Article - Logjam of new high profile devices due in May-June could hurt BB and others
From BGR (yea I know)
Apple, Samsung smartphone launches may steamroll contenders in 2013 | BGR
Various factors have conspired to create a unique U.S. launch cluster for the most high-profile smartphones of the year. Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy S IV now looks to be debuting in America in May after a European roll-out in April. Mixed response to iPhone 5 combined with Android’s market share surge in emerging markets may push Apple (AAPL) into launching one or two new iPhones in June. Delays with U.S. operator testing has pushed the first new QWERTY BlackBerry into May or June as well. The May/June time frame is a popular period to launch new phones, but this mega-cluster is definitely not what vendors would have preferred to have happen. BlackBerry (BBRY) originally planned to launch the Q10, its most important new model, in early 2013 in the United States and Apple has chosen late autumn for its recent iPhone launches. Much to the dismay of several smartphone contenders, these scheduling changes have enormous implications for the industry.
According to Qualcomm (QCOM), device sales growth in the U.S. smartphone market slowed down to just 3 million units between 2011 and 2012. The U.S. smartphone subscriber base has nearly stopped expanding and the pool of new buyers has shriveled to nearly zero. This spring will be a tough time to launch a new flagship phone even without the heightened competition created by scheduling so many heavy hitters within few weeks of each other.
This is a set-up for guaranteed flame-outs in a crowded field. AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) must allocate limited marketing resources to between four and five major models in early summer. A few of them will end up as runts of the litter.
HTC (2498) is trying to recover from a disastrous 2012 and its operating margin has slumped to just 1%. The beleaguered Taiwanese vendor now faces the prospect of launching the flagship M7 model in March, just two to three months before the epic Samsung-Apple-BlackBerry pile-up.
In a Citigroup note picked up by Focus Taiwan, the firm says component shortages have pushed first-quarter M7 shipments from planned 3 million units down to just 500,000. If this is the case, HTC will be wrestling with chronic M7 shortages in March and April — and then the company faces the prospect of ramping up production just when three new mega-phones debut in the U.S.
Naturally, the spring launch sequence also puts Nokia (NOK) in a very tough position.
Nokia has been leaning heavily on AT&T for its Lumia sales, as Verizon and T-Mobile support for Windows Phones has been tepid at best. AT&T is likely to give strong support to new HTC, Samsung, Apple and BlackBerry models in the April-June quarter. It is not clear just how much gas will be left in the tank to support the Lumia flagship model that Nokia is likely prepping for June or July.
The early summer smartphone pile-up may push the new high-end Lumia debut into August or September, which would mean that the Lumia 920 would have to carry Nokia’s spring quarter in America. The likelihood of American consumers sustaining an interest in this model is low. This is not a good time for the Windows Phone camp to lose momentum; particularly now that the Surface Pro is getting reviews ranging from dim to dismal.
Windows Phones appeal largely to the same group of consumers as BlackBerry devices. There may simply not be room for both in American consumer market, particularly if Apple opts to roll out a cheaper iPhone this spring.
The big question mark for the industry remains the pricing of a possible budget iPhone. Some observers believe Apple is preparing to launch just another high-end iPhone around June to counter Samsung’s rampant attacks, this time with a 4.8-inch screen. Some believe a budget iPhone will be rolled out simultaneously, possibly with a plastic chassis and a cheaper display assembly.
If Apple chooses to launch a budget iPhone with a full retail price around $350, operators would obviously start offering it as a free-on-contract model. The new high-end iPhone is likely to have a $650-700 retail price and a $200 contract price for the base model. How much damage a $0 iPhone with a new design would do to rival vendors is a very good question. Apple is currently selling a two-year old model at a lower price point, but U.S. consumers have not gone hog-wild; the full-priced iPhone 5 likely grabbed at least 85% of American iPhone sales in the most recent quarter according to estimates. Would a brand new, distinct iPhone budget line force a radical shift the U.S. smartphone market?
Right now it looks like there may be a six-week stretch between May and June that could be one of the most important periods in the U.S. mobile phone industry. It might mark a turning point in the Apple-Samsung rivalry, but it could also deliver devastating blows to HTC, BlackBerry or Nokia.
- CrackBerry Genius
02-09-13, 08:34 PM #5
- 1,587 Posts
THIS AINT NOTHING NEW BB been here for YEARS.We aint running we just have to have a good old fisticuffs well used to before lil guys starting bringing guns.Ah the old days when you used to go home after fights now its hospitals anyway.
There's more pressure on those guys they are so called ''innovators'' ''trendsetters'' to do something new game changing.Specs aint gonna save the day when instagram and facebook in their current device open the same time as a octocore 1.8ghz or whatever spec.Judging by HTC M7 leaks SO FAR they are relying on specs again.Which you can get from multiple OEMS now for cheap as well.Anyway who knows we'll look forward to the ''fight''.BB was'nt betting on gaining huge amount of market share its a long process for BB.We dont have to worry about expectations its up to them to deliver no pressure on BB.
- 02-09-13, 08:59 PM #7
- 02-09-13, 09:13 PM #8
The phone biz looks to be going down the "spec war" path that we recently saw in the desktop computer environment. I'm keeping my minimum specs for a new phone pretty simple. Does it run BB10? Can I bridge to my PlayBook?
- CrackBerry Abuser
02-09-13, 10:14 PM #10
- 267 Posts
With all these devices coming out, I would say that blackberry has a better chance. What new thing do these devices bring to the table. A bigger screen? The new galaxy looks to big to fit in a pocket. Most normal people (people who aren't rabid fanboys of a phone) update their phones when their contract is up. Lets look at the "new" things that the others are bringing to the table. Apple is just going cheaper and smaller, and as we saw with the ipad mini, it didn't work for them. Galaxy is going with a bigger screen, but the same android os. All my friends who have an android don't even know what os they have. All they know is that they have a phone that gets viruses. We crackberry fans have the chance to show these "normal" people what BB has done. Just show them the phone, tell the it has a whole new OS, doesn't get viruses, and tell them the apps that it has. BB is bringing something new to the table. BB might win this year.
**Gets off of soapbox now.
- 02-09-13, 11:19 PM #12
Also, the iPad Mini seemed to have done decently well, no?
I do agree with your latent point: word of mouth will be the biggest boost for BB10.
- CrackBerry Abuser
02-09-13, 11:47 PM #13
- 267 Posts
With the whole ipad mini, I could have worded it better. Because of the ipad mini and the new ipad, sales and profit off of it were down from the ipad 3 sales. From 22mil to 14mil according to forbes. Its also why their 4th qurater stock prices droped 10%. And android does get viruses. There was one in december that would shoot out a **** load of text messages everyday, then their was teh Loozfon and FinFisher viruses. It just isn't advertised for the same reason that apple doesn't like to report that it doesn't get them.
- 02-09-13, 11:54 PM #14
Still, nothing that common sense shouldn't be able to avoid.
And i do agree that the Mini might have cannibalized iPad sales, but I think it did well overall.
- 02-10-13, 09:09 AM #15
I didn't give up my s2 for the iphone 4 or iphone 5. Not interested at all in android or Nokia or Windows. Well the time has come, it's between BB 10 and iphone 6. It does not count as a win for iphone 6 even if I get it. It's a lose for BB10. It better not disappoint, I do not like iphone.
- 02-10-13, 10:06 AM #17
The new Z10 is a very good phone that I believe will be able to do well in the US market. I have been showing my friends who own iPhones and Samsung Galaxys my Z10 and it's unique features and they were very impressed. Many of them initially did not believe that it was a BB when they saw the home screen. Not all of them plan to switch, but for many of them it has changed their negative perception of RIM/Blackberry and they do see it as a great phone.
- 02-10-13, 10:10 AM #18This is a set-up for guaranteed flame-outs in a crowded field. AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) must allocate limited marketing resources to between four and five major models in early summer. A few of them will end up as runts of the litter.
- CrackBerry Genius
02-10-13, 06:09 PM #19
- 2,949 Posts
Getting back to the actual article, for something from BGR, I thought that it was actually well-written and brought up a legitimate concern for hardware makers. However, I think this will be beneficial to BlackBerry, as the US carriers are going to see this as a problem and try to push out the Z10 (and hopefully the Q10) as quickly as possible. Vzinside has shown us that Verizon's essentially done testing the Z10 so I'm confident that we'll see the other carriers push for earlier releases as well (as evidenced by T-Mo's recent announcement to try to get it out by mid-March).
I do, however, disagree with their assessment that the number of new smartphone buyers is going to continue to shrink. Non-traditional tech users (in the US) are being persuaded to get smartphones or face possible ridicule from their peers. This won't affect everyone but I am seeing a lot of elderly people, children, people that work in the service industries, and basically everyone in addition to the traditional corporate power user wielding some sort of smartphone. Within the next 5 years I don't think there will be much of a market for dumb phones in North America as carriers continue to push and offer incentives for smartphone purchases.
- CrackBerry Master
02-10-13, 08:50 PM #20
- 1,272 Posts
Thorsten Heins had it right 8 months ago. It's all about user experience and embracing the true potential of mobile computing. Samsung could bring out a 8 core processor and a 5 inch screen. It doesn't matter. It's the same old from the same old. They haven't changed the mobile experience one wit. QNX software has the potential of revolutionizing the mobile industry in the area of M2M communications. The screen share on BB10 is just a taste of what is to come. The mobile world is changing and so are the players.
- 02-11-13, 05:59 AM #22
- 02-11-13, 06:15 AM #23
Re: Article - Logjam of new high profile devices due in May-June could hurt BB and others
- CrackBerry Master
02-11-13, 09:01 AM #25
- 1,272 Posts
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