By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS – Chinese companies came to International CES to signal their intentions to take a larger share of the U.S. cellular market.
TCL stepped up its U.S. portfolio of Alcatel One Touch smartphones and tablets (see p. 10), while Huawei went to the show to underscore its transition from a low-end to a high-end cellphone supplier with three phones, including the world’s first smartphone with 6.1-inch screen and the company’s first Windows 8 phone.
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.
LAS VEGAS – TCL Communications is using its Alcatel One Touch brand to build up its presence in the U.S. smartphone and tablet markets and expand its sales through tier-one wireless carriers in 2013.
At International CES, TCL stepped up its U.S. portfolio of Alcatel One Touch smartphones and tablets with the launch of Android smartphones with larger screens and faster CPUs, an expanded tablet lineup, and its first cellular-enabled tablets.
LAS VEGAS — Magellan is coming to International CES with a flagship on-dash GPS-navigation device that connects to a Cloud-based service to receive pushed location- based content, including Yelp and Foursquare reviews and offers from nearby businesses.
The device, which Magellan declined to call a portable navigation device (PND), ships in March. Pricing was unavailable.
LAS VEGAS — Though the smartphonereplacement cycle might have slowed, vendors are working hard to stoke sales, and the launch of hybrid smartphone/tablets is one of their methods.
“Phablets provide smartphone vendors with expanded opportunities for high-revenue, high-margin device sales,” said Alex Spektor of Strategy Analytics. “Volumes are relatively low but still provide ample opportunity for diverting subsidy share from Apple.”
LAS VEGAS — New cellphones launched here at International CES will enter a market that will stabilize or rise slightly in 2013 following a year that one supplier called “a correction year.”
Smartphone shipments into the U.S. grew at a slower rate in 2012 as overall cellular handset shipments slipped, but the overall market will stabilize or perk up a bit in 2013, with smartphones again leading the way, marketers told TWICE.
LAS VEGAS — Sony is waterproofing its latest all-in-one Sports MP3 player, broadening the device’s addressable market beyond health-and-fitness enthusiasts to include swimmers and other water sports enthusiasts.
The 4GB MP3 player, shipping in March at a tentative everyday $99, integrates controls and memory into the left and right in-ear ear buds, which are connected by a flexible wire-like headband that wraps around the back of the head and goes over top the ears.
LAS VEGAS — Garmin came to International CES with its first portable navigation devices (PNDs) with voice prompts that tell drivers to turn at recognizable landmarks, stop signs or traffic lights instead of just announcing the name of the street at which to turn.
The company also brought two new bike GPS systems and a new handheld GPS.
The products ship in the first quarter.
PORTLAND, ORE. — MVNO Consumer Cellular launched its latest cellphone for senior citizens.
The $60 PhoneEasy 618, made by Sweden’s Doro, is available through Consumer Cellular’s website and will appear in Sears stores nationwide in January
The flip phone, an update of Doro’s PhoneEasy 410, adds MMS and 3.2-megapixel camera with 8x zoom, flash and dedicated camera key.
RESTON, VA. – Samsung remained the No. 1 cellphone brand used by U.S. wireless subscribers in the three-month period ending October, gaining less than a percentage point in share at expense of rivals LG, Motorola, and HTC, all of which lost share, ComScore found in its consumer surveys.
Apple also gained share and rose to the No. 2 spot for the first time, passing LG. Apple’s share rose 1.5 percentage points compared with Samsung’s 0.7 percent gain.
DALLAS — Samsung Telecom is moving from the cellphone business into the portable MP3 player business.
The company launched a wearable MP3 player that syncs music via a direct cable connection with the big-screen Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II.
The $49 pebble-shaped Muse, which lacks a display, syncs via an USB-to-3.5mm headset- jack cable. Syncing requires the installation on the phone of a free app from Samsung Apps and the Google Play marketplace.