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Mobile phones are one of the essential commodities these days. Well, they do have endless uses and the Asian region has the highest adaptability rate. In a recent report published, Ericsson claims that in the next 5 year period, highest share of the smartphone growth will come from the Asia-Pacific region. We recently published the growth in smartphone sales based on a report by CMR India. And the same people have now released the Sri Lanka mobile market share report for the 1st quarter of 2014. And we have listed out the key takeaways from the report, below. We have also turned the report into a nice infographic for easy viewing.

Important: There are few things you you should note before reading the facts/ infographic. We have repeatedly used the term ‘sales’ below. But what it actually means is the ‘number of units shipped to’ retailers or distributors. Given supply shares reflect the demand in the market, the producers of the report have used it to reflect the sales in the market.

Another important fact to note is that the numbers actually mean the number of units shipped by OEMs to authorized distributors or retailers. This report does not include the devices sold in the ‘grey market’. There are also instances where devices are brought down by individuals traveling from abroad and the report does not track the numbers. Given these facts, please note that the actual market share numbers will be higher than what is shown in the charts.

Key facts from the report

1- Compared to Q4-2013 (0.8 Million), ‘mobile handsets’ sales (shipments) in Sri Lanka has seen a drop of around 5% in Q1-2014 (0.76 Million).

2- Drop in the sales of ‘feature phones’ (0.68 Million in Q4-2013 and 0.64 Million in Q1-2014) contributed to this overall drop in sales. Smartphone sales (shipments) remained unchanged.

3- Total of 0.12 Million smartphones were sold (shipped) in Q1-2014, which is around 15% of the total mobile phone sales of the quarter.

4- With 26.2% of the market share, Nokia remains as the leading mobile phone vendor in Q1-2014. Compared to 23.8% market share in Q4-2013, Nokia’s mobile handset market share has seen an increase in Q1-2014. We have clearly seen Nokia promoting the Lumia range heavily in Sri Lanka through dealers and service providers in the past few months.

5- Micromax has retained the 2nd place in among leading mobile phone vendors in Sri Lanka with 18.3% of market share. Micromax had 21.4% market share in Q4-2013.

6- With 11.4% of market share, E-tel beat Samsung to claim the 3rd spot in ‘mobile phone’ market share. Samsung occupied the 3rd spot in Q4-2013 with 12% market share. Also notable is that Samsung had the 2nd spot back in Q3-2013.

7- Samsung remains as the leader in ‘smartphone’ segment with 27.7% market share in Q1-2014, which is an increase compared to Q4-2013. Back in Q4-2013 Samsung’s market share in the smartphone segment was 21.2%.

8- Huawei retained the 2nd spot in the smartphone segment with 18.9% market share, while E-Tel took the 3rd position with 13.9% market share. Back in Q4-2013 Huawei and E-tel had 19.6% and 16.1% market shares, respectively. A notable fact is that for the year 2103, Micromax maintained the overall 3rd place in smartphone sales. But for the last 2 consecutive quarters E-Tel has overtaken the sales of Micromax in that department.

Source: CMR India

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Yes, you read the title correctly. For the first time in history, global smartphone market has shipped over one billion units in a single year. International Data Corporation in their Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report states that vendors shipped a total of 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide. That is a staggering 38.4% increase  from the 725.3 million units in 2012.

Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC’s Mobile Phone team says ”The sheer volume and strong growth attest to the smartphone’s continued popularity in 2013. Total smartphone shipments reached 494.4 million units worldwide in 2011, and doubling that volume in just two years demonstrates strong end-user demand and vendor strategies to highlight smartphones.”

The premier vendors have, as anticipated earlier have performed well during the last year. Samsung ended the quarter the same way it began the year: as the clear leader in worldwide smartphone shipments. Apple posted record shipment volume during the last quarter of 2013, driven primarily by the addition of multiple countries offering the iPhone 5S and 5C, and sustained demand from its initial markets that saw these models launch at the end of 3Q13. Huawei maintained its number three position worldwide, attained the highest year-on-year increase among the leading vendors. Lenovo, despite having no presence in North America nor Western Europe, finished the quarter in the number four position. LG though, finished just behind Lenovo and edged out ZTE for the number five position, with just five million units separating the two companies.

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 (Units in Millions)

Top Five Smartphone Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2013 (Units in Millions)
Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, January 27, 2014

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company.

Source : Business Wire

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2013 was the most intense year in the tablet war yet. Amazon and Google kept their prices low, Apple and Samsung responded accordingly, and Microsoft showed it was here to stay. Here’s our take on what happened this year and what it all means.

There are, naturally, other companies that build and sell tablets. Not only did 2013 remind us that the tablet market is large enough for many small players to fight it out, but even retailers designed and sold their own tablets in the hopes to make a quick buck. The bigger battle, however, is taking place between the big five, as each are putting in more and more resources to win over consumers.

Tablet buyers thus end up supporting Apple’s iOS ecosystem, the Android ecosystem (in its many variations), or Microsoft’s Windows 8 ecosystem. 2013 showed us that even those who want to pick one platform and stick with it, end up using more than just one at home, at work, and on the go.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the bigger picture of what each company did, and tried to do, this year.

Apple

186540338 730x486 How the tablet market evolved in 2013: Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft battle on

In October, Apple introduced the fifth-generation iPad, called the iPad Air, and asecond-generation iPad Mini that comes with a Retina Display. The iPad Air went on sale on November 1, while the second generation iPad Mini was released on November 12.

Apple kept its pricing structure the same for the iPad and actually increased it for the iPad mini. The company showed once again that it had no problems with being beaten on price by the competition: it was still perfectly happy with losing share in exchange for keeping its profit margins.

This is a strategy Apple has employed for most of its products, with mixed results. That tablet market is so massive, however, that trying to figure out whether the company is doing the smart thing right now is frankly impossible. While the latest iPad sales numbers aren’t available yet, we do know the demand is there.

Google

Having had decent success with the original Nexus 7 and the 3G-refreshed Nexus 7 last year, in July Google announced the 2013 model of the Nexus 7. An LTE variant was also unveiled and arrived in September.

Curiously, the Nexus 10 was not refreshed this year, although rumors suggested that it would be. It’s still not clear how much the company wants to emphasize the larger tablet offering. Google was, however, very eager in pushing new Android releases, announcing both 4.3 Jelly Bean (along with the Nexus 7) and 4.4 KitKat (along with the Nexus 5) this year.

Again we don’t have proper sales numbers yet, but the Nexus line seems to be gaining a lot of attention. Google showed in 2013 that it would do everything it could to ensure Android would become as popular on tablets as it already is on smartphones.

Samsung

170949232 730x401 How the tablet market evolved in 2013: Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft battle on

While Google has been pushing its Nexus brand hard, it’s still no match for Samsung, based on market share at least. The South Korean company continued to dominate Android tablets, and kept its second place position in the tablet market overall.

In April, Samsung revealed the 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3. In June, it followed up with 8-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablets as well as the 10.1-inch ATIV Tab 3running Windows 8.

In September, it also revealed the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition. While Samsung has been trying to simplify its tablet line, it is still difficult to keep track of, given the overlapping smartphone, phablet, tablet, and laptop brands.

Amazon

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 520x294 How the tablet market evolved in 2013: Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft battle on

Speaking of brands, Amazon continued onwards with its Kindle and Kindle Fire approach. In September 2013, the company launched 7-inch and 8.9-inch versions of the Kindle Fire HDX.

The same month, Amazon also announced the second-generation Kindle Paperwhite. In October 2013, the company refreshed the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD with a new case and price reduction.

Amazon is starting to suffer the same problem as Samsung: offering just a few too many models of its tablets, leading to consumer confusion. Yet as is typical with the retailer, it will simply continue to slash prices and replace older models as it sees fit, sharing absolutely nothing regarding sales figures.

Microsoft

181681798 730x486 How the tablet market evolved in 2013: Google, Apple, Samsung, Amazon, and Microsoft battle on

Amazon’s Seattle rival may have been pushing tablets for ages, but the Surface line is still very much in its infancy. The company unveiled its Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 refresh in September.

Microsoft continued to push its vision of a one-size-fits-all approach in the tablet space. Reviews were mixed for both devices, although there was certainly a notable improvement observed all across the board.

Microsoft naturally has a long way to go, especially on the software side. Talk ofmerging operating systems and app stores suggests there’s a very long-term play in the works. Throw in the acquisition of Nokia, and it’s obvious that Windows will play a major role on tablets.

Final thoughts

In 2013, prices didn’t drop as much as they did in 2012. By and large, tablet makers were more than happy to refresh their offerings without trying to significantly undercut each other further than they already have.

Instead, they continued to invest in their respective ecosystems. Each of the big five has its own devices and accompanying services, and each are still trying to figure out how to best one-up each other: nobody’s strategy has been set in stone.

Tablets are expected to outship mobile PCs this year, and it won’t be long till they outsell all other types of computers too. They’re simply devices that offer as much as, if not more than, traditional PCs do for most people, at much lower prices.

While in 2012 it appeared that the battle couldn’t last, 2013 showed that none of the five are going to go down easy. Even though in terms of market share,Android seems to have won, 2013 wasn’t the year when company winners and losers were decided.

Image credits: Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSpencer Platt/Getty ImagesJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesWILL OLIVER/AFP/Getty Images; Amazon; Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Source: TheNextWeb

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Telecomasia.net: Growing mobile usage is powering rises in telephone connections in Sri Lanka, which grew 8.4% to 23.8 million overall in 2012.
A recent report by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka found that mobile connections grew 10.9% during the year compared to a 6.1% rise in fixed line connections, though the latter figure is up from 5% growth in 2011.
The bank’s report claims mobile is posting higher growth due to increased competition between mobile operators through promotional schemes, value added services with local and international services, and competitive pricing, coupled with the ease of obtaining services, internal labour mobility and increased incomes.
Cellular penetration in the country is now 100%, up from 87.8% in 2011.
Internet penetration, on the other hand, is growing slower and reached only 6.7% in 2012 from 4% in 2011. However, there was a high growth of 66% in penetration level compared to previous year. Internet penetration through mobile broadband connections is growing at a faster pace at 99.3% in 2012.
The report noted that higher growth can be expected for 2013 as mobile operators are expanding 3G service coverage and competition is strong among internet service providers.
The Government’s Nenasala Centres, which were established by the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) to enhance accessibility across the country, now number 694, which are bringing connectivity to rural communities.

Source: DailyFT