By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Irvine, Calif. – Martian Watches continues to expand distribution of its voice-controlled smart watches, adding Amazon to its list of retailers.
The company’s $299 smart watches, available in two styles and multiple colors, are already available through AT&T.com, select AT&T stores, BestBuy.com, and Martianwatches.com. More brick-and-mortar retailers are in the works, a spokesperson said.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Plano, Texas—Huawei launched a promotional campaign tied in with the movie Thor: The Dark World.
Huawei is the exclusive cellphone partner for the movie.
The campaign’s theme “Make it Possible” was chosen to reflect Huawei’s brand positioning , said Michael Chuang, EVP of Huawei Device USA. Like the movie’s super hero, he said, “we are in the business of making the impossible possible.”
Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile sold 5.6 million branded postpaid and prepaid smartphones in its fiscal third quarter, up from 2.3 million in the year-ago quarter and up from the second quarter’s 4.3 million, T-Mobile said in announcing its third-quarter financial results.
iPhones accounted for only 15 percent of T-Mobile-brand smartphone sales in the quarter, but the percentage could have been higher if more iPhones had been available at the phone’s launch time, said chief marketing officer Mike Sievert.
Bellevue, Wash. — T-Mobile’s uncarrier strategy appears to be working.
For the second consecutive quarter, the carrier posted a net new subscriber gain of more than 1 million, and the company shrank its net loss on a sequential and year-ago basis.
Separately, the carrier said it would expand its MetroPCS brand on Nov. 21 to 15 more markets following the third-quarter addition of 15 new markets with more than 1,300 distribution points.
Dallas – Cameras and GPS were the focus of twin wireless announcements by AT&T, which will become the first U.S. carrier to offer the first smartphone with 10x optical zoom.
The carrier also announced plans for a second GPS device that tracks kids’ whereabouts.
Redwood City, Calif. – Startup MVNO Zact, which launched flexible-plan cellphone service on June 6 through its web site, has begun offering its phones and no-contract, low-cost service through more than 400 Best Buy Mobile specialty stores nationwide.
Best Buy Mobile is Zact’s first U.S retailer.
Waterloo, Ontario – Embattled smartphone maker BlackBerry took itself off the market but will raise $1 billion from institutional investors and is getting new leadership.
BlackBerry took itself off the market after a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings did not finalize a tentative bid to take the company private. Today was also the deadline for receiving any competing bids, which apparently also did not materialize.
Shenzen, China. – Huawei unveiled its second Windows Phone 8 smartphone but hasn’t announced U.S. availability yet.
The company’s first Windows Phone 8 smartphones, the W1, became available in the U.S. in May through Walmart.com and at select Walmart stores. It was unveiled at International CES 2013.
“We’ll announce more details regarding availability of the W2 in the U.S. when we’re able to do so,” a spokesperson said.
Irvine, Calif.—Sprint prepaid brand Boost Mobile divulged more details about its iPhone launch.
The company priced the iPhone 5s, 5c and iPhone 4 and specified that initial distribution will be through the company’s website and select independent stores that sell only Boost service.
The Sprint-owned no-contract brand didn’t say when, or if, the devices would be rolled out to other distribution channels. “We are exploring further distribution as we are sure demand will be high for these devices,” a spokesperson told TWICE.
San Francisco — Google is launching its next-generation Nexus smartphone through Sprint and T-Mobile channels and as unlocked model through its own online store, designed for use on GSM/HSPA+/LTE networks around the world, including T-Mobile and AT&T in the U.S.