smartphone

Sony looking to scale back mobile operations

Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony indicated it may be ready to throw in the towel on mobile handsets. In review of its overall corporate strategy, Sony is trying to convince investors it is focused on profitability and “Return of Equity” and has accordingly classified its business units according to how much it thinks they will contribute to this aim.

Alibaba buys $590m stake in Meizu to boost Aliyun mobile OS

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced it is investing $590 million to grab a minority stake in Chinese smartphone maker Meizu with the apparent aim of giving a boost to Aliyun OS – its own smartphone OS derived from Android that has so far failed to gain significant traction.

Global smartphone market Q4 2014 – Apple and Samsung share top spot

While opinion about unpublished numbers, such as Samsung’s, will always be divided among analysts, it’s clear that Apple’s stellar Q4 has brought its shipment numbers very close to Samsung’s. This isn’t a total surprise as Q4 is always Apple’s blow-out quarter for the iPhone, but considering Samsung operates across all price tiers, while Apple is premium-only, it’s still quite an achievement.

China growth drives record sales of 74.5 million Apple iPhones in Q4 2014

Premium device maker Apple was generously rewarded for its first interesting product in years with record sales of its iPhone smartphone. Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones on the final quarter of 2014 – generally by far its strongest quarter – which represented a massive 46% increase on the same quarter a year ago.

Huawei reveals 45% smartphone shipment growth in 2014

Chinese telco giant Huawei, perhaps conscious of rival Ericsson announcing its quarterlies today, has decided to unveil the 2014 performance of its Consumer Business Group, which is almost entirely comprised of mobile handsets. While total device shipments only increased by 8% over the previous year to 138 million units, smartphone shipments jumped by 45% to 75 million units.

Microsoft reports record smartphone shipments, but mainly cheaper ones

Software giant Microsoft announced Lumia shipments of 10.5 million units in Q4 2014, which it claimed was an all-time high, although it’s not clear if this includes the Nokia era. These gains are being made at the expense of average selling price, however, with gains mostly coming from the cheaper versions.

Xiaomi launches new flagship smartphones, Apple comparisons abound

Surging Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi has unveiled a couple of new flagship smartphones – the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro. While the Note branding seems more geared towards competing with Samsung’s Galaxy Note family, the main comparisons have been made with the Apple iPhone 6 Plus.

Smartphone OS share: Apple iPhone gets US boost

Smartphone sales data covering the three months to the end of November 2014 from Kantar show the iPhone’s iOS platform gained share in nearly all regions covered. Britain and Australia experienced especially strong iPhone growth, with Japan continuing to be the only market tracked where iPhone share is declining.

TCL confirms acquisition, will create a new Palm

China-based TCL Communication, the holding company of affordable mobile device vendor Alcatel OneTouch, has confirmed recent reports it has snapped up the Palm brand from HP. TCL said it is to create a new US-based company, Palm Inc., which will take ownership of the brand and development of mobile devices.

Motorola set to return to China

Motorola has announced it is to return to China after being absent from the market since 2013 when it became a Google-owned company. This follows Chinese tech giant Lenovo’s October acquisition of the US-based mobile vendor.

Acer, Asus, LG, Lenovo, ZTE all launch smartphones at CES 2015

Acer, Asus, LG, Lenovo and ZTE have all announced new mid- and lower-end smartphones. This flurry of new mobile devices comes just ahead of the CES event commencing in Las Vegas later today, and each of the Far Eastern device makers seemed keen to ensure their new mobiles were getting noticed early.

Palm brand apparently acquired by TCL Alcatel for 2015 US smartphone push

Having already disposed of the majority of its abortive Palm acquisition, HP has now handed over the brand. While there has been no formal announcement from either party, all the evidence points towards the Palm brand having been snapped up by TCL Alcatel, presumably to badge a range of smartphones.

Kodak to launch branded smartphone and tablet range

Imaging company Kodak is to launch a branded smartphone and tablet range in a partnership with UK-based mobile device manufacturer Bullitt Group. The devices, which will run on the Android platform, will come pre-loaded with bespoke image capture, management and sharing features.

BlackBerry goes full circle with Classic smartphone launch

Humbled former smartphone giant BlackBerry has reverted back to a tried and tested design in a bid to restore some of its shattered smartphone market share. The BlackBerry Classic is positioned as the heir to relatively popular designs such as the Bold 9900.

Yota and Puzzlephone reveal novelty smartphones

Russian outfit Yota Devices has launched the second version of its dual-screen smartphone, while Finnish startup Circular Devices has served up a modular smartphone. Both devices have some strong differentiators but are unlikely to progress beyond niche status.

Karbonn Mobile Sparkle V launches in the UK, £99 Black Friday deal

Indian affordable smartphone maker Karbonn Mobile has announced it is launching in the UK with its Sparkle V on Friday exclusively via Amazon. As a Black Friday special offer, the device will be available for £99 for one day only, after which it will be available at £129.