San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
NEW YORK – Losses continued for many top Japanese CE manufacturers, with the exception of Sony, as they reported their individual annual results for the fiscal year that ended March 31.
Television continued to be a drain on corporate bottom lines of several manufacturers, although new strategies and revamped operations have helped get some closer to profitability.
CTIA 2013 Las Vegas — CTIA 2013 is not just for hardware.
Accessories suppliers occupy a large percentage of the exhibition space here and can offer retailers high-margin add-on dollars to each and every smartphone or mobile device sale.
Here is a rundown of some of the recent and imminent accessories introductions to the mobile market.
LAS VEGAS — Audio companies are shifting from dedicated Apple pin connectors to wireless Bluetooth technology to play back music stored on mobile devices.
Bluetooth expands the compatibility of speaker systems beyond Apple devices to include any smartphone or tablet based on other operating systems, notably Android. Here’s what select exhibitors plan to show in new Bluetooth speakers:
TWICE: Will phablets (smartphones with large screens) take share from 7-inch tablets? What are the use cases for phablets vs. 7-inch tablets?
Lam: We do see phablets that are 5.5 inches and above taking some share from 7-inch tablets. One of the original ideas behind the phablet is to allow end users to carry fewer devices (e.g., smartphone and tablet). Most of the use cases from 7-inch tablet can be also be supported in a phablet. The obvious advantage of a phablet is the ability to support cellular voice service.
TWICE: How can smartphone vendors outside of the top two vendors in the U.S. gain share?
Lam: Affordable pricing and occasional promotion will certainly help smartphone vendors outside of the top two retain or gain market share. Other important factors to consider are features and quality. Prepaid smartphone is a segment of the market that the smaller vendors can go after to gain overall market share. We see prepaid as a growth area, and we are wellequipped to take advantage of it.
TWICE: Please assess the market potential for such technologies as LTE Broadcast, VoLTE and LTE’s Joyn Rich Communications Services.
Lam: Features such as VoLTE, LTE Broadcast and Joyn Rich Communications Services require a solid LTE network with good coverage in order to provide good experience to the end users. We believe these features will gain traction over time.
TWICE: Do you expect other U.S. carriers to join TMobile in dropping handset subsidies? If they did, how do you think that will affect the pace of smartphone sales?
TWICE: What is your forecast for 2013 U.S. smartphone shipments, and what will drive sales?
Waiman Lam, ZTE: We estimate moderate growth in smartphone shipments in the U.S. in 2013 compared to 2012. We continue to see this growth driven by the network maturity of 4G, bigger and better screen quality, and feature phone replacement. Factors to consider that can potentially slow down the growth rate are the saturation of smartphones and fewer subsidies by operators going forward.
NEW YORK – The wireless handset industry is in a state of flux.
Growing share by two dominant smartphone players is forcing handset vendors to adjust their marketing strategies. Other handset vendors are trying to claw their way back to relevancy, and they’re getting the support of carriers and retailers looking to bolster handsetvendor competition. Chinese vendors are swooping in amid the market changes to build their share.
LAS VEGAS — The CTIA convention isn’t just a place for retailers to pore over products that they can sell to consumers. Retailers here will also find products and systems that will help them sell these products to consumers.
Here are just a few of them: