Архив метки: CDMA

AT&T Going Big With Lumia 900 Advertising, Could Spend As Much as $150 Million

lumia-900

Well, after months of breathless waiting (and a Nicki Minaj concert in Times Square), Nokia’s Lumia 900 is finally sitting pretty on store shelves. If you haven’t heard about AT&T’s newest handset yet, you soon will: AdAge reports that the nation’s second largest wireless carrier will be spending up to $150 million to promote the Lumia 900 over the coming months.

It seems like a hefty sum to throw behind a Windows Phone of all things, and it’s reportedly even more than the carrier was thought to have spent on pushing the iPhone.

AT&T is certainly no slouch when it comes to advertising budgets — according to a report released by advertising research firm Kantar Media last year, AT&T spent a total of $451.83 million on wireless advertising in Q1 2011, with just shy of $101 million of it devoted to iPhone advertising. Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless (who at the time had just released the CDMA iPhone 4) spent a comparatively small $227 million on wireless advertising, only $34.5 million of which was iPhone specific.

That AT&T is reportedly spending more on the Lumia 900′s ad budget than they did when their biggest rival began selling a ridiculously popular phone is rather telling. While the iPhone still accounts for a considerable majority of AT&T’s customers, nearly everyone is getting in on that act. Verizon aside, there’s Sprint, C Spire Wireless, and a whole host of regional providers itching to launch the iPhone 4 and 4S within the next few weeks. The edge AT&T enjoyed simply because they were special friends with Apple is gone, and now they have to help groom another device to capture people’s imaginations (and wallets).

For what it’s worth, the Lumia 900 may well be the right Windows Phone at the right time with the right price. As AdAge’s Kunal Surur points out, Verizon’s customer base is largely made up of Android customers, thanks in large part to the carrier’s aggressive Droid branding and advertising campaign. AT&T isn’t known as a destination for Android devices as much as Verizon is, so it’s perhaps natural that they decided to back the fledgling Windows Phone platform going forward. AT&T has always been supportive of Windows Phone (they were a big backer of the platform when it first launched), and this big ad push could end up paying off handsomely, but we’ll only know for sure once this initial dust has settled.


AT&T Going Big With Lumia 900 Advertising, Could Spend As Much as $150 Million

Nokia Pushes Its Emerging Market, Low-Cost Strategy With The 800C, China’s First CDMA Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 800C

A big step today for both Nokia and Microsoft in their bid to be at the center of the huge smartphone growth currently underway in China and other emerging markets: Nokia today paired up with China Telecom to formally launch the Nokia 800C, the first CDMA Windows Phone to hit China, and the first of Nokia’s Lumia line of high-end devices tailored specifically for that market.

The two also said that it would be following this up with a lower-cost CDMA handset, the 610C, in Q2. This handset is especially crucial in testing whether Nokia will be able to retain its smartphone leadership in emerging markets as it continues its transition from Symbian to Windows Phone, and Android continues its low-cost march up the sales charts.

China Telecom, which is built on a CDMA network, is the third-largest carrier in the country, but still has more subscribers than many of the number-one carriers in other countries: as of February, it said it had 132.33 million subscribers, with 41.15 million of them on 3G. As of January, there were 136.6 million 3G subscribers in the country, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Rival carrier China Unicom believes that number could double this year. Others have predicted that this year China will overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest smartphone market.

It has also, more recently, been in the news for smartphone launches for another reason: After years of not offering the iPhone on its network, China Telecom finally started to sell the device earlier this month. But while people were long anticipating China Telecom carrying the device — as a route to Apple picking up significantly more market share in the country — some have suggested that the kind of subsidies that China Telecom might have to attach to the device would ultimately hurt its profitability: while Apple is selling the iPhone 4S for 4,988 yuan ($790) for a 16GB model, the same device costs only 289 yuan per month with China Telecom if a user signs a three-year contract.

That gives Nokia (and Microsoft) an opening in the market. So far, Nokia’s pricing for the Lumia 800C is coming in below Apple’s iPhone 4S: without a contract, it’s going for 3599 yuan ($570). It’s unclear what kind of pricing the 610C will have with China Telecom, but there is a clear opportunity, especially with the lower-end device, for China Telecom to claw back some of those lost margins, while still offering a shiny, new device to the masses.

Nokia and Microsoft are looking to attract Chinese consumers with content that is very much aimed specifically at them. That will include support for popular portals Sina, SOHU, Tencent and Renren; Nokia Maps local content integration from web portals Fantong, Jiepang, Ctrip, Qunar and Soufun; local Nokia Drive navigation; and a selection of Chinese hits in Nokia Music — as well as 20,000 local apps in the Marketplace app store (with a new developer push to encourage more).

Additionally, it looks like Trends, a fashion magazine reading app, will be populated with local content. And there are some freebies, too: those buying Lumia devices in China get 100,000 free plays of Fruit Ninja and PVZ — these will be in the Nokia Collection, which is Nokia’s curated selection of apps.

The devices will also be part of a new retail push from China Telecom targeting the youth market, a chain of shops called Tianyi FlyYoung.


Nokia Pushes Its Emerging Market, Low-Cost Strategy With The 800C, China’s First CDMA Windows Phone

For All The Phones In China, Apple Actually Lost Market Share In Q4

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Apple has an undeniably big opportunity in China, but it is still facing some considerable challenges. As the iPhone maker claimed the top spot as the world’s biggest smartphone vendor in the last quarter (October-December), it actually slipped in the rankings in China and is now in fifth position after ZTE.

But with Apple only kicking off sales of the iPhone 4S in China this January, it’s arguable whether we will see a delayed reaction from the launch of the new device, or whether longer term this is simply a market that will ultimately gravitate to local brands and cheaper devices in the longer term.

The news comes as Proview — the financially-troubled computer maker that is claiming ownership of the iPad trademark in the country (for a device that looks weirdly like an old iMac) — is starting to demand compensation for its troubles. The company has yet to put a figure on how much it would ask for, but one of its creditors suggested $2 billion.

Meanwhile, Apple has seen a huge amount of attention for the launch of its newest iPhone, the 4S, but that hasn’t been shown to have an affect on its sales in the market just yet. According to regional figures from Gartner (via Reuters), in China, Apple accounted for 7.5 percent of sales in Q4, down from 10.4 percent the quarter before.

That put it into fifth position. Ahead of it: Samsung in the lead with more than 24 percent of sales; Nokia now slipped down to second with less than 20 percent compared to 40 percent a year ago; and ZTE with 11 percent.

Analysts, for now, seem to think that the iPhone 4S will not have as big an impact on sales in China as it has in other markets, where the launch of the device in Q4 catapulted Apple to the top of the charts.

One of the key issues is price: the rule of thumb is for a handset to cost about 70 percent of the average monthly salary; the iPhone, selling for 4,988 yuan ($792), is twice the monthly salary. This pricing metric is not one that has gone unnoticed by companies like Huawei, whose smartphones can sell for a quarter of that amount.

Another has been the fact Apple is still only shipping with one carrier — China Unicom — limiting distribution and, crucially, the amount of devices that are getting sold with carrier subsidies on that price. There have long been reports that the country’s third-largest carrier, the CDMA carrier China Telecom, will soon get added to that list.

This is all still, ultimately, a moving target that will need more time to be played out: China now has 1 billion mobile users, but only around 102 million of them are using smartphones. That means there’s still a long way to go before this market saturates, slows down, and becomes more predictable.


For All The Phones In China, Apple Actually Lost Market Share In Q4

Unlocked iPhone 4Ss Are Available Now, But They’ll Cost You

iphone4s

If winter’s approach finds you yearning for warmer climes, Apple’s got you covered no matter which tropical locale you’ve got your eye on. As promised way back when, Apple has begun to sell unlocked versions of all iPhone 4S models in their online store.

Here’s hoping you managed to get a good deal on that plane ticket, because Apple’s globetrotting 4S comes with some hefty price tags. As expected, the base level 16GB iPhone 4S will run customers $649, while the 32 and 64GB variants will cost $749 and $849 respectively.

The unlocked iPhone 4S will take a microSIM (even handmade ones) from any GSM provider the world over, but Apple makes it crystal clear that CDMA roaming is off-limits. It’s not a huge stumbling block considering most the of world runs on GSM, but it definitely puts a damper on anyone’s plans to try and use one of these things on Verizon or Sprint. Then again, if anyone wanted to do that, they would be better off buying from the carrier directly and politely asking them for an unlock after the initial 60 day period is up.

Really, there’s very little reason for anyone to pick one of these things up, unless you’re a frequent flier or have an acute fear of signing contracts. In either case, I wish you godspeed and good luck with your new iPhone.


Unlocked iPhone 4Ss Are Available Now, But They’ll Cost You

Motorola Admiral Hits Sprint On October 23 With $100 Price Tag

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Move over, Kyocera DuraMax — Sprint has just officially announced the Motorola Admiral, the first Android smartphone in their growing Direct Connect lineup.

The Admiral takes a 1.2GHz processor, 4GB of internal storage, and 3G hotspot support and wraps it all in a mil-spec 810G compliant body. The 3.1-inch VGA display swathed in Gorilla Glass sits above a 4 row QWERTY keyboard, and a 5MP camera occupies the device’s rear.

Durable body aside, the Admiral’s other claim to fame is its support for Sprint’s CDMA-powered Direct Connect. With the iDEN network slated to be shuttered in favor of bolstering their CDMA coverage, Direct Connect allows users to chirp to fellow Sprint and Nextel customers with the same reckless abandon as before.

If you’ve been waiting for a rough-and-tumble smartphone that lets you bark orders to your crew as well as it lets you fire off a few emails, the Admiral may be worth a second glance. Expect it to hit Sprint’s sales channels on October 23 for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate.


Motorola Admiral Hits Sprint On October 23 With $100 Price Tag