How top mobile phone vendors leverage Asia Pacific region to up market share

Telecom Lead India: The Asia Pacific mobile market is becoming
the hot bed for smart phone vendors. Apple, Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, Sony and LG have strengthened their presence in the Asia Pacific region in the last 12 months. For most of them, Asia Pacific contributed significantly to profit.

As more OEMs (original equipment maker) come up with new
cellular handset offerings, the global cellular handset market is getting
intensified with each passing day. From Apple to RIM and Nokia to Samsung, each
and every established OEM is looking to augment their handset sales.

In the past quarter, all major OEMs launched new smartphones
in order to maintain or increase their market share. Meanwhile, some device
manufactures also expanded their feature phone portfolio, as the segment still
offer immense potential.

However, data released by market research firm ABI research
revealed that the global cellular handset market shipped 353.5 million handsets
in Q1 2012 which represents a -3.8 percent Y-o-Y and -16.5 percent sequential
decrease in shipments.

The smartphone market delivered 142 million shipments in Q1
for a 38 percent Y-o-Y gain and a -8.1 percent sequential decline. As market
flooded with various smartphone offerings by numerous companies, this
sequential decline indicates temporary stagnancy, which will be improved as
technologies such NFC will take the market by storm in coming days.

The firm revealed that mobile major Apple’s 35.1 million
shipments were supported by APAC while Samsung’s 83.4 million displaced Nokia
from the top position that it has held for over a decade.

Asia-Pacific region is a constantly emerging market and with
such huge potential, many established incumbents and newcomers have been trying
to cement their positions in the market.

Recently, Research In Motion (RIM) makers of BlackBerry
smartphone launched its entry level smartphone BlackBerry Curve 9220. The
smartphone was launched specifically for the Indian market, which is constantly
growing and offering great business potential to the OEMs. During the launch of
BlackBerry Curve 9220, many top officials of the company for the Asia-pacific
region hinted that India along with other emerging markets of Asia-pacific
region will be the core focus of the company in coming quarters.

Sony, which is known for its high-end cellular offerings,
recently launched its new Xperia range for the Indian market, however, the
company said they are not looking for targets and market shares, but somehow
each and every OEM always aspire for high sales and maximum revenue.

According to ABI Research, Sony Ericsson will now be taking
its orders from APAC as it has been absorbed into Sony, with their focus on
APAC markets expected to follow soon.

The ABI Research study said that aside from Apple, handsets
OEMs that are not based in APAC such as RIM and Nokia are quickly losing ground
to their APAC based competitors as companies such as ZTE and Huawei continue to
move up the value chain on both their home turf and abroad.

ZTE and Huawei are the major telecom gear makers and
they are aiming to strengthen their presence in the cellular handset market
with a low-price strategy.

Recently, Forbes said telecoms superstars Huawei and ZTE
continue to send out new signals underscoring how serious they are about developing
their cellphone business, as both realize that growth potential could be
severely limited for their traditional networking equipment business.

In Indian market, many domestic players such as Micromax, Lava, G’Five and Maxx have indicated that they
are ready to face challenges posed by the well-established global OEMs.

Recently, Lava in collaboration with chip major Intel
launched XOLO X900, a mid-high range smartphone. The smartphone is
powered by Intel’s atom processor and runs on latest Android OS. This
smartphone will be followed by more premium-low, mid and high range of
smartphones powered by Intel processors.

Lava’s collaboration with Intel clearly indicates that
domestic players will not compromise with features and yet they seek to offer
cellular handsets on competitive prices.

Companies like Lava and Micromax further look to expand
their presence outside the Indian market with their competitive offerings.

Despite the rush of OEMs to win in APAC’s low cost
environment, many OEMs may find that their Apple problem still has not been
resolved. Apple claims that it is still learning about emerging markets, yet it
continues to sell $1000 handsets at an alarming rate,” said Kevin Burden, vice
president, mobile devices.

Asia-Pacific mobile phone shipments will touch 836 million in

According to Ovum, Asia-Pacific (AP) mobile phone shipments
will hit 836 million in 2016, driven by growth in mobile users in the emerging
markets and the proliferation of broadband enabled handsets.

The study says that the Big Three markets of China, India
and Indonesia will continue to be the growth engines for global mobile
connections and handset shipments.

Danish Khan