Tag: global

Android, open source and ZTE conquer world with entry-level phones

Android as an open platform is continuing to spread its wings far and wide and keeping sure that the smartphone is en route to becoming the standard. By 2015, it may be time to drop the “smart” and just call them phones. 

We have already seen own-brand handsets and cheaper models particularly from the likes of Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Huawei. TechEye has previously reported that ZTE, with its affordable mobile phones and aggressive strategy for going global, is on the way to world domination. Juniper Research agrees: “Pricing of smartphones will come down to $80 by 2015,” analyst Anthony Cox says. With the internet widely regarded as not just a privilege but a right, it makes sense: mobile browsing in emerging markets can be sold on the cheap.

It could be suggested, as Cox does, that there’s a problem in that these manufacturers don’t have strong content strategies “like Nokia has”. But Ovi is doomed and it has not got Nokia anywhere, now pinning its hopes on Meego – the beauty of Android is that it is easily adopted and a roll-out is encouraged by Google which wants to make sure its OS is king. Everything is ready made.

Windows could have been competition in the incredibly important segment but Microsoft decided to copy the closed Apple model instead.

According to Juniper Research, by 2015 we’ll see over 185 million “entry-level” smartphones. They will be given a kick start by operators releasing own-brand phones, such as the Orange Boston, which are designed to tie consumers into their own networks. Strong rivalry in the space will keep pricing competitive while the relationship on supply chains, by chip manufacturers, panel outfits and so on, will ensure a steady stream. 

While a slew of handsets have appeared from Chinese big players ZTE and Huawei, who both are also at the front of LTE and WiMax roll-out with strong contracts established, globally, every week, other manufacturers in high growth markets are set to capitalise. Look especially to China and India, Juniper suggests. The likes of Micromax will be launching their own Android phones specifically targeted at local markets. 

All you need to do is look at recent Spectrum battles – most obviously in India – to see how strong and important mobile internet is, both as a money maker and as a service to people.

Then there are the rapidly growing markets in progressive African countries, where telcos are battling for space to prepare for a future boom, where affordable mobile internet is key. Open source is getting the world online, at reasonable prices, and at the moment there’s no contest: For manufacturers and “entry level” handsets,  Android is the way forward.

India and China still top for global sourcing

Developing countries are leading the way in globally sourced activities.

That’s according to Gartner, which has put together a report on the top 30 countries for globally sourced activities in 2010-2011. Within the report it’s found that  many organisations which choose to move IT services to lower-cost countries are daunted by the task of determining which country or countries would best host their operations.

“This year the Top 30 countries are exclusively emerging nations,” said Ian Marriott, research vice president at Gartner. ”As the pace of change is slower in developed countries we have chosen to focus on those locations that are still maturing and developing, domestically and internationally.”

Nine countries from Asia/Pacific were represented in the 30 leading countries, compared with 10 in previous years. These include what Gartner describes as the “undisputed leader in offshore services”, India, and the “greatest challenger in terms of potential scale”, China.

In the Americas region Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and Peru made the list, while the Asia/Pacific regions saw Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam come in the top 30.

In EMEA Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Mauritius, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Turkey and Ukraine are among those listed in the report.

Seven developed countries have moved out of the Top 30 this year. This includes Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore and Spain.

However, Gartner points out that these countries are still important in the context of nearshore locations as their maturity in this industry gave organisations “significant benefits.”

Over the past year Gartner said it had seen considerable efforts from many countries to consolidate or grow their positions as leading locations for offshore services. It pointed out that emerging nations had placed significant emphasis on IT and business process services providing a vehicle for economic growth, as many potential trading partners are moving from recession to tentative growth.

This in turn has led to Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Colombia, Mauritius and Peru, along with three re-entrants – Panama, Sri Lanka and Turkey, to move into the Top 30 list.

Gartner points out that this year, eight countries from Latin America appeared in the final list of 30 compared with seven from the Americas as a whole in previous years. However, it said that in the past, a lack of government support for offshore initiatives had restricted development by countries in the Americas. Currently Mexico and Chile are rated “very good” for government support, with Brazil and Costa Rica meriting a “good” rating. 

In the Asia/Pacific region Gartner says government support for promoting their countries as offshore service locations was strong. This was especially evident in India, China and Malaysia.

Indonesia continued to be considered poor for government support.

Gartner says that of the 13 EMEA countries who made the Top 30,  only Egypt achieved a rating higher than “good” for government support. It says this reflects the amount of focus still needed to create an environment that would support nations to become a part of organisations’ global delivery models.

“Sourcing managers and service providers should use the various ratings to help determine which locations are right for their individual organisations,” said Mr. Marriott.

“In this increasingly dynamic global environment, multinational providers will continue to extend their footprint in different geographies, carrying with them their expertise and maturity, while local providers will strive to become offshore providers, searching for opportunities and niches they can explore. Even though some countries are rated poorly for some categories, clients may find individual providers — global and local — whose capabilities mitigate some of the risks.”

Dell buys Boomi

PC, notebook and server maker Dell boldly claimed it will reach into its treasure trove and buy Boomi, a “leader” in the SaaS field (Software as a Service). Boomi says it is oh-so happy to join “the Dell family” and join up in the clan feud against HP, which recently threw Dell’s toys out of the pram after winning a bidding war to acquire storage company 3PAR. In contrast to the good old times, it is highly unlikely Boomi will aid Dell in burning HP’s house down at Bergþórshvoll and pay a weregild after having fingers smacked at an Althing.

Dell’s flacks are shouting from the roof how great and innovative Boomi’s Atomsphere platform is, which apparently allows to shove data between applications running on company hardware and servers looming in the cloud, no frills attached. Salesforce CRM uses Boomi’s technology, as apparently do hundreds of other customers spread around the globe.

Dell didn’t say how much the newest takeover will cost, so cat and dog will have to wait until the company releases its next quarterly figures. The company is probably rather happy not to have gotten in a scrap with HP over its newest deal. Dell initially offered to pay $18 per share of 3Par, around $1.15 billion. HP went on offering even more until Dell packed its bags and left HP paying $2.4 billion, far more money than 3Par was worth.

Meanwhile Dell has lost an embarrassing court case over in Taiwan, after it refused to cough up the goods it offered last year. It was down to a pricing error, said Dell, but the courts found that: “The defendant is an international corporation and it should not evade responsibilities stipulated in the contract”.  It’s not the first time Dell has refused to send out kit it mistakenly advertised online on the cheap, getting into trouble with the Taiwanese government again earlier this year. 

Chip market is doing well for itself

Worldwide chip sales amounted to $23.6 billion in April says US industry group Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), up 50.4 percent year-over-year and an increase of 2.2 percent compared to March. Just a year ago, sales were a relatively pale $15.7 billion, thanks to the unhinged state of the global economy.

“Global sales of semiconductors grew at a healthy rate in April, surpassing the previous monthly record level of November 2007,” SIA President George Scalise was worded by a flack as having said. “As expected, both the year-on-year and sequential growth rates moderated slightly. The unusually high year-on-year comparison is a reflection of the trough of the recession in early 2009 compared to strong demand today.”

SIA’s announcement today fits the broader picture of a semiconductor market that is recovering rather well. One is hard-pressed to find any negative news in terms of semiconductor sales which can be blamed on weak demand. On the contrary, companies within the sector are doing very well at the moment. ARM is set to enter the netbook and tablet markets after rising to be the near single-player in the mobile arena.

GloFo just secured another $3 billion dollars of funding to expand capacity. Foundry rival TSMC is said to be running at full capacity, whereas Apple is buying huge amounts of NAND Flash memory for its consumer electronic products. Currently, things are going well in the cyclical chip market.

Apparently the roll-out of 3G infrastructure contributed a lot to the recovery, as well as rising demand for computing products from various sectors, such as car makers and suppliers. The SIA did warn recovery is tied to the situation of the global economy, if it crashes again, so will demand for CPUs, memory, GPUs and everything else which requires a semiconductor.