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A Look Into the Third Quarter 2010 Results of Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales

The year of 2010 continues to be a good year for mobile phone sales as the sales in this quarter hit 417 million units. To compare this number and growth in the market we can take third quarter of 2009, which the market had 309 million sold units. Looking at these two numbers, we can say that there has been an increase of 35%. What is more impressive is the non-slowing rise of smartphones. The number of smartphone units sold creates the 19.3% of the overall sold mobile units for the quarter of 2010.

This boost in smartphone sales is fueled by the Apple’s IPhone and Google’s impressive mobile operating system, Android. This rise of Apple, took RIM out from its 2nd position in smartphone market and made iOS the second operating system in smartphone market just behind Android. However, Android made an even more impressive sales as the OS placed as the World’s most used mobile operating system in whole mobile phones right after Nokia’s long lasting number 1, Symbian.

We also observe more effective white-box manufactures sales in this quarter. In overall they increased their number of sales by approximately 88 million units and reaching a number of total 137.8 million units in total for the third quarter of 2010. This increase is due to the fact that there is still a strong demand for non-3G cheap phones in emerging markets such as China, Russia, Africa and Latin America as well as India. This demand is strong enough that it will be wise to assume that we will see more effective white-box manufactures in upcoming quarters.

 

Android Logo

Android Logo

When we take a deeper look into the manufacturers who made into the Top 5 this quarter based on the number of sales they achieved we still see the 3 solid players remaining at the top listed as starting from number 1; Nokia, Samsung and LG. Apple took the 4th place as they took over RIM this quarter. Nokia reported to sold 110.4 million units in this time frame which is slightly under the predicted number. The reason for that is stated by Gartner as there was a shortage of cheap components for low end line of the company. However, the increasing demand in smartphone market helped Nokia to settle on a better profit due to the increased number of sold smartphones.

In this quarter, I think Samsung owes a lot to Google due to the successful operating system, Android. The company reached a number of 71.7 million sold mobile devices for this time frame. They have sold 6.6 millions of Android devices which made them the number one Android seller in the world. The company also reached 1.1 million in its own operating system, bada. Samsung plays aggressively with its smartphone line that uses Android OS, so that we can see more of that same family of hand held devices.

Apple Inc. sold approximately 13.5 million units which a little bit lower than my prediction which was about 15 million units for this quarter. However, this is due to the company’s strategy on production which based on high demand. We saw people waiting for 1 to 3 weeks for getting their IPhone 4. Their high profit phone, also helped company to become the second largest company in the world based on market capital. RIM sold 11.9 million of smartphones this quarter which brought the fact that they lost the race to Apple for now in the market. It looks like they will have a rough future in front of them as now enterprises start offering IPhone 4 as company phones. We will see if there will be a new line of products from RIM which they desperately need after the failed instance of Blackberry Torch.

This results that we saw was some what predicted and not so impressive. However, I would like to point out a really important issue ,which I personally think, that will shape the future of hand held devices. I am talking about the mobile tablets such as Apple’s Ipad. We already now that some companies started to offer them instead of notebooks. We will not see a 100% increase in mobile phone market but it is high likely that there will be a boom in mobile tablet market as it remains unconquered for the time being. Despite the fact that Google declared its Android OS is not suitable for mobile tablets it is known that some manufacturers developing mobile tablets on that platform and I also think that we will be seeing a tablet version of Android not too far from this date. It is also know that RIM is continue its crusade against Apple in this market with its upcoming Blackberry Playbook. I think that mobile tablet devices can be good examples of cloud computing in coming future which will give them a more solid ground as a market racing with notebooks.

IPhone 4 for Enterprise Level Customers

As IPhone 4 reaches saturation point among the general consumer profile where we won’t be seeing the initial boom that Apple had when they first released their product. However, Apple is currently charging for being a leader in enterprise consumer market. Before going into why we should expect a growth in enterprise market for IPhone 4, I would like to talk about IPhone’s features.

Apple’s IPhone 4 has the most general feature for being a enterprise level smartphone, it has been fully integrated with Microsoft Exchange. So that, it offers secure e-mail services, calendar and contact synchronization. Well as I have said, these listed features are pretty trivial which will not convince companies from their age long business smartphone Blackberry to IPhone. So what else is out there that Apple offers to the companies?

To start with, IPhone 4 comes out with a fully capable Safari on where you can reach enterprise web applications without a problem. ( Well, I am assuming the companies are not using Flash for their applications.) Safari also comes with the capability of taking advantage of VPN and SSL. You can connect to your corporate network using your smartphone without having a problem.

As we spend a significant time of our daily life on the go, traveling from one place to another it is really handy to have a device that can fully support Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint. IPhone 4 offers this compatibility as well as PDF, JPEG and iWork.

Still up until this point, I don’t think these features are any “socking”. I think it is time for IPhone to bring out the big “guns”. Apple offers integrated contacts list with Maps where you can use your phone’s GPS when you are on the way to your client meeting. This is a really handy feature especially for the employees whose work require a lot of traveling like a sales representative. We all know that big cities can get tricky with the address where having a device with this kind of a feature can save you time and sanity.

IPhone 4 comes out with applications such as Maps ( where you can use GPS), compass, stocks and my others. However the most important feature that comes with this phone is actually a technical one. It is that IPhone 4 has 256-bit hardware encryption on data where you can take advantage of creating corporate confidential applications. In case of missing or stolen device, IPhone 4 also has a option where you can wipe all data on the phone remotely from your Exchange or Mobile Device Management servers. I personally think this is an really important feature for a device that has a big chance of being lost or stolen. Build in GPS is also handy in such cases for locating the device.

For large corporations, application distribution is also a important concept. One can imagine that having a requirement for all devices to be physically logged in to the main company servers for application update or installation. If you are using an IPhone 4, you don’t need such thing. Application distribution can be done to any device around the globe wirelessly.

The main futures that I listed above is the general stuff that Apple offers to its business level customers. Still the question of why IPhone can be a better choice over Blackberry is not answered for my stand point. My point is that a business smartphone needs the simplicity in its applications and variety in number of applications are written for that device. Well I think one can easily see the difference of understanding of functionality between Apple and Research In Motion. It is not always a good idea to cram in tons of functions where you can get lost trying to find your way. I think that is what RIM does. Every time I have to use a Blackberry and use an application on it, it is really annoying to move around and find my way. Whereas with Apple’s understanding of Graphical User interface I get where I want with couple simple finger clicks. This is the main criticism that Blackberry applications receive based on my both personal experience as well as people using Blackberry’s as their company phones. As coming to the point of variety of applications, it is not a good idea to say IPhone has a huge archive of applications on iTunes. This cannot be a advantage at this point as companies have strict regulations on what you can use as an application to your company phone as well as the restrictions on which website you can use on your company phone. However, the massive size of iTunes brings a wild card to IPhone. There are a huge group of developers who are already developing for IPhone. If the enterprises decides to embrace the idea of making it available to their employees, I would expect a boom in business oriented applications in market for IPhones as there is already a well equipped and experienced group of developers out in the field.

To summarize my article, as the news of banks and Fortune 500 companies continue to approve IPhone 4 as an option for company mobile phones, I am expecting the clash between RIM and Apple in general consumer market to take a new level in enterprise market. In my honest opinion, I think Apple Inc. is on its way to take over that market from RIM as they already did in Q4 of 2010 in general smartphone market. Thus, it would be a wise decision for software development companies to start working on enterprise targeted products to have a head start in the race.

Apple Inc. 2010 Quarter 4: A breath Taking Financial Report

Industry giant from Cupertino, Apple Inc., has just announced their financial report regarding to this year of 2010’s Quarter 4. The market has been enthusiastically waiting to hear the good news as the company’s shares in the market has been sky rocketed in the past weeks reaching a 48% growth per share compared to the beginning of this year.

Apple Inc. proudly announced their breath taking financial records. Company declared their revenue according to this quarter as a record for themselves, $20.34 billion. This is a great contribution to company’s current financial stance on the market. In one of my early articles, I was conservative to say it would be a good idea to start selling shares if Apple hits $300 on NASDAQ, but now looking at the data released, I think we need to analyze the company again. Apple Inc. also posted their net quarterly profit as $4.31 billion which is equal to $4.64 per diluted share. To compare company’s growth from last years Quarter 4, Apple Inc. announced their net quarterly profit as $2.53 billion which was equal to $2.77 per diluted share. This is an unbelievable market attack by Apple, which I don’t think anyone would believe if this much of growth has been announced as a prediction last year. Apple also announced their international sales accounted for 57% of the total income. I think their policy to keep the prices up in European market has paid off with the help of company’s trend and high end brand name.

To give more detailed data on the units of products sold, it will be a good idea to start from Apple’s long lived computer branch, Mac computers. They have sold 3.89 million units this quarter recording 27% increase over 2009’s Q4. I think their tactic to start selling 13” Macbook Pro’s starting at $1199 helped this increase. This move enabled them to also reach the middle end users of the notebook market. It might be interesting to see the next quarter’s results as there is a big possibility announcement of new Macbook Air in 2 days at Apple’s Conference. As the last update on that device was around a year ago, it might contribute a nice amount of sale this next quarter with the help of holiday season.

As for the flag ship of Apple Inc. in terms of unit sales, IPhone, with a crazy popularity reached an impressive number unit sales this quarter. It has been announced as in Quarter 4 of 2010, Apple sold 14.1 million IPhones. This is really significant for showing the customer royalty to Apple as there has been some controversy regarding to smartphone’s antenna problem. Apple’s great marketing capability and highly trending brand name totally under-covered any possible cons of the product and helped Apple to beat RIM’s Quarter 4 sale of 12.1 million phone units. Now Apple is in a place of taking over the phone market from RIM and with RIM’s failure to bring their “A” game this year it looks like they are going to have a lot of trouble from now on. Also with the sale of IPhones, now Apple took the 3rd place in terms of mobile operating systems in the market. This momentum in company’s iOS is highly supported with their massive application store and it is going to be interesting to see the competition between the new born Android applications market and App Store in near future if Android can pick up more pace in terms of new applications.

On a final note, I would also like to talk about Apple’s IPad. Relatively new to the market, this hand held device brought a big dog fight to the mobile devices market for sure. Apple announced their quarter sale as 4.19 million units. I think as time goes by more and more enterprises will start to take advantage of this new device and I am expecting to see an increasing graphic in up coming financial quarters.

To sum up, it seems like Apple’s renaissance hit up its gold ages this year and brought company to one of the most important position in the technology market. Now, Apple has the market capital and marketing power to manipulate the trends. I think it will take a long time for another giant player to face them. Today I can say, we have a monopole on setting trends for technological devices and Apple is the player all behind this process.

Clash of the Mobile Operating Systems

Now we see the clash of two new born mobile operating system titans, Android and iOS all over the internet. There are a good bunch of compression videos over “youtube.com” testing their boot up speed, internet browser capabilities. However, the real giant remains silent as he continues to rule the mobile operating system market, Nokia’s Symbian. Before getting into the detail, it would be useful the take a look at Gartner Inc.’s data on mobile operating systems market:

Gartner's Statistics
Gartner’s Statistics

This statistics provide us with a different aspect of the software world. It is not only that Android is so popular for users, it is because phone manufacturers took their stand with Google Inc.’s Android. This is an encouraging news for the open-software side of the programming world. This possible reign of Android shows the sector open source softwares can in fact be used by the masses and be popular. Now we need to wait and see when computer manufactures will start to create more bundles with Unix based open source operating systems.

Going back to the mobile operating systems. I totally agree with Gartner’s expectations on Android’s future. Looking at its development right now and also the promising Android Market, the OS will surely be dominating the smartphone market in the near future. As of to the question, who will have the second biggest slice from the market, I think Nokia will make a stand and win the battle over Research in Motion as the company’s history and reliability in Europe is really high. However, I also think that we might see some action by Nokia in North American market. Today’s world, that market is a must for the companies who play to the top and Nokia’s current reputation in the States is not more than cheap pay-as-you-go phones.

Mobile OS Chart for 2010
Mobile OS Chart for 2010

Overall, it will not be wrong to say, finally open source software is getting the attention it deserves, even though it is just for mobile operating systems. Still it is a hope for a new possible era in software world. It will be interesting to take a look at the statistics next year to see how the smartphone market is growing as a boom is expected in near future.

State of Minnesota applies Cloud Computing Solution to its Government Network

Minnesota

Minnesota

State of Minnesota is becoming the first state in the history to implement cloud computing to its state-wide United Communications and Collaborations services system. It has been announced by Microsoft this week, that state will take advantage of the Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite.

Microsoft side claims that this new agreement will save a lot of tax payers money that has been previously spent for maintaining and upgrading Minnesota’s state network.  It has been stated that Minnesota’s agencies will now use their e-mail, instant messaging, web based applications for the state as well as conferencing tools through Microsoft’s online service.

Microsoft officials also announced that for providing the security feature that has been needed for such government applications will be provided by the private dedicated Microsoft environment which will directly connect to Minnesota’s secure network. However it will enable the state to have a safer interaction with its services, I think still the idea of building up government services on private corporation bases might cause controversy in the future due to the possible chance of access to the network from the vendor’s network.

Microsoft

Microsoft

To sum up, I can say that Minnesota took a brave step to put cloud computing to the test for government use. If the system can be satisfying in government transactions, I would say we wouldn’t have to wait long to see other states taking advantage of this new solution.

Apple Inc. Becomes the Second Biggest Company Based on Market Capital

Today can be a turning point for consumer technologies giant Apple Inc. as they took over the second position based on market capital around the world. This achievement however is not a big surprise if you take a look at the company’s market chart for the year of 2010. Apple Inc. has been increasing its value pretty much parallel to NASDAQ composite index.

However, it is also interesting to see how big a of a brand name the company created for themselves. This is very crucial as even their antenna defected Iphone 4 didn’t cause any harm to company’s stance in the market. Consumers continued to buy the Iphone 4 no matter what, even forgetting without a case the decide could not fulfill its very basic duty, being a phone.  I think this case shows us that the confidence that the company created for its users as they believed the problem will be fixed without a big hassle and cost.

From a financial stance, it is going to be interesting to see how Apple Inc. will deal with its new resistance level 290$ – 295$. Personally i think they will even break 295$ per share in the Q4. I would personally suggest to start selling shares if Apple Inc. ever hit 300$ which will create a 42% growth for the overall year of 2010. I think it is a fair amount of profit to make and it would be wise to watch how the market will react and follow the automated profit sales as most portfolio owners would like to pull out before the company’s share fall to a it is real value after this incredible growth.

Windows 7 Migration For Corporations is On the Horizon


Windows7

Windows7

It is a classic for corporate world to still use Windows XP as their operating system on their company computers. People continue to upgrade their personal computers operating system, however business world still mostly runs on age old Windows XP. This now come to a turning point as Microsoft announced that they will only provide support for Windows XP up until 2014. This means soon enough we will see third party suppliers for softwares that enterprises use will start to pull back their support for Windows XP products as they will start to focus on its succeeder Windows 7.

Everyone who used Vista pretty much claimed that they had no idea why they switched their operating system from Windows XP as Vista was significantly slower than its predecessor. That highly effected corporate world’s take on Vista as they skipped their migration on Vista and continued with what they have already. This also saved them from the cost of migration and its possible drawbacks until the system is once again stable. Now they cannot runaway from a migration as support discontinuity has been announced for XP.

Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows 7 seem to have a better reputation and according to Gartner, it will be the dominant operating system in both enterprise level and home usage in coming 4 years. For that reason most companies started to work on a plan to migrate their computer network from Windows XP to Windows 7 as it is expected to use 12 to 18 months for a healthy migration process. Gartner also announced that they expect the cost for per user migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 can be anywhere between 500$ to 1000$ including the third party software update for the new system.

This migration issue will also raise the demand for IT administrators who can handle the new operating system. Thus, it will be a good idea to keep an eye on the job market for this demand. Personally I would also say that after this migration, enterprises will stay on Windows 7 for a long while as they did with Windows XP. The logic behind that is the high cost of  migration process as well as Windows 7 current reputation for being a decent OS for companies with its new security and network features.

Mobile Devices Sales Around the Globe

Mobile phone vendors continue their journey to sell phones to everyone around the Globe and it seems like they are making great progress. Gartner, Inc. released their second quarter report for their mobile phone market for the year 2010. Mobile phone companies sold 325 million mobile devices in the first two quarters of 2010. It looks like Nokia once again tops the list with 111.4 million units sold in the first two quarters of 2010. Following Nokia, Samsung sold 65 million mobile devices. In the third spot, based on units sold, LG follows with 29.3 million units sold.

The smartphone is a common trend at the moment. The sales numbers increased 50.3% compared to the second quarter of 2010.  Nowadays, smartphones are gaining strength and out of  the overall sold mobile devices, 19% of those are smartphones. I think it is logical to expect this trend to continue as we see many wireless network operators offer a lot of new deals with smartphone packages. I think we will see smartphone share at least 40-45% of the market by next year.

Research in Motion’s sales numbers reached 11 million for this year, granting the company with the fourth biggest sales number in the market.  Up until this year, Research in Motion chose not to implement touchscreens with their mobile devices, however they now have their new product, Torch, that has a touchscreen.  As companies’ clients come from business companies, I don’t think their new phone will be an attraction point like for regular customers.

Apple Inc. has sold 8 million devices this year so far. Apple’s sales numbers might look small compared to the whole market, but we shouldn’t forget that Apple appeals mainly to upper class customers that buy the IPhone series products. Apple holds the 14.2% of the smartphone market making Apple the third largest smartphone provider in the world. I don’t think Apple would ever get the first spot in the market as they target the market by using their brand name. Their design failure in IPhone 4 might wake up the Apple engineers and remind them that a case is not a very wise cover up for a big reception problem.

This year’s sales list has shown us that there is a new player in the global mobile market: HTC. The Taiwanese company with its huge market capital of 503 billion dollars is becoming a global player with their Android OS powered phones. They increased their sales by 139% compared to last year’s first two quarters. Their innovative approach will take them far beyond this year’s number 8 position in sales. The company already started to sell the markets first 4G phone with a Sprint contract. I think that soon they will be able to shake the top three manufacturers from their seats.

Overall, I think Nokia will start to struggle with its confident position now as their phones lack the compatibility with other mobile phone operating systems along with their lack of new applications when compared to the other players in the market. I think that soon we will see an HTC domination in the market following the boom of the Android phones.

Cloud Computing for Your Mobile Phone: Good or Bad?

Recently cloud computing is a rising trend now in computer world. It looks like this will not be only limited to our personal computers. Rumors are going around that now manufacturers consider applying cloud computing to mobile phones. Cloud computing might sound fancy now and it is shown as a new technology to the customers, however its fundamentals are the same with our old UNIX systems.

To give a brief explanation about old UNIX network, it will be sufficient to remind “terminals” which consist of a screen and a keyboard. At that time, each user had a username and a password and reach the host servers through the terminals. Users emails, documents and every personal data was saved on the host servers. This era came to an end when personal computers crashed the party where every user has their own computer with processors and storage. Cloud computing can be described as the old UNIX system. Its theoretical plan is to have main processor sites that are build out of super computers and user can use this vast computing power through the network. It is now more applicable as we have faster internet connection around the globe.

The need of applying cloud computing came out of improving  the cell phones computing power as well as battery efficiency. First of all, now we have smart phones, however they lack computing power compared to our computers at home or work. Also, everyone can realize that when you actually do something with your mobile that uses its processor, the battery life decreases dramatically. Grid computing comes into play at this point providing the needed computing muscle and as it will only use data connection there won’t be mass consumption of battery. This can be useful right now as connection speed is sufficient with 3G and beyond. However, users would really like to participate in grid computing?

At first, it might seem like there is no reason for a user to say no to grid computing as it promises lower prices for mobile phones with powerful processors and long battery life. However, there is a big down side for gird computing. This downside is that, users whole data including personal private information will be held in main host sites. Your text messages, your emails, your music, your documents will be held in main storage areas. This situation will allow your personal data to be more reachable by third parties which compromises personal privacy. It will also enable law forces to search personal data in need of a research easily without a notification.

As a overall impression, I would say cloud computing for personal devices is not a good choice nor good service as cloud computing eliminates the very foundation of “personal”. However, I think this refurbished technology can be a promising tool for Enterprise level clients.

Apple’s Solution for Small Businesses and Homes: Apple Mini Server

Adding a server to your home network or business network usually ends up with you calling the IT guy. You will also need a space for storing the server rack or server computer. Apple seem to provide a solution for this need, their new Apple mini with Snow Leopard Server. It is a small but yet powerful device that will be sufficient for most of your needs unless you are planning on intense database activity.

Apple mini’s server version comes up with dual 500 GB Serial ATA hard drives. Those hard drives used be offered as 5400 rmp which can be considered a low speed for a server hard drive. Now Apple offer the hard drives at 7200 rpm which provides the speed that will be sufficient for your needs. Apple also provides a RAID software which has the option of RAID 0, RAID 1 and if you plan to connect external hard drives you can also use RAID 1 0. RAID 0 can boost up the performance of your hard drives but you will be with out a safety net. So I would suggest if you are planning to use RAID system with your Mac mini, you would like to use RAID 1 as it will mirror the hard drives so that you will have increased redundancy. Apple mini also comes up with a nice processor power. Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz with 3 MB on-chip shared L2 cache will provide you the computing power you would need with your server. Another thing new about Apple Mini Server is that now it is offered with 4GB of 1066 DDR3 memory. This is an okay amount for a server but if you like to upgrade your memory and speed up your system, Apple Mini supports up to 8GB. That option can be very useful for small business networks as it will increase the performance on loaded systems dramatically. Apple Mini Server comes up with a 256MB DDR3 main-memory shared graphics NVIDIA GeForce 320M. Some may give a pause when they see “main-memory shared”  but there is nothing to worry, this is a server computer 99.9% of the time you would not need a screen connected to it.

Another thing to consider is that Apple Mini Server comes up without and optical drive to provide the second 500GB hard drive. This is not a big problem really as Apple Mini can mount optical drives through out the network and you can even install operating systems that way. This feature was introduced with Macbook Air and it looks like Apple is utilizing it pretty well with its new products. Apple also has a external optical drive that you can hook up with your Mac Mini, but then again your server will be in a network so this will be unnecessary. Talking about network, this little guy comes up with pretty much every communication option available right out of the box. It has Airport Extreme 802.11 n Wi-fi Wireless networking compatible with its predecessors. It also has Bluetooth 2.1 + Enhanced Data Rate as well as one 10/100/1000BASE -T Ethernet. Only problem I see with the connection options is that, Mac Mini only has one Ethernet port which you would like to have a couple at least for redundancy in a server machine. However it should be okay for a small business or home use which Mac Mini is actually aiming at.

Overall, Apple once again provide the market with a small but handy computer which is almost perfect for small business and home networks. You can use Apple Mini Server for web hosting, e-mail server, pod-casting, e-mail sharing, file sharing and many more activities that you would like on a server.It has software ready for those options all you need is couple of clicks. Supporting SSH, it is easy to reach the server from anywhere in network securely and easily. Finally, I would highly suggest this product if you are planning on starting a small network either at home or work but don’t know how to start it. This is a great product for you as it has user friendly interface where you can set up everything.