Global shipments of eReaders are expected to skyrocket this year, ballooning 183% from last year to reach 34.8 million units. According to new data from the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute, part of Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry, 12.3 million dedicated eBook readers shipped in 2010. The figure is relatively in line with earlier estimates of 12.8 million units from market research firm IDC. The MIC estimates that global eReader shipments in 2011 will total up to 34.8 million units, and 2012 shipments could grow a further 46% to surpass 50 million units. The firm sees the U.S. as the biggest growth market during that period, and the eReader landscape is expected to shift moving forward. “Consumers prefer e-readers with multimedia functions, MIC said, the overall performance, colorization, and product differentiation are key factors for market success,” Taiwan Economic News noted in its coverage of MIC’s report. “Cross-industry alliances will also be decisive for players in the new game, the center said.” More →
Wondering why AT&T is hustling to get that 4G LTE network up and running ahead of schedule? AT&T has been ranked worst among the four major wireless carriers in the U.S. according to the J.D. Power and Associates U.S. 2011 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study. The major nationwide survey looks at overall network performance for the four major U.S. cell phone service providers as well as top regional carriers from around the country. Among the big four — Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile — Verizon Wireless found itself atop the list in each of the six regions where J.D. Power performed its tests. On the other end of the spectrum, AT&T was either last or tied at the bottom in five out of the six regions. Read on for more.
Updated with AT&T’s statement below. More →
Acer reported its second-quarter results on Wednesday and revealed its first ever quarterly loss. The company recorded a net loss of NT$6.79 billion, versus Wall Street estimates that the firm would report a NT$3.3 billion loss. The poor performance was blamed on Acer’s focus to clear up “excessive inventory” and on severance payments that were provided to executives who left the firm, Reuters said. In late March, Acer’s CEO Gianfranco Lanci resigned and recent rumors have suggested he will move to Samsung. Acer’s chairman J.T. Wang had originally expected to report positive revenue during the third quarter but he now says it will not be possible for the company to break out of its slump this year. “Today I have to say, trying to break even this year becomes impossible,” Wang said, noting that his company’s restructuring needs more time. Wang recently cut the company’s 2011 tablet forecast to 2.5 million units, down 50% from earlier estimates of 5-7 shipped units, and blamed weak tablet sales on competing devices. Acer founder Stan Shih recently said tablets are a passing “fad,” though we know several research firms that might disagree. More →
Market research firm IHS iSuppli has revised its global five-year tablet shipment forecast, which now estimates that 60 million tablets will be shipped this year and 275.3 units will ship in 2015. IHS had previously estimated that 262.1 tablets would ship in 2015. Most of the firm’s changes revolve around increased market share estimates for Apple’s iPad, though IHS still sees Apple’s share of the market sinking fairly quickly through 2015. The iPad is now expected to account for 44.2 million of the 60 million tablets that will ship this year, up from IHS’s previous estimate of 43.7 million units. Apple’s market share will drop to 74% in 2011 from approximately 85% in 2010, and it will fall to 43.6% in 2015. IHS’s earlier estimates places Apple’s share of global tablet shipments at 64% in 2011 and just 32% in 2015. “All the momentum in the media tablet market is with Apple right now,” noted Rhoda Alexander, senior manager covering tablet and monitor research at IHS. “The competition can’t seem to field a product with the right combination of hardware, marketing, applications and content to match up with the iPad. Furthermore, Apple’s patent litigation is serving to slow or complicate competitors’ entry into some key regional markets. With Apple lapping its competitors, many of whom are still struggling to get out of the starting gate, this remains a one-horse race.” IHS’s full press release follows below. More →
Apple may be working on an entirely new Mac product, according to macotakara.jp. The website cites an “anonymous Apple supplier” who says that Apple is working on a new Mac family that will be “absolutely different” from what the Cupertino-based company currently offers. It is unclear what “absolutely different” parts the computers will have, but we suspect it could involve an entirely revamped industrial design and upgraded internal hardware. Apple most recently updated its MacBook Air and Mac mini lines and also introduced a sub-$1,000 iMac for education. However, we have yet to see an updated Mac Pro, which was originally rumored to launch in August with Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors. Apple typically doesn’t announce new Macs during its iPhone or iPod events, so we’re not sure we’ll hear about this in September either. It remains purely a rumor… for now. More →
HP reported its third quarter 2011 results on Wednesday, missing the Street’s estimates considerably. Net revenues of $31.2 billion were up from the 30.7 billion HP reported during the same quarter in 2010 and also up from the $31.6 billion the company reported during the second quarter. The figures are in line with HP’s guidance of $31.1 billion to $31.3 billion for the third quarter but below the Street’s consensus of $34 billion. EPS also missed; HP expects between $1.12 and $1.16 while the Street expected $1.31. The company confirmed that it will discontinue operations for its webOS devices, likely after a lukewarm reception to the TouchPad in the United States and abroad. Following the tablet’s launch the company quickly dropped its price by $100 and Best Buy’s sell-through rate was rumored to be below 10%. HP’s Pre3 smartphone, which is now on sale in Europe, has yet to make a debut in the United States and it’s unclear if it will ever launch here. HP said it estimates revenue of $32.1 billion to $32.5 billion for the fourth quarter. The company originally said it estimated its full year 2011 revenue to be $129 billion to $130 billion but now says revenues will likely fall between $127.2 billion and $127.6 billion. Read on for the full press release. More →
Apple’s popular iPad line will still dominate the consumer tablet market a full decade after its initial launch, according to one analyst. In a new report, Needham analyst Charlie Wolf sees the iPad’s share of consumer tablet shipments declining gradually over the next nine years to 60% in 2020. 60%, of course, is still an overwhelming share of the market. Future tablets are more likely to steal market share from each other rather than from the iPad, the analyst explains, noting that competitive offerings to date have been greeted by consumers with “a yawn and lackluster sales.” Wolf sees iPad shipments reaching 35.61 million units in 2011, up 137.4% from last year and representing 85% of all tablets shipped. In 2012, iPad shipments will grow to 54.3 million units according to Wolf’s model, and shipments will hit 72.66 million units in 2013. The analyst sees iPad shipments reaching nearly 140 million units in 2020, representing 60% of all tablets shipped that year and accounting for $53 billion in revenue and $16 billion in profit despite an average selling price that will have dropped to $377 from $630 in 2010. Wolf’s 10-year iPad projections follow below. More →
HTC on Friday reported record sales for the fourth consecutive month, though the Taiwan-based smartphone vendor’s growth did slow significantly in July. Following revenues of NT$38.7 in April, NT$40.6 billion in May and NT$45 billion in June, HTC pulled in NT$45.11 billion ($1.56 billion) last month to set a company record yet again. Continued strong demand for HTC’s Android smartphones drove revenue up 83% over July 2010, but HTC’s momentum slowed as it grew less than 1% over June. HTC is doing its best to ensure that the growth continues, however, as CEO Peter Chou stated recently that the company plans to launch between six and eight new smartphones this quarter. More →
Verizon Wireless has a blockbuster smartphone and tablet lineup planned ahead of the holiday shopping season this year according to a purported leaked roadmap. Published on Wednesday by IGN, the roadmap reveals numerous previously unheard of devices. While details are scarce for the time being, several highly anticipated phones are mentioned on the document as well, alongside launch dates. The following are highlights from the document along with launch dates and some available details:
- September 8th: Samsung Stratosphere (presumably Verizon’s Galaxy S II) — 4G LTE, Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- September 8th: Motorola DROID BIONIC
- September 8th: BlackBerry Curve 9370 — 4G LTE
- September 8th: 4G Motorola XOOM
- September 29th: Samsung Illusion — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- September 29th: HTC Bliss — Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- October 5th: HTC Vigor — replaces the HTC Thunderbolt
- October 20th: LG Revolution 2 — replaces the LG Revolution
- November: Galaxy Tab P8 — 4G LTE
The document also mentions a Samsung Plato, though it says the device’s launch has been delayed until January, and it states that Verizon will launch RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook at a date to be determined. None of this is confirmed for the time being, though if accurate, Verizon Wireless subscribers can expect quite a lineup this fall straight through to the holidays. More →
HTC posted impressive second-quarter results on Friday noting that its profit of NT$17.52 billion was up 104% year-over-year and up 19% over the first quarter. The Taiwanese phone maker’s shipment total of 12.1 million devices during the quarter was up 24% year-over-year and 25% quarter-over-quarter. The company also noted that it shipped a total of 21.8 million devices during the first half of the year, a big jump from the 8.7 million it shipped during the first half of 2010. HTC noted that much of its growth came from the Americas, Europe and Asia. The average selling price of an HTC smartphone is currently $349, down from the average price of $359 last quarter thanks to new entry-level handsets. HTC expects its third quarter revenue to jump 10% quarter-over-quarter and 90% year-over-year, and plans to sell “around” 13.5 million handsets. Read on for a link to the PDF of HTC’s second quarter results.
Sony reported its fiscal first quarter results on Thursday and recorded a net loss of 15.5 billion Yen ($198.7 million). The company attributed the loss to the earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan in March, as well as a “stagnate” economy in the United States and Europe. Sony’s operating profits were 27.5 billion Yen ($330 million), down from the 67.02 billion Yen ($862) it reported during the same quarter last year. Operating revenue was 1.49 trillion Yen ($19.1 billion), down 10% from the 1.66 trillion ($21.3 billion) in revenue Sony reported in the first fiscal quarter of 2011. “We think we can be profitable at the current exchange rate levels,” Sony’s chief financial officer Masaru Kato said during a recent news conference. “We had almost no negative impact from the dollar, but the euro is still an issue for us.” Kato said that “TVs are one of the only remaining issues,” for the company and noted that Sony expects to sell 22 million televisions this year, down from the original projection of 27 million units. Kato said Sony’s supply chain was hit hard by the earthquake and impacted the company’s sales during the first quarter but that the supply channels have already bounced back.
Nintendo posted its first quarterly operating loss ever on Thursday in its fiscal first quarter earnings report. The Japanese gaming company recorded a net loss of 25.5 billion Yen ($328 million), which was on a par with the net loss of 25.2 billion Yen ($324 million) the firm reported during the same quarter last year. In addition, it posted a net operating loss of 37.7 billion Yen ($485 million), down from an operating profit of 23.3 billion Yen ($299 million) during the first quarter of 2010. Nintendo also slashed the price of the 3DS to $169.99, down from the portable gaming console’s original $249.99 price point. Nintendo attributed the poor quarter to a lack of Wii and DS sales, as well as a lack of attractive games for the 3DS. More →
More than 420 million smartphones will be sold around the world in 2011, accounting for 28% of total cell phone sales according to market research firm IMS Research. The firm sees the recent surge of more affordable smartphones as playing a major role in the continued growth of the market, and IMS analysts estimate that global smartphone sales will reach 1 billion devices by 2016 thanks to entry-level smart handsets. In recent months however, IMS’ data shows that Apple has made some of the largest gains in the space, accounting for 19% of global smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2011 compared to 16% in the same quarter last year. Of course Apple’s share continued to climb in the second quarter as well, as the company reported industry-leading sales of 20.4 million smartphones. The only company that made more impressive unit sales gains year-over-year in the first quarter was Samsung according to IMS; the South Korea-based vendor accounted for 13% of smartphones sold in the first quarter compared to just 3% in the same quarter in 2010. The biggest losers in the first quarter were Nokia, which slid from a 40% share in the first quarter last year to 24% in Q1 2010, and RIM, which dropped from 20% to 15% over the same period. The firm’s full press release follows below. More →