Huawei to Expand in US Smartphone Market Next Year

Huawei to Expand in US Smartphone Market Next Year

Chinese smartphone brand Huawei will start sales through US carriers next year, a Huawei executive said Monday, stepping up the No. 3 global handset seller’s presence in the home market of rival Apple Inc.

The president of Huawei Technologies Ltd.’s consumer business, Richard Yu, said he would announce details at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He said sales would start with the flagship Mate 10 but declined to give a price or say through which carrier or carriers they would be sold.

Huawei sells some models in US electronics stores and online but has a minimal share of an American market in which most sales are through carriers. Globally, the company trails Samsung and Apple by handset shipments but leads in China, the biggest market, and says it expects to ship a total of 150 million units this year.

“We will sell our flagship phone, our product, in the US market through carriers next year,” said Yu in an interview. “I think that we can bring value to the carriers and to consumers. Better product, better innovation, better user experience.”

Yu expressed confidence the smartphone business wouldn’t be affected by American government concerns Huawei might be a security threat, which derailed US demand for its network gear.

“In consumer sales, when people really start using Huawei products, they will change their minds,” said Yu.

Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former military engineer, is the first Chinese brand to break into the top ranks of global technology suppliers.

The company, headquartered in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, is the world’s biggest supplier of switching equipment used by telephone and internet companies. It has manufactured mobile phones since the 1990s and launched its own smartphone brand in 2010.

Huawei reported 2016 profit of CNY 37 billion ($5.4 billion) on revenue of CNY 521.6 billion ($75.6 billion). The company is owned by its employees, with no publicly traded shares, but reports financial results in an effort to allay security concerns in the United States and Europe.

Helped by a strong position in China, India and other developing markets, sales by its premium-priced Huawei and mid-market Honor smartphone brands have grown faster than those of Samsung or Apple. That prompted suggestions Huawei might pass its American rival.

In the latest quarter, Huawei’s handset shipments rose 16.1 percent over a year earlier to 39.1 million, well ahead of Apple’s 2.6 percent growth to sales of 46.7 million, according to IDC. Samsung sales expanded 9.5 percent to 83.3 million units.

“We are a Top 3 smartphone supplier but we are very close to the Top 2. So maybe quickly we can be Top 2,” said Yu.

The Mate 10, unveiled in October, offers an extra-wide display, high-end cameras and other advanced features at prices 15 to 30 percent below those of Samsung and Apple.

Yu said the Mate 10 will be “competitively priced” in the United States but Huawei expects to compete on performance instead of cost.

“Our strength is in developed markets,” where consumers will pay for performance, said Yu. “We are not a cheap, low-cost company.”

Also next year, Huawei plans to start selling through carriers in Japan, where its phones already are sold in stores, Yu said.

“I think next year is a very important year for Huawei,” he said.

Huawei’s US business suffered a setback when a congressional panel recommended in October 2013 that phone carriers avoid doing business with it or a smaller Chinese rival, ZTE Corp. Beijing rejected the report as false and an effort to block Chinese companies from the US market.

Huawei denied being a security threat and rejected the US complaints as politically motivated or possibly an attempt by competitors to keep it out of the market.

“They are lying,” said Yu. “We are a company that really cares about cybersecurity and privacy protection. We do a lot better than the other vendors.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Moto Makes a Strong Comeback in the US, Enters Top 5: Counterpoint

Moto Makes a Strong Comeback in the US, Enters Top 5: Counterpoint

Lenovo brand Moto made a significant comeback in the US in the third quarter this year, almost doubling its volumes and market share annually and was the fastest growing brand, Counterpoint Research said on Saturday.

The US smartphone shipments remained flat during the third quarter. Moto, ZTE, and LG registered strong gains and Verizon remained the largest smartphone sales channel, revealed Counterpoint’s Market Monitor programme.

“Motorola jumped back into the top five rankings after a long time. Motorola’s focus on affordable devices for prepaid/unlocked market and breaking out from Verizon’s shadows helped drive growth during the quarter,” said Research Analyst Archana Srinivasan.

Motorola also benefited in terms of visibility with presence across all four of the major carriers with its Moto Z2 Force Edition in premium segment.

“The Moto E series was actually the key volume driver for Motorola during the quarter across prepaid and open channels,” Srinivasan added.

Verizon had a good quarter and remained the biggest channel for smartphone sales, followed by T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint.

“LG had a strong quarter recording highest ever volume for the third quarter closing on Samsung volumes, especially at T-Mobile & Sprint,” said Research Director Neil Shah.

Apple iPhone 7 was the most popular smartphone in the US. The Moto E4 and LG Stylo 3 were also solid performers. LG grew its share to 17.6 percent.

ZTE grew its smartphone volumes 34 percent (year-on-year).

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Lyft Expands Services Across 32 US States

Lyft Expands Services Across 32 US States

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The move boosts the number of states with full coverage to 40
  • Uber says it has near-statewide coverage in 13 states
  • For Lyft, the expansion is a bold move into unserved areas and a gamble

Lyft is driving into the countryside in an effort to raise ridership and steal market share from rival Uber.

The much smaller Lyft announced Thursday that it is offering service to passengers in every corner of 32 US states, including hard-to-reach rural areas. The move boosts the number of states with full coverage to 40.

Uber, which controls about 70 percent of the US ride-hailing market, says it has near-statewide coverage in 13 states. A spokeswoman was skeptical that any company could provide timely service in all areas within a state’s boundaries.

For Lyft, the expansion is a bold move into unserved areas and a gamble that it can carve new markets out of even the most rural areas that have ride-hailing needs but no consistent service. Until now, using a smartphone to summon a ride mainly was reserved for larger metropolitan areas with a lot of people and more potential riders.

Jaime Raczka, regional director of new markets for Lyft, said the initiative will allow the company to outmatch its rivals in terms of coverage area and the number of people with access to its platform. Before Thursday, 79 percent of the US population could get Lyft service. With Thursday’s move, that number rises to 94 percent, she said.

To pull off the expansion, Lyft has been recruiting new drivers for months, many in smaller towns that weren’t previously served. The company wouldn’t say how many drivers it has added, only that it has about 700,000 nationwide.

Currently Lyft has statewide service in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware and Hawaii. As of Thursday it added Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Lyft has at least some coverage in all 50 states, and decided to offer full coverage in the 40 that have consistent statewide ride-hailing regulations, Raczka said. The company said it will even offer rides in the most rural expanses of Alaska and the far reaches of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Just how long it takes to get a ride will vary by area. She wouldn’t give an average response time or fare estimate for rural areas, but conceded that initially it may take more than 10 minutes to get a ride in remote places. Those who have important trips such as traveling to an airport to catch a flight might want to use Lyft’s scheduled ride service if it’s available, she said.

In New York, where Lyft has had statewide service since June, the company’s app showed few cars in the Finger Lakes region late Wednesday night. In Corning, a small town near the Pennsylvania border, the closest Lyft ride was 74 miles and more than an hour away in Binghamton. The app gave no estimate of a pickup time like it does in urban areas.

Raczka says experience has shown that as people find out about the service, they summon more rides and more drivers usually follow. “We do improve service levels once we get into markets,” she said.

Uber says is has close to statewide coverage is in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Florida. Spokeswoman MoMo Zhou questioned whether Lyft would have drivers available for rides in areas with low demand.

There’s clearly a market for ride services in rural areas, especially from people who are older, disabled or injured, said Gartner analyst Michael Ramsey. Until it becomes established, Lyft will have to pay drivers extra to fetch passengers in rural areas, generating some big losses, he said.

“That will allow them to gain market share, but it’s not going to be free,” Ramsey said.

He expects demand to grow and eventually pay off for Lyft. “There are a lot of people who need mobility, and especially in rural communities, don’t have access to it,” he said. “Demand comes from the supply, and vice versa.”

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

Apple CEO Promised 3 New US Plants, Says President Trump: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Apple has promised to expand manufacturing in the US with 3 new plants
  • Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund
  • Apple has 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more

The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that US President Donald Trump said Apple has promised to expand manufacturing at home with three new US plants.

The Journal quoted Trump as saying that Apple chief executive Tim Cook committed to building “three big plants,” in the United States.

No details were provided, and Apple did not respond to an AFP request for comment.

Cook in May announced the creation of an Apple fund to get more people in the US to do “advanced manufacturing,” kicking it off with a billion dollars.

Apple building plants in the United States would come as rare common ground with Trump.

Cook has pointed out that Apple spent more than $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,22,155 crores) in the United States last year – buying from suppliers such as Corning Glass, working with developers behind applications for the California company’s devices and more.

Apple has about 80,000 employees in the US and plans to hire thousands more “in the future,” according to Cook.

It is a sign of Apple’s success but also a thorny problem: a cash stockpile topping a quarter of a trillion dollars, sparking debate on what do with such massive reserves.

The tech giant has resisted the idea of bringing the cash home, because the US tax code allows multinational firms to defer profits while they are held overseas but taxes income at up to 35 percent when repatriated.

Trump vowed while campaigning that he would force Apple to bring production to US soil.

Apple is not in the same position as automakers which relocated US factories overseas to cut costs, IHS manufacturing processes chief analyst Dan Panzica told AFP earlier this year. Apple never moved jobs offshore, it created them there.

“The Apple jobs were never here,” Panzica said.

“The entire supply chain grew in China.”

Apple benefits in Asia from a network that goes beyond subcontractors assembling smartphones, tablets or laptops. The firm relies on a dense ecosystem of companies that make components and spare parts for its devices as well.

China also offers sources of important raw materials, along with cheap, flexible and abundant labor to keep iPhone assembly lines cranking along.

It would be challenging to replicate that situation with US workers without using more robotics, undermining the political aim of creating jobs here, according to some analysts.

Moving iPhone manufacturing to the US would also likely push up costs, which is not in Apple’s interests.

It was seen as more likely that Apple would make a symbolic move to appease Washington, such as investing more in making Mac Pro computers here, or in a facility for higher-priced, limited-edition devices such as an “anniversary edition iPhone” to mark the handset’s 10th birthday this year.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]