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Why we need tablets in different sizes? One size does not fit all.

2 Feb

Almost two years ago, Apple launched the Ipad which has sold more than 55 million units. I have bought both the versions of the iPad and have been generally pleased. The one beef that I have with the iPad is that it is a cumbersome e-reader aka book. I find the original iPad and the iPad 2 heavy and awkward reading devices.

Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Amazon Kindle Fire and the smaller version of the Motorola Xyboard, the iPad is 25% heavier. Moreover, the devices with seven inch screens feel more like a book than the iPad. I found my reading experience on these smaller devices a lot more desirable than the iPad. These 7″ tablets are similar to the form factor of most books.

Steve Jobs maintained that the screen size of the iPad was optimal and would provide customers the best experience. However, like it does in iPod’s,  I believe that Apple should offer the Ipad in a smaller versions – at least one smaller iPad. Here are the benefits to Apple:

  • Access to a different and a potentially larger  market segment
  • Lower cost product should increase sales further
  • Complete product portfolio in the tablet category
If Apple prices an iPad mini in the range of $199-$249, I can see Apple sell at least sell 20 million units annually in addition to the iPad and increasing its revenue y $4-$5 billion annually.


Samsung on track to become global cell phone leader in 2012-2013. Shipped 300m+ mobile devices in 2012

27 Jan

Samsung Galaxy S Android Smartphone

Barring exceptional execution from Nokia, We believe Samsung will have the distinction of being the number one supplier of mobile devices (cell phone and smart phones). Ten years ago the company had a negligible market share compared to the likes of Nokia, Motorola and Sony. Building on its success from the Korean market, Samsung gradually penetrated other Asian markets, eventually developing a strong presence in Europe and the America’s. A couple of years ago Samsung became the number one supplier of mobile devices in the US ahead of Motorola and Nokia.

Samsung’s success can be attributed to:

  • Short product cycles
  • Excellent design
  • Variety of products
  • Lower cost products for emerging markets
  • Strong branding

Moreover, its success in the smartphone segment started with the Blackjack (yes! it was windows based) series. In the last copleof years the Galaxy S has achieved the distinction of being called the best android smart phone. The company has taken significant share from HTC, Motorola and some share from Apple.

Given that Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola, I will not be surprised to see Samsung offer more handsets with Windows 7/8 and its own OS.

Apple posts quarterly revenues of $46 billion. Record iPhone and IPad shipments

25 Jan

I am truly amazed by the results that Apple posted today. Here is a summary of unit shipments IPhone’s and IPad’s:

IPhone – 37.04 million units. A 117% increase over the previous quarter and 128% increase over the year ago quarter.

IPad – 15.43 million units. A 39% increase over the previous quarter and 111% increase over the year ago quarter.

Here is the revenue breakdown by product:

Mac Desktop:$1.94b

Mac Portables:$4.66b






Software, Service and other:$0.84b

It is noteworthy that 75% of Apple’s revenues come from the iPhone and the iPad. iPhone accounts for 53% of revenues and the iPad accounted for approx. 20% of revenues. The iPhone did not start shipping till June 2007 and the iPad started shipping in April 2010. Both these products account for 72% of revenues. I am not aware of any other company that is able to generate almost three-quarter’s of its revenue from products that did not exist five years ago.

Unless there is a major disruption, I can envision Apple hitting $200 billion in revenues in a couple of years. Many have opined which company would achieve a $1 trillion market capitalization. My bet is on Apple. My thesis on Apple is rather simple. In the next 3-5 years, the company will:

  • Achieve at least 10% market share in the mobile device (cell and smart phone) market. Currently, Apple’s share is about 5%.
  • Achieve 15%-20% market share in desktop and portable computing. Currently, the share is around 10%.
  • Maintain dominant share of over 75%  in tablets

It is truly impressive to note that a company that offers only five  product lines (MAC, iPhone, iPad, Ipod and Itunes) is able to generate over $46 billion in revenues. If the much rumored iTV is to be released do not be surprised if Apple’s revenues increase by another $1o-$15 billion in the first year of its launch.

To help you understand the magnitude of the revenue. The $46.3 billion in Apple’s December 2011 quarter is:

  • Higher than Google’s entire 2011 revenue of $37.9 billion
  • More than double than Microsoft’s December 2011 quarterly revenues of $20.89 billion
  • 20% more than GE’s December 2011 quarterly revenues of $37.97 billion

The formula for insanely great profits comes from insanely great products. I often wonder why other companies do not embrace Apple’s proven model of creating products that are elegant and simple.

Hat tip to the Apple team.

Motorola to launch Quench XT3 in India

23 Oct

moto-quench-xt3 Motorola is expected to launch the Quench XT3 in India as soon as tomorrow. The XT3 will be Motorola’s fourth Android smartphone in India after the Milestone, Backflip and Milestone Xt720. It will run on Android 2.1 and features a 3.0 MP fixed focus camera and a 3.2-inch HVGA display. Rest of the features are hygienic Android smartphone features like Wi-Fi, 3.5 mm audio jack, A-GPS and HSDPA 7.2 Mbps connectivity. We expect to get a review unit pretty soon so watch this space for more. it will be priced at approximately Rs 14,000.

Must Listen: Steve Jobs' epic five-minute rant about Android (audio)

19 Oct

Not content with his one-liner e-mail replies, Steve Jobs went on a rampage to rip Google’s Android strategy in a five-minute rant at today’s fourth quarter investor conference call, where Apple reported selling 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter ending September. The CEO of Apple started by doubting Android smartphone activation numbers followed by the pain app developers have to go through to develop apps for Android. He saved the best for the last, calling the ‘open VS closed’ argument a “smokescreen” and stopping short of saying that Android’s days are numbered. Some of our choicest quotes from the webcast followed by the audio file:

“Unfortunately, there is no solid data on how many Android phones are shipped each quarter. We hope that manufacturers will soon start reporting the number of Android handsets they ship each quarter. But today that just isn’t the case. Gartner reported that around 10 million Android handsets were shipped in the June quarter and we wait to see if the iPhone or Android was the winner in this most recent quarter.”

“Google likes to characterise Android as open and iPhone/iOS as closed. We find this a bit disingenuous and clouding the real difference between our two approaches. The first thing most of us think about when we hear the word open is Windows, which is available on a variety of devices. Unlike Windows however, where most PC’s have the same user interface and run the same apps, Android is very fragmented.”

“Most OEMs, including the two largest – HTC and Motorola – install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves from the commoditised Android experience. The user is left to figure it out.

“Twitter client, TwitterDeck (sic) recently launched their client for Android. They reported that they had to contend with more than a 100 different versions of Android on 244 different handsets… Many Android apps work on select handset models running on select Android versions.”

“In reality, we think open VS closed argument is just a smokescreen to try and hide the real issue, which is what’s best for the customer. Fragmented VS integrated. We think Android is very very fragmented and becoming more fragmented by the day… We believe integrated will trump fragmented everytime… We are very committed to the integrated approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterise it as closed. And we are confident that it will triumph over Google’s fragmented approach, no matter how many times Google tries to characterise it as open.”

SOURCE: YouTube via TechCrunch

Tata Teleservices becomes the 4th largest telecom operator in India

16 Sep

Tata Teleservices has now become by the fourth largest operator in India with a subscriber base of 76.9 million. The company has added 2.1 million new subscribers in the month of August and now stands at the fourth spot nationally. Bharti, Vodafone and RCom, occupy the top three spots with a subscriber base of more than 100 million each. 

The company has managed to set this milestone in a very short span of five and a half years when it had first launched its CDMA services under the Tata Indicom brand. In 2008, the GSM branch, Tata DoCoMo was launched and since then, the company’s subscriber base increased at a tremendous rate. The pay-per-second price model, first introduced in India by Tata DoCoMo, was followed by every rival carrier afterwards.

Indian Moto Milestone users get software update

21 Jul

Motorola has released a software update for Indian users of its Milestone phone. No, it is not the much-anticipated update to Froyo (Android 2.2), but more of a bug-cleaning exercise. It seems pretty much the same update that was released for European users a couple of weeks ago. Among the things it fixes are random power cycling (turning on and off, in simple English), force closes, accidental starting of music in the music player (quite a pain, really!), and choppy audio experienced by some users. There are also improvements to proximity sensors and the My Location feature. The update is around 32 MB – a bit stiff to download over the air (we used Wi-Fi) on EDGE/GPRS, but we do think that our Milestone is running a lot smoother since we got it.
To get the update on your Milestone, just head to Settings, select About Phone, and finally, select System Updates. On the other hand, if you have Auto System Update enabled on your device, you must already have been advised to download the update. Get it, is our recommendation. It will not change the way your phone looks, but it definitely makes it run a lot smoother. And in these resource-crunched times, surely that counts for something. We would like some Frozen Yoghurt served up next, Moto.

HTC Wildfire launched in India

15 Jul

htc wildfireHTC has launched a mid-end Android smartphone in India. The Wildfire, priced at approximately Rs 16,000, will replace the Tattoo and features Android 2.1 (Eclair) OS with HTC’s Sense UI running on top of it. On the specifications front, the Wildfire has a 528 MHz processor, a 3.2 inch QVGA capacitive display, 512 MB ROM and 384 MB RAM. Connectivity opetions include 3G, Wi-Fi and it has an internal GPS receiver too. On the multimedia front, the Wildfire has a 5.0 MP camera and a 3.5 mm audio jack. It has a 1300 mAh battery, which HTC claims would last for about 8 hours of talktime and 480 hours of standby on a 2G network.

Ultimate iPhone 4 endorsement: Big B asks SRK to get one!

5 Jul

It may be attracting loads of controversy over its antennae and signal strength indicators, but the iPhone 4 has also managed to get what we think is the biggest tech endorsement ever. Yes, we mean “ever.” That too without a penny being paid.

It all started on Twitter with Indian cinema star Shah Rukh Khan tweeting: “iPad…iMac…nokia…kindle…so much wifi around me feel like a holographic 3d image of myself in space.Marconi we’ve come a long way baby.” While the techies scratched their heads and wondered where on earth SRK had managed to see a Kindle with Wi-Fi, one of the biggest names in the history of the Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, promptly came up with the response, “shahrukh ! May I add to your wifi world of confusion – get the iphone4 .. It is just incredible ! Ha ha.” Which would seem to indicate that the man they call the Big B has either managed to get his mitts on one (oooh! We are jealous) or is enraptured with the device. Or, of course, both.

Either way, we do not think we have seen a bigger celebrity endorsement of a tech product ever. Who said you needed big bucks to get celebs on to your product bandwagon? Even as he wrestles with all the controversy over e-mail responses, Stevie J will be smiling, we wager.

HTC SongShan breaks cover, hints at low-end Android smartphone

24 Jun

Finally, it seems Android’s promise of cheap smartphones is about to be fulfilled! While Samsung is launching an Android phone in its Corby series and the Spica retailing at about Rs 12,000, HTC is not far behind. We have received a user agent profile for one HTC SongShan, which could very well end up being the cheapest Android phone in HTC’s portfolio. The SongShan, which seems destined for China (we are expecting it to be eventually available in other countries) has a QVGA display and according to a roadmap leaked earlier this year would have a 2.8 inch touchscreen along with a physical keypad. We cannot confirm whether the keypad is still a go or not, but we can certainly expect HTC to announce the phone in the coming weeks or months.