MarketLine Blog

Posts about Telecom

Xiaomi, not the Apple of China

MarketLine

2014 was an important year for Xiaomi, it saw the company become the world’s most valuable technology start-up, triple its phone sales, become the world’s fourth largest smartphone seller, more than doubling its revenue, and saw it expand to a number of new markets including India, the world’s third largest smartphone market. What makes the company’s performance all the more remarkable is that it has achieved this in less than five years of existence, and without a presence in any Western markets. A number of factors have contributed to this… Read more

The open source and graph database revolutions

MarketLine

The Oracle relational database is the world’s most popular enterprise database software and makes up a substantial part of the company’s software and cloud revenue segment. The revenues for this segment in the financial year ended June 2014 were $29.2bn. Improving on the relational database format is therefore likely to create high levels of income for those companies able to develop and distribute such a product. Graph databases have the potential to disrupt the dominance of relational databases. Large organizations are increasingly concerned with the ways in which the information… Read more

Nokia on Heaven’s door? Microsoft ditches the Nokia brand in favour of Lumia

MarketLine

Following the $7bn acquisition of Nokia’s device business in September 2013, Microsoft has officially begun to phase out the once ubiquitous phone brand. Microsoft has begun the withdrawal in France, where the Nokia Lumia social media accounts have announced they will become Microsoft Lumia in due course. This is not a sudden arrest in the brand however; Microsoft has been gradually phasing out the Nokia brand on devices and apps, and redirecting traffic from websites to Microsoft Mobile. The Nokia brand was still being used on products which launched only… Read more

What do Google and Apple’s latest devices tell us about the tablet market?

MarketLine

It has been a big week for new tablet releases, with both Google Inc. (Google) and Apple Inc. (Apple) revealing new devices that could become market leaders. Notably, Google announced the Nexus 9, an 8.9-inch tablet manufactured in partnership with HTC, alongside a new phablet, the Nexus 6, manufactured by the previously Google-owned Motorola on October 5, 2014. A day later, Apple took to the stage to announce the iPad Air 2, its latest flagship tablet, as well as the iPad mini 3, an update to its range of smaller,… Read more

Did Phones 4U fail to pick up the signals?

MarketLine

On 15 September 2014, Phones 4u went into administration. The United Kingdom-based mobile phone retailer had more than 700 high street outlets and a workforce of nearly 5,600. However, when network operator EE announced that it was not going to extend a supply contract with the company, its business model became unworkable. Phones 4u started life as a wholesaler of cellphone handsets called Midland Mobile Phones, founded by entrpreneur John Caudwell in 1987. The Caudwell Group entered the cellphone retail market in 1996 under the Phones 4u banner. Phones 4u… Read more

Apple Watch – Leapfrogging competitors?

MarketLine

Yesterday, Apple took to the stage to reveal two new iPhone models – the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – and its own smart watch – dubbed the Apple Watch. Both new iPhone models represent an attempt to take on competitor devices with larger screens, referred to as “phablets” – such as Samsung’s Galaxy Note range – which are gaining traction in the smartphone market. The Apple watch, meanwhile, represents a movement into the burgeoning wearable technology industry, in typical Apple style. The Apple Watch shares much in common… Read more

Samsung aiming to take bite out of Apple’s tablet dominance

MarketLine

With the launch of its Galaxy Tab S, Samsung has signaled its intent to take on Apple head-on in the premium tablet. Priced at the same level as Apple’s flagship iPad Air the Galaxy Tab S could be the Korean company’s last attempt to compete with Apple at the higher end of the tablet market. If rumours are to be believed, Samsung may exit the high-end tablet market if the Galaxy tab S fails to make significant inroads against the iPad. Although Samsung has been able to compete effectively in… Read more

BlackBerry: clinging onto consumers through BBM

MarketLine

BlackBerry’s dire financial results have dominated headlines over the past year, leading to speculation about its future as a business. BlackBerry 10, its latest operating system, has failed to recapture the consumer market, and recent rumors of the company exiting the hardware market, have been circulating. Although it appears that BlackBerry has lost the consumer hardware battle to Apple and Google, there remains one artifact of its original popularity: BBM. As discussed in the MarketLine Case Study, BlackBerry Limited: Does it have a future in the consumer market?, BlackBerry is… Read more

Four major mobile networks in the UK put to the test

MarketLine

RootMetrics, a mobile coverage mapping analytics company has released its report on the UK’s mobile network performance. All four major networks in the UK, Vodafone, O2, Three, and EE were all included in the report. EE was the clear winner overall, performing better than all other networks in each category measured, whilst Vodafone ended in last place overall and also in each individual category apart from one. The company tests three main factors: mobile internet testing, call testing, and text testing. The mobile internet testing was based on performance, where… Read more

Tim Cook needs to take a bite into Apple’s innovative core

MarketLine

Following his death in October 2011, Steve Jobs was always going to be a tough act to follow. He was named CEO of the decade by Fortune Magazine in 2009 and turned a loss making company into the world’s most valuable one. The increasing sales revenue the new CEO, Tim Cook, has managed in a more competitive market, saturated with similar products, is therefore very impressive. Selling 150m iPhones in 2013, compared to 72m in 2011 is no mean feat, either operationally or in terms of obtaining the sales. However,… Read more

giffgaff: Replacing traditional telecoms business model with co-created products and services approach

MarketLine

Despite declining revenues and increasing saturation of the overall UK telecoms market, mobile retail operations revenue increased in 2012, according to the independent regulator and competition authority – Ofcom. Although the rate of growth of the number of mobile subscribers decelerated significantly, there are still business opportunities to take advantage of, especially for mobile virtual network operators, who incur much lower costs and enjoy higher profit margins than traditional operators. giffgaff is a Telefonica-owned, SIM-only, pay-as-you-go mobile virtual network operator active in the UK. The company rents its mobile network… Read more

Are smart watches a smart move for Samsung and Sony?

MarketLine

Now that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Samsung) has officially unveiled its Galaxy Gear smart watch at IFA 2013, and with new offerings from other major manufacturers, such as Sony Corporation (Sony), also set to hit shelves within the next couple of months, it appears that wearable technology is about to step into the limelight. Whether the smart watch will enable such tech players to genuinely diversify their product offering, however, remains to be seen. Crucially, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is only compatible with its own-branded line of smartphones and tablets, and… Read more

Nokia sold to Microsoft: admission of defeat against Samsung and Apple in the Smartphone race, and Microsoft makes a precarious gambit

MarketLine

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has agreed to sell its mobile handset arm to Microsoft in a deal worth EUR 5.4bn ($7bn). The deal represents the final hurrah of both the diminished Nokia, crestfallen by the advance of Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market, and current Windows CEO Steve Ballmer, due to step down in 2014. Over 32,000 staff will transfer from Nokia to Microsoft, with the deal expected to be completed in 2014. For Microsoft, their monopolistic control over the PC market has been compromised by the advent… Read more

Blackberry announces formation of Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives

MarketLine

BlackBerry Limited, formerly Research In Motion (RIM) is a global mobile communications company. BlackBerry’s worldwide smartphone market share has been in decline since early 2009 according to research by International Data Corporation (IDC). The company, which was worth around $84bn in 2008, is worth less than $5bn now. The latest figures by IDC, which looked at the shipments of smartphone operating systems (OS) in the second quarter of 2013, found BlackBerry’s sales were still losing ground. Android and Windows Phone OS grew by 73.5% and 77.6%, respectively, compared to the… Read more

EE launched 4G in the UK

MarketLine

At the end of October 2012, EE launched its 4G services in the UK, kicking off the technology’s implementation in the UK, the fourth largest mobile broadband industry in the world. Since then, the company has expanded its coverage to over 50 cities nationwide. This blog will evaluate the case for 4G services in the UK, how effective EE’s rollout of the service has been, and future challenges posed by the company’s rivals. There are two main variations of current technology that can be classed as 4G: Long Term Evolution… Read more

ARM Exploiting IP in a Growing End-Market

MarketLine

ARM Ltd is a designer of low-power microprocessors, which generates revenue by licensing its intellectual property to semiconductor manufacturers. It has enjoyed ten years of unbroken profitability, more than quadrupling its revenues during the same period. This case study shows how providing a solution to a technological problem, and consistently executing a simple but effective business model, has brought the company success. The ARM business model is based on intellectual property. The company designs the core architecture of the digital processors that form the heart of many contemporary electronic products…. Read more

What does the Ofcom 4G Auction Mean for UK Consumers?

MarketLine

Ofcom today revealed the results of the UK 4G mobile auction, announcing which providers have won access to the required mobile spectrum bands. The result of the auction is that operators Everything Everywhere Ltd (EE), Hutchison 3G UK Ltd (3), Niche Spectrum Ventures Ltd (a subsidiary of BT Group plc), Telefónica UK Ltd (O2) and Vodafone Ltd have all won blocks of the spectrum on offer, with Vodafone bidding the most to win five blocks of spectrum. Notably, this announcement comes six months after Ofcom gave EE, formerly known as… Read more

Texas Instruments Case Study: National Semiconductor is TI’s Latest Strategic Acquisition

MarketLine

In September 2011, Texas Instruments (TI) acquired National Semiconductor (NatSemi), a leading manufacturer of analog semiconductors. The deal significantly increases TI’s share of the buoyant and highly profitable analog market. It is also the latest in a series of acquisitions and divestments that over the course of more than a decade have helped transform TI from a diversified technology company into one highly focused on semiconductor manufacturing. TI has been using acquisitions and divestments to focus on its core competence of semiconductor device manufacturing. In 2011, TI acquired NatSemi, a… Read more