Moto G is a game changer but likely to be a commercial failure in India

By on November 14, 2013 at 1:56 PM.

Moto G is a game changer but likely to be a commercial failure in India

Last night Motorola took several pot shots at Samsung and Apple about how they are ignoring the mass market smartphone users by offering them obsolete tech when it came to the sub-$200 smartphone segment. It went on to claim how the Moto G would offer a similar experience as the Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5S at a third of the price. Motorola CEO, Dennis Woodside, even proclaimed how the Moto G has been made for the next half-a-billion smartphone users who cannot afford an expensive smartphone but want a premium smartphone experience. But can Motorola translate all of this into commercial success? More →
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With killing spree looming, Elop’s rivals at Microsoft strike first

By on November 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM.

With killing spree looming, Elop’s rivals at Microsoft strike first

Ever since Elop left Microsoft to run Nokia, his rivals back in Redmond have been preparing for his return and likely attempt to seize control of the company. Immediately after Microsoft’s deal to acquire Nokia’s handset unit was announced, Elop became one of three leading candidates to become the next CEO. Should he succeed, his modus operandi will be similar to what he demonstrated at Nokia: Kill all major initiatives that threaten his own turf, get rid of all high-level executives who cannot be shaped into loyal allies and bring in absolutely loyal lieutenants. More →
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HTC has lost the plot

By on October 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM.

HTC has lost the plot

October 14 will be marked as the day when HTC lost its soul - the day when the One max was announced. The One max is the anti-thesis of everything that HTC stood for. Every smartphone that HTC ever launched had a reason to exist. It had a purpose and a lot of thought went into executing the design of every single product. I vividly remember Peter Chou showing off the Touch Diamond in 2008 and how easy it was to use it with a single hand. More recently, the One with its BoomSound speakers on the front and a 4.7-inch display that was just about big enough to compete with rival flagship phones without having to stretch your hand to hold it. The company took care to think of minute user experiences and unlike some other brands, it appeared that they indeed used their own product before launching it to people who'd be paying a premium to buy them. More →
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Did BlackBerry’s savior actually kill it?

By on September 21, 2013 at 3:02 PM.

Did BlackBerry’s savior actually kill it?

Last night BlackBerry announced grim news about the possibility of posting a $1 billion loss in the last quarter and plans to lay off 40 percent of its global employees. Most of the losses emerged from writing off almost $960 million worth of Z10 inventory, which incidentally was BlackBerry's first smartphone running on BB10 - the platform that was supposed to save the company from its demise. BlackBerry noted that most of the 5.9 million phones sold through to end consumers in the quarter were running on older BlackBerry OS 7 and not BB10. This does not look like a platform that would save the company. But how did it get to this? More →
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Can Xiaomi repeat its China success in India?

By on September 16, 2013 at 1:18 PM.

Can Xiaomi repeat its China success in India?

Often referred to as the Apple of the East, Xiaomi the Chinese upstart seems to have everything going for it. Its success in China has caught global players like Samsung by surprise, it now has a valuation of over $10 billion and recently snagged Google's VP for Android, Hugo Barra. Barely in its fourth year of existence, Xiaomi has twice the valuation of Nokia's handset business without having ventured out of China. That will soon change, if things go as planned, with Barra leading Xiaomi's global operations hoping to emulate the same success. But can Xiaomi do it? More →
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What on Earth will Microsoft do with 200 million feature phones a year?

By on September 3, 2013 at 6:52 PM.

What on Earth will Microsoft do with 200 million feature phones a year?

The timing of Nokia’s handset unit sale to Microsoft came as a profound shock. In the spring quarter, Nokia’s Lumia volumes grew by more than 20% over the previous quarter and over the summer, the cheapo Lumia 520 seemed to have developed real sales momentum. Nokia was cruising towards a second consecutive quarter of 20% sequential Windows phone unit growth. Why sell the handset unit just as Nokia’s smartphone growth was finally picking up steam? Well, possibly because feature phone sales may have started tanking so badly that it threatened to trigger a cash crisis in 2014. Nokia delivered a fairly disastrous, -27% volume decline in feature phones in the spring quarter. There are some signs from Africa and India that the autumn drop might be even worse. More →
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Why are local brands like Micromax killing it in India’s smartphone market?

By on September 2, 2013 at 7:27 AM.

Why are local brands like Micromax killing it in India’s smartphone market?

Micromax is the second largest smartphone brand in India with a 22 percent market share, closely trailing Samsung at 26 percent, according to IDC. The homegrown smartphone brand is now gunning to topple Samsung by Diwali to become the largest smartphone player. According to IDC India, local smartphone brands now account for over half of all smartphone shipped into India, which is also the fastest growing and the third largest smartphone market in the world. So what is it that local players are doing right and global players like Samsung, Sony, LG and others are not? More →
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Are smartphone buyback schemes the latest marketing sham?

By on August 12, 2013 at 5:36 PM.

Are smartphone buyback schemes the latest marketing sham?

Ever since Apple introduced it on the iPhone 4, buyback schemes have become the latest fad that companies are using to attract new buyers. Who wouldn't be if a company says it is offering Rs 10,000 off on its high-end smartphone in exchange of your old phone? But is it actually the case? We checked out a few such schemes and found out that most of them are borderline scams, misleading and in some cases buyers might even end up paying more than what they can buy the device online without exchanging their old phones! More →
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Android has a crapware problem and it is getting worse

By on August 5, 2013 at 9:18 AM.

Android has a crapware problem and it is getting worse

The one thing I like the most about Android is the ability to add new capabilities that were not part of the device by downloading relevant apps, thanks to the open APIs that I believe only Android provides to developers. Don't like the keypad? Download a third-party keypad app. You want a Galaxy S4 like smart stay feature? There's an app for that too! Think the phone's default dialler is not good enough for you? Yeah, you can change that as well. But it is also the thing I hate the most about Android. Why do users have to go looking around for alternatives? Yes, having the option to change the default stuff is good, but I believe users are increasingly being forced to change the core user experience of Android smartphones because smartphone vendors are not doing enough. Let me rephrase that, I believe smartphone vendors are ruining the core out-of-the-box user experience in the name of differentiation. More →
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The beginning of the end of Nokia’s transition period

By on July 15, 2013 at 7:13 AM.

The beginning of the end of Nokia’s transition period

"The back is the new front," Stephen Elop exclaimed while announcing the Lumia 1020 at a launch event in NYC. The statement not only points to the exaggerated camera lens assembly required for the smartphone's massive 41-megapixel sensor but also takes me back, in some ways, to Nokia's shift to Windows Phone away from Symbian. Even after signing Symbian's death penalty, Nokia launched the PureView 808 running on Symbian, acknowledging the fact that Windows Phone wasn't ready for primetime. Two years later, Nokia has finally turned an entire circle. More →
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