 79 percent of consumers today can be considered “mobile shoppers” because they use their smartphones for browsing for product information, searching for product reviews or looking for offers and promotions. Today’s merchants see their customers browsing their store with smartphones and know that mobile marketing is no longer an option, it’s an imperative.

There is a clear opportunity to target avid smartphone users, as well as provide merchants with the ability to turn their point of sale system into a marketing engine simply by capturing their customers’ phone numbers. By creating a point of sale environment where processing becomes prospecting, mobile and alternative payments become a natural extension of the convenience and value that merchants and consumers are looking for. Not only can consumer use their phones in store to gain product information or exclusive offers, they can skip the checkout line by paying with their phone.  In this environment, mobile payments gain adoption because of the valuable service it provides to both the merchant and the consumer.

What is it that is driving merchants to adopt mobile point of sale systems (POS) – doubling their implementation in the past year – and consumer rapid adoption of smartphones – while mobile payments has yet to experience the same growth curve? The slow speed of adoption can be tied to two gaps in the current payment landscape: convenience and value. Merchants are adopting mobile POS systems because of their affordable pricing, the ease of use, and the ability to tie value-added services like loyalty programs and gift options to their customer’s checkout experience. Consumers are looking for more value for their money and more likely to sign up for opt-in marketing at the cash register or loyalty programs if they feel like they are getting something in return.

Where is the value in Mobile Payments today?

1. Information is Still Key

Consumers are using their phones now mostly to find product information, restaurant reviews, and discount offers.  90 percent of smartphone shoppers use their phone today for “pre-shopping” activities. The most common are price comparisons (53 percent), finding offers and promotions (39 percent), finding locations of other stores (36 percent) and finding hours (35 percent).  In contrast, consumer in-store purchases from a mobile device are still in the minority (~16 percent), but show promise for fast and exponential grow.  As such, if you want consumers to use your mobile payment application, there must be a tight alignment with other frequently used mobile applications (i.e. mobile search.)

2. Remember Your Basics

Key players in the mobile payments space need to make better UX by applying principles learned from the web many years ago: mobile-specific design, clear calls to action and one shopping experience across all platforms.  Beyond the UX, there needs to be clear and repeatable value to the consumer. Special offers or incentives could be paired with your current purchase history to make one-click purchases attractive from mobile devices. From a historical perspective, Amazon introduced this concept several years ago in the e-commerce world with links that provided suggestive purchases based on the buyer’s current purchase (e.g. others that bought this book, also bought the following). While m-commerce has different considerations such as limited time and high distraction of users, there can be some lessons learned from the past.

3. Find Today’s Value

POS developers will succeed today, and in the future by helping merchants to obtain and analyze information about their business and customers. This requires coordinating with an acquirer or processor that has rich historical data to help analyze transaction history, and other data. In this way, merchants can then personalize the consumer experience for new cost benefits or improve operations for cost savings.

Lastly, as mobile evolves, new data points will provide richer context (e.g. location, social context, sku data) and merchants will have even more reference points to deliver a personal consumer experience. In this way, personalization is the key value that is coupled with convenience.

Nick Nayfack

Nick Nayfack is the director of product for Mercury Payment Systems. He is responsible for developing best practices in mobile commerce with industry peers in order to help enable merchants and consumers to navigate technological “ease-of-use.” Nick is also a member of the Electronic Transaction Associations (ETA) Mobile payments committee.

LifeWatch V: Smartphone with Healthcare Sensors Built In

LifeWatch AG, a wireless cardiac monitoring service and home sleep test provider in the U.S.,  today released LifeWatch V, a healthcare smartphone. The smartphone allows patients as well as health- and wellbeing-conscious consumers to self-operate a wide range of embedded medical sensors, wellness-related applications, cloud-based services and 24/7 call center support.

By using the barely visible sensors on the phone’s frame, patients as well as health- and wellbeing conscious consumers can track, capture, collect and analyze their health and medical measurements anywhere anytime. The features include ECG, body temperature, blood glucose, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, body fat percentage and stress levels (heart rate variability). All collected data can be retrieved from the cloud for a follow-up anytime anywhere. Users can thus take corrective action, plan their diets and activities, securely share the information with a health provider or family member, trend and analyze the data and more. Patients are also able to program the unit to remind them of their drug type, dose and intake time.

LifeWatch V was designed with a flexible service-product ecosystem in mind, allowing easy integration of services. The LifeWatch V handset unit includes a service enablement platform to support the transmission of medical data to be analyzed, evaluated and communicated to health professionals and call center personnel around the clock. The device wirelessly interacts with a cloud-based environment allowing users direct access to a wide range of valuable complementary medical and wellness related services.

LifeWatch intends to launch the healthcare solution smartphone world-wide. In the initial markets LifeWatch has identified several local partners to enter into strategic partnerships.