Sprint’s head of business markets Paget Alves recently confirmed to CNET that the carrier will launch cloud-based services during the fourth quarter of this year. The offering will be available to small and medium sized business customers. Sprint will provide security, software and Internet hosting, and it will also offer an “infrastructure as a service” option, Alves told CNET. “The telcos are in a unique position because our business is centered around the cloud,” Alves said. “There’s quite a bit of demand. It’s the [number one] topic of conversation with [chief information officers].” Other carriers are also working on cloud-based services; in April, Verizon Wireless acquired cloud and managed IT infrastructure leader Terremark Worldwide for $1.4 billion. More →
Chinese consumer electronics company ZTE exploded from the “other” category in the fourth quarter of 2010 to displace Apple as the No. 4 cell phone maker in the world. In doing so, the Chinese manufacturer also bumped RIM off of the top 5 list for the quarter and, more alarmingly perhaps, for the full year. Market analysis firm IDC on Thursday issued its data for the final quarter of 2010 and ZTE was without question the biggest shock. Growing 76.8% year-over-year, ZTE shipped 16.8 million cell phones in the fourth quarter, compared to 9.5 million in the same quarter a year prior. Apple bested ZTE’s growth, ballooning by 86.2% year-over-year, but fourth quarter shipments slid in at 16.2 million units. Apple blew past RIM in the third quarter of 2010 as the company finally broke into the top 5 thanks to explosive iPhone sales. RIM now finds itself in the troubling “other” category — a position it will fight to escape using an army of new BlackBerry smartphones in 2011. The cell phone market grew 17.9% overall in the fourth quarter according to IDC. Hit the break for IDC’s full press release, including charts showing the top 5 cell phone companies by shipments in the fourth quarter and full year. More →
Nokia revealed its third consecutive decline in profits as the struggling cell phone maker reported its fourth-quarter 2010 earnings. Net sales grew 6% year-over-year to €12.65 billion, but operating profit slid 26% from €1.47 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009 to €1.09 billion. Operating profit margin in the company’s Devices and Services division was also down substantially from 15.4% in Q4 2009 to 11.3% in Q4 2010, and Nokia said it expects a further decline in the first quarter of 2011, dropping to between 7% and 10%. Smartphone shipments actually grew to 28.3 million in the fourth quarter, up from 20.8 million in the same quarter in 2009 and 26.5 million sequentially, but the market outgrew Nokia at a truly alarming pace. Despite this growth, Nokia’s share of the global smartphone market slid to 31% from 38% in the previous quarter. “The game has changed from battle of devices to war of ecosystems,” Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said on the company’s earnings call. “Our industry has changed and we have to change faster.” Hit the break for Nokia’s full report. More →
Microsoft confirmed to Bloomberg that its partners sold over 2 million Windows Phone 7 devices to carriers and retail partners last quarter. The company also claimed that according to its findings, 93% of Windows Phone 7 customers are satisfied with the operating system and brand awareness has increased by half to 66%. “Sales are an important measure, but for a new platform we think customer satisfaction and active developer support are more important indicators of how sales will be over the long term,” senior product manager Greg Sullivan said in an interview. Sullivan stated that there are 24,000 developers signed up to build apps for the Windows Phone 7 platform, and 6,500 apps are currently available in Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace. More →
Motorola Mobility on Wednesday reported its fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings. It also gave grim but anticipated guidance for the first quarter of 2011 as Verizon Wireless, the company’s top carrier partner, prepares to launch the iPhone 4. Motorola’s revenues were up 21% year-over-year to $3.4 billion and net revenues from the company’s Mobile Devices division grew 33% year-over-year to $2.4 billion. Smartphone shipments were well under Wall Street’s consensus, however, coming in at 4.9 million units. Some analysts’ expectations were as high as 5.6 million units. Shipments totalled 13.7 million smartphones for the full year, and the company shipped 37.3 million feature phones and smartphones combined in 2010. Motorola forecasts a loss of between $26 and $62 million in the first quarter of 2011, which amounts to $0.09 and $0.21 per share in the red. Analysts had projected a profit of $0.01 per share in the quarter. Hit the break for Motorola’s full press release. More →
Shares of Verizon Communications stock slid over 1% in after-hours trading Tuesday morning as the company reported its fourth quarter earnings. Despite almost doubling profit from $2.37 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $4.65 billion in 2010, earnings of $0.54 per share missed the Street’s consensus of $0.55 per share and revenue fell 2.6% to $26.4 billion. Subscriber growth of 872,000 net postpaid customers crushed Wall Street’s consensus, however, which sat in the mid-600,000s. “Verizon ended 2010 with strong results, driven by solid execution across all our businesses,” Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in a statement. “The fourth quarter capped a strong second half of the year, resulting in improved earnings, solid momentum and an even stronger balance sheet. Verizon Wireless produced another quarter of impressive growth, with record-high profitability, as we continue to drive higher smartphone adoption and data use. Following another solid quarter in our wireline businesses, we are optimistic about opportunities to continue to expand wireline margins.” Verizon also noted that only 26% of Verizon Wireless’ 83 million postpaid wireless subscribers owned smartphones at the close of 2010. This creates a tremendous opportunity for the carrier as it prepares to launch the iPhone 4 next month. Hit the break for Verizon’s full press release. More →
Things have been rough for Sony Ericsson over the past couple of years. Intriguing new gear is on the way from this once-great Swedish joint venture, with a few sexy smartphones like the Xperia arc in the pipeline and the highly anticipated PlayStation Phone, the Xperia Play, finally about to become a reality. Unfortunately, however, none of the company’s forthcoming products could possibly have an impact on Sony Ericsson’s numbers in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company did manage to eek a pre-tax profit of €39 million, up significantly from the €181 million loss it reported the year prior. Profit was down €24 million compared to the third quarter of this year however, which is rough news for the holiday quarter. Shipments were down 23% year-over-year, dropping from 14.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 11.2 million in the final quarter of 2010. Full year shipments were down by almost a quarter compared to 2009, dropping from 57.1 million units to 43.1 million. On the bright side, Sony Ericsson has now reported four straight quarters in the black, and total shipments of its Android-powered Xperia line now sit at 9 million globally — not too shabby. Hit the jump for Sony Ericsson’s full press release.
MetroPCS announced on Thursday impressive subscriber growth in the fourth quarter of 2010. Having amassed approximately 1.5 million net new subscribers over the course of 2010, MetroPCS saw the highest subscriber growth in the company’s history. In the fourth quater, the carrier netted 298,000 subscriber additions and churn was down to 3.5% from 5.3% in the fourth quarter of 2009. As of December 31, 2010, MetroPCS served over 8.1 million subscribers — a 23% increase year-over-year. Hit the break for MetroPCS’ full press release. More →
It comes as no surprise to us that the Motorola DROID has been seeing some really successful sales numbers since its release. As a matter of fact, it is getting mighty close to its target of finding one million hands by the end of the fourth quarter. Actual sales figures are reported to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 700,000 to 800,000 devices sold, which is nearing Verizon and Motorola’s goal and already well over analyst predictions. If Verizon sees a big holiday push, that number can easily crawl over the one million mark. It doesn’t hurt to have a $100 million ad campaign — it’s definitely paying off, but what we want to know is how many of you contributed to those sales numbers and if you’re happy with your decision so far. Share your experience in the comments!