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For all of 2014, Android's record shipments helped propel the entire smartphone market to a record year, growing 30 percent to 1.3 billion units shipped worldwide. According to Strategy Analytics, "emerging markets, such as China and Indonesia, drove the industry's growth last year and will continue to do so through 2015."It's in those markets that Samsung faces a significant challenge from its Android competitors, including China's surging Xiaomi and other up-and-comers riding the success of low-priced smartphones.
Strategy Analytics also noted that Microsoft's Windows Phone platform was able to nab 3 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, While that still meant nearly 39 million worldwide shipments, Strategy Analytics director Woody Oh p phone cases said that Microsoft is struggling from having too few "major hardware partners to build its phones." The company also has a poor retail presence in China, Oh said, That gave Google's mobile operating system 81 percent of the worldwide market in 2014, compared with 15 percent for Apple's iOS..
The news comes at a time of great upheaval for the UK's mobile and TV market, with BT announcing its intention to buy EE -- a deal that would see BT laying claim to a massive mobile network, as well as TV, phone and broadband services. Meanwhile Three owner Hutchison Whampoa has revealed plans to buy O2 for Â£10.25 billion. "Through our partnership with Telefonica UK," Sky's Group Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said, "we can build on our expertise in content, innovation and service to launch a range of exciting new services and exploit the opportunities for growth in the fast-changing mobile sector."The broadcaster plans to start offering customers a range of mobile voice and data services. When its network launches, Sky will be relying on hardware from Telefonica, which is a Spanish company that -- for now at least -- still owns O2. Telefonica will offer Sky access to its 2G, 3G and 4G services.
Increasingly it seems that service providers in the UK are looking for bundled offerings, with shoppers tying themselves into p phone cases deals that see their broadband, TV and mobile services all offered by the same company, "Sky was forced down this route," said Paolo Pescatore, industry observer at CCS Insight, "It can't afford to be left behind in the multi-play market, This deal with O2 underlines the importance of offering a multi-play package, "With BT's plans to launch a consumer mobile offering and the acquisition of EE," Pescatore said, "As well as Vodafone's plans to offer broadband and TV, Sky had no choice but to launch its own mobile offer, For now, Sky is the undisputed leader in triple play services..
"Without mobile, it was vulnerable in the future. However, it is surprising that the first Sky mobile service will not be offered sooner than 2016."The strategy of offering landline, TV, broadband and mobile together has been dubbed "quad-play", and is becoming a major trend, but one analyst warns of the potential for shopper confusion. "This is further proof of the UK's inevitable shift towards 'quad-play' services," Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms analyst at Broadbandchoices said. "But it remains to be seen how quickly customers will adopt these new bundles -- at the moment, just understanding the new mobile world order is going to be confusing enough for customers with Sky teaming up with Telefonica, Telefonica selling O2 to Three and BT buying EE outright."One UK network that currently lacks any allies in the new mobile power-shift is Vodafone. "For Vodafone, the deal intensifies competition as it will come up against another quad-play provider," Kester Mann, analyst at CCS Insight told CNET. "It still has a relationship with Sky (Sky Sports on 4G, Now TV), but this is another MVNO deal it has missed out on."Pescatore believes Vodafone could still ally with Sky, saying, "We still believe that Sky is a takeover target for Vodafone, given the mobile operator's need to have a strong broadband and pay TV offering."Hot on the heels of news that rival BT is planning to buy EE, Sky says it's going to add mobile phone service to its roster.
It's too early to tell how the company's return to hardware with the N1 tablet is going, but one p phone cases expert believes the tablet is "just a first step" in what is "an exciting time for Nokia" as it transforms its business, Finnish company Nokia has long been best known for its phones, but it also produces network equipment and mapping data, which is licensed to other companies under the Here brand, Having sold the part of the business that makes phones to Microsoft last April, it's those other parts of the business that continue, reporting their annual financial results today..
The Nokia Networks unit did well on the back of improved sales in North America, particularly thanks to higher-margin 4G equipment. And it was a strong year for Here, Nokia's navigation and mapping business. This division saw a 15 percent growth in net sales year-on-year, due to increased sales in the automotive space and licensing arrangements with Microsoft. Nokia conceded this was offset by declines in the personal navigation device market -- a category of products that has seen sales fall across the board. But Here is in a good position: it's both a B2B proposition, licensing its data to other companies, and a customer-facing proposition, including an Android app.
As part of the device and services sale, Microsoft has the right to use the Nokia brand on phones like the super-cheap Nokia p phone cases 215 , although it has now phased out the Nokia name for its Lumia smartphones, In the meantime Nokia itself has turned to tablets with the affordable Nokia N1 Android tablet , manufactured in China, Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri called out the N1 for special attention in the results release, saying the early reception for the device had been "remarkably favourable" and showed "the ongoing power of the Nokia brand and the long-term potential of [Nokia's] brand licensing business", However, industry analyst Ian Fogg of IHS points out that the N1 has only been on sale a few short weeks, so it's too early to know how the tablet is performing..