Tag: Huawei

Samsung has a little trouble in Big China

A Chinese court has ordered Samsung’s  mainland subsidiaries to pay $11.60 million to Huawei Technologies for nicking its ideas.

The patent infringement case is Huawei’s first victory against Samsung. Three units of Samsung were ordered by the Quanzhou Intermediary Court to pay the sum for infringing a patent held by Huawei Device Co Limited, the handset unit of Huawei, the Quanzhou Evening News reported.

The verdict is the first of several Huawei lawsuits against the South Korean technology giant. Huawei filed lawsuits against Samsung in May in courts in China and the United States – the first by it against Samsung – claiming infringements of smartphone patents. Samsung subsequently counter sued Huawei in China for IP infringement.

Huawei sued Samsung China Investment, as well as a unit in Huizhou, a unit in Tianjin and two Chinese electronics companies for making and selling more than 20 kinds of Samsung smartphone and tablet products that it said infringed the patent.

It sought compensation for the more than 30 million products that sold for $12.7 billion, including the Galaxy S7, according to the media report.

The court ordered the five firms to stop infringing Huawei’s copyrights and ordered the three Samsung units to pay the damages.

Axeman looms large at Huawei

Staff at Huawei fear jobs cuts after internal memos highlighted intense pressure to improve earnings.

A key executive said the flagship smartphone business had missed internal profit targets and lost its top spot in China, the world’s biggest market, to new contender Oppo last year.

Richard Yu, head of its consumer business division that includes mobile device operation said mobile gear is still profitable but the profit margin is very low.

In an internal memo sent last Friday, Huawei Group founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei urged all employees to work hard, saying the company would otherwise “fall apart”.

“Thirty-something strong men, don’t work hard, just want to count money in bed, is that possible? Huawei will not pay for those that don’t work hard.”

This has rattled Huawei’s 170,000-strong workforce, 45 percent of which are in research and development,which is probably one of the least secure areas to be working.

“We are now all thinking more of the next steps, realising permanent employment with the company is no longer a given,” one worker moaned to the press.

According to company insiders, Huawei maintained its five percent annual quota to eliminate the worst performers, but was seen indirectly pushing underperformers out by asking them to relocate to undesirable posts.

“Huawei does not have a layoff plan,” the company said in an emailed response, declining further comment.

Consumer business chief Yu said in his New Year’s address to staff that the company needed to adhere to a “streamline strategy” in personnel as well as product portfolio as it must make profitability its focus in 2017.

“We will seek to improve efficiency and profitability by focusing on organizations at all levels, every employee, and every detail, and strictly control costs and risks to ensure sound development, ” Yu said.

“We will not tolerate low-performing managers, and prioritize removal of managers who fail to make noteworthy improvements after working in a position for several years.”

 

Apple suffers as global sales of smartphones grows

CaptureThe fruity cargo cult Apple is floundering even while the smartphone market has picked up, according to the latest figures from the Gartner Grope.

According to the Big G, Apple has had three consecutive quarters of slowing demand and seen its sales decline by 7.7 percent while its rivals saw an increase of 4.3 percent.

Global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 344 million units in the second quarter of 2016.  Overall sales of mobile phones contracted by 0.5 percent with only five vendors from the top 10 showing growth. Among them were four Chinese manufacturers Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi and BBK Communication Equipment and South Korea’s Samsung.

Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner said that demand for premium smartphones slowed in the second quarter of 2016 as consumers wait for new hardware launches in the second half of the year.

In addition, the decline in sales of “feature phones” (down 14 per cent) bolstered the decline in overall sales of mobile phones in the second quarter of 2016. All mature markets except Japan saw slowing demand for smartphones leading to a decline in sales of 4.9 percent. In contrast, all emerging regions except Latin America saw growth, which led to smartphone sales growing by 9.9 percent.

In the second quarter of 2016, Samsung had nearly 10 percent more market share than Apple. Samsung saw sales of its Galaxy A and Galaxy J series smartphones compete strongly with Chinese manufacturers. Its new smartphone portfolio also helped Samsung win back share it recently lost in emerging markets.

Apple continued its downward trend with a decline of 7.7 percent in the second quarter of 2016. Apple sales declined in North America (its biggest market) as well as in Western Europe. However, it witnessed its worst sales decline in Greater China and mature Asia/Pacific regions, where sales declined 26 percent. Apple had its best performance in Eurasia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe regions in the second quarter of 2016, where iPhone sales grew more than 95 percent year on year, Gupta said.

Among the top five smartphone vendors, Oppo exhibited the highest growth in the second quarter of 2016 at 129 percent. This is due to strong sales of its R9 handset in China and overseas.

“Features such as an anti-shake camera optimized for selfies, and rapid charge technology, helped Oppo carve a niche market for itself and boost sales in a highly competitive and commoditized smartphone market,” Gupta said.

Android regained share over iOS to achieve an 86 percent share in the second quarter of 2016. Android’s performance continued to come from demand for mid- to lower-end smartphones from emerging markets, but also from premium smartphones, which recorded a 6.5 percent increase in the second quarter of 2016.

A number of key Android players, such as Samsung with the Galaxy S7, introduced their new high-end devices, but Chinese brands like Huawei and Oppo are also pushing their premium smartphone ranges with more affordable devices.

 

 

Samsung counter-sues Huawei

fef78e0cc21705723179c3a85d917f2bSamsung has sued Huawei for patent infringements across China as the handbags at dawn row escalates between the pair.

Samsung sued Huawei in a Beijing court about two weeks ago for allegedly infringing six of its patents, a spokeswoman said. She did not elaborate on the types of patents or the other Chinese courts involved.

“Despite our best efforts to resolve this matter amicably, it has regrettably become necessary to take legal action in order to defend our intellectual property,” Samsung sang

Huawei  said in a statement it had not received a “formal complaint” but would defend itself as necessary.

“In the absence of a negotiated settlement, litigation is often an efficient way to resolve” intellectual property rights disputes, it said.

Huawei sued Samsung in the United States and China in May, accusing its rival of infringement on patents for fourth-generation (4G) cellular communications technology, operating systems and user interface software.

Analysts say that neither side will end up winning on the basis of money. Huawei could be angling to boost its reputation by taking on the top smartphone player, he said, while Samsung’s suit might be a maneuver to force Huawei to settle its claims as soon as possible.

Some have suggested that Huawei might also be trying to create some noise marketing for itself and the two firms will eventually reach a deal such as a cross-licensing agreement.

 

Eight out of 10 smartphones made in China

Mao Tse Tung - Wikimedia CommonsChina is giving the Korean and Western mobile hardware brands a good kicking.

Beancounters at IC Insights predictably positioned Samsung and Apple on top of the smartphone manufacturer hierarchy but they were followed entirely by Chinese vendors.

Huawei came third, with 28.9 million units sold, still considerably behind Samsung with  81.5 million and Apple with 51.6 million.  But OPPO exceeded its most optimistic expectations, leaping from eight place in 2015 to fourth, as it shipped 16.1 million affordable, mid-range Androids.

Xiaomi retained the fifth spot, Vivo went from tenth to sixth, Korean-based LG dropped a slot to 7, while ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, Meizu and Micromax were all in the  top twelve. Absent was Sony, Microsoft, HTC, and Coolpad.

IC Insights forecasting an identical chain of command at the end of the year.

A number of Chinese OEMs, including Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Meizu, plus India’s Micromax, are tipped to register massive year-to-year growth of between 29 and 74 percent, whereas Samsung, Apple or LG should see shipment declines ranging from 1 to 5 percent.

While Samsung and Apple will remain the top two smartphone makers it is clear that that the only competition they are getting is Chinese.

Huawei takes Samsung to court

SamsungChinese megagiant Huawei is suing Korean company Samsung for allegedly breaching its patents.

According to the BBC, Huawei believes that software used in Samsung products breach its patents.

But the row may well come to nothing because the same report claims that Huawei will be a happy bunny if Samsung does a cross licensing deal for some of its kit too.

So the case may never come to court and is likely to be just a storm in a mobile teacup.

A Samsung rep told the BBC that it will defend its business interests. Many of the companies involved in the mobile industry kiss and make up long before the expensive and tedious business of actually taking another company to court gets to the preliminary legal stages.

Such cases can and do last for years and cost IT companies a fortune.

Smartphone sales are flat

2008-08-19_Flat_tireBeancounters at IDC have been adding up the numbers and dividing them by their shoe size and reached the conclusion that smartphone sales are flatter than the Netherlands.

According to IDC, vendors shipped a total of 334.9 million smartphones worldwide last quarter. This figure is up just 0.2 percent from the 334.3 million units in Q1 2015, marking the smallest year-over-year growth on record.

Samsung is the smartphone king. In Q1 2016, the South Korean company once again shipped more smartphones than any other vendor. In fact, Samsung out-shipped the next two smartphone maker, Apple and Huawei, combined.

Samsung’s market share actually decreased by 0.1 percentage points (from 24.6 percent to 24.5 percent), and it shipped fewer smartphones (81.9 million). IDC said that the new Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge “sold vigorously” in March, helped by numerous carrier promotions that pushed volume. In emerging markets, Samsung performed well with its more affordable J Series.

Apple fell 3.0 points to 15.3 percent. It was the first year on year decline for the company in Q1. The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus failed to deliver. The cheaper smaller iPhone SE is doing better than expected but is unlikely to pull Apple’s nadgers out of the fire.

Huawei, meanwhile, grabbed 3.0 points (to 8.2 percent), Oppo jumped 3.3 points (to 5.5 percent), and Vivo gained 2.4 points (to 4.3 percent).

Oppo and Vivo pushed out previous fourth and fifth place players Lenovo and Xiaomi. This indicates that  China’s smartphone market is maturing and competition is fierce.

Anthony Scarsella, research manager with IDC’s mobile phone team, said that outside of China, many of these brands are virtually unknown and the ability of these rapidly growing Chinese vendors to gain entry into mature markets such as the United States and Western Europe will be essential if they have aspirations of catching Apple or Samsung at the top.

“While Huawei is furthest along in terms of international recognition, selling equally impressive volumes outside of China remains a challenge for many of these brands, whether it is Xiaomi, Lenovo, OPPO, or vivo. Their ability to drive local growth no longer applies when it comes to international expansion, where premium branding quickly turns to price competition.”

Huawei had a record year

William Xu, HuaweiChina’s Huawei posted its biggest annual revenue growth since 2008, thanks mostly to China’s adoption of fourth-generation (4G) mobile technology.

Huawei, which is one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, said total revenues rose 37 percent to $61.10 billion in 2015, slightly above forecasts.

It said that it expects revenue to increase to $75 billion this year, which implies the growth rate will slow to 23 percent.

The company had in early 2014 targeted overall revenue of $70 billion by 2018, which translated to growth of roughly 10 percent.

Huawei forecast 2016 revenue of $30 billion for the consumer devices business, which was its fastest growing division and second-biggest revenue generator last year.

However this means that revenue growth in the business will slow down to about 51 percent in 2016 from about 73 percent in 2015.

Huawei was the first Chinese handset vendor to ship more than 100 million smartphones in a year in 2015 when a 44 percent jump in its shipments defied a market slowdown.

Revenue in Huawei’s carrier business, which competes with Sweden’s Ericsson for the top spot globally for telecommunication equipment, increased 21.4 percent in 2015 on strong demand for 4G telecommunication equipment.

The carrier business is Huawei’s biggest, accounting for about 59 percent of 2015 revenue. Revenue in its Enterprise business rose 43.8 percent last year.

Huawei said it spent 15 percent of its revenue last year on research and development, above its guidance of 10 percent. Operating margins dipped to 11.6 percent from 11.9 percent.

 

Xiaomi misses sales targets

missed-target-550x330Smartphone maker Xiaomi admitted that it had shipped more than 70 million handsets in 2015, and while this figure might be seen as great in the rest of the world, the company missed its own ambitious targets.

The figure was announced in a photo featuring Xiaomi President Lin Bin which was posted on the company’s microblog with the banner: “2015 Xiaomi mobile shipments: Over 70 million!”

However this was putting a brave face on things. Earlier this year Xiaomi had estimated total annual sales of 80-100 million, but then in July reported semi-annual sales that for the first time were lower than the previous six months.

Xiaomi has discovered that its main domestic market was saturated.

The Tame Apple Press is cheering that the news is proof that Apple will win in China as Xiaomi was seen as its only rival. This is rubbish of course, but it does not stop Reuters repeating it. The best that Apple could have sold in China was 20 million. Xiaomi’s main rival is Lenovo and Huawei.

Still it is not bad given that the company has only been running for five years and in the past has been locked out of countries with strong IP law enforcement. The company has put its market value at $45 billion. It also lacks many products to sell.

Xiaomi’s annual sales growth for the year was now 14.5 percent, he said, still above the average overall annual market growth rate of 12 percent. Shah forecast 2016 growth at 16 percent, based on expectations that Xiaomi will start sales in the United States, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Notebook vendors face fresh challenges

_asustek_and_amd_new_partnership_to_boost_upcoming_desktop_apuA report said that Chinese entrants into the notebook market in Western Europe and the USA will pose new challenges to existing vendors.

Digitimes said that Xiaomi and Huawei will launch products in the more “mature” markets next year, giving HP, Dell, Lenovo and the other traditional players a run for their money.

The same report suggested that Samsung is preparing a fresh foray into the notebook market soon after it withdrew from the fray last year.

And it suggests there is pressure on Taiwanese giants Acer and Asustek to merge in face of declining sales in the notebook sector. Acer is firmly against such a move.

Lenovo is in the doldrums, while Digitimes said in its report that Toshiba and Fujitsu are likely to consign their notebook lines to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

JIP had previously taken over Sony’s notebook business, once one of the corporation’s jewels in its crown.