Home » 2014 » March

Monthly Archives: March 2014

Mobile Cloud Computing: proven questions and statements about the current and future state-of-the-market

  • Is Android Becoming the New Windows?
  • Tablets to Outsell PCs Worldwide by 2015
  • Android Blows Past iOS in Global Tablet Market
  • Android To Retain Big Lead In Maturing Smartphone Market
  • The Price Gap Between iOS and Android Is Widening
  • In Just 2 Years, Google And Facebook Have Come To Control 75% Of All Mobile Advertising
Note: In addition keep in mind at least the fact that Bloomberg (Businessweek) legitimizes Allwinner and Rockchip as challengers to Intel and Qualcomm via the tablet space, as well as Spreadtrum in the smartphone space [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 18, 2014]. More facts of such kind:
Alibaba gets Tango for its push into the U.S. and the whole Western world [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 20, 2014]
Chinese smartphone brands to conquer the global market? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 18, 2014]
MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 4, 2014]
To watch Alisher Usmanov (Алишер Усманов) [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 22, 2014]
Device businesses should have a China-based independent headquarter at least for Asia/Pacific if they want to succeed [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 28, 2014]
2014 will be the last year of making sufficient changes for Microsoft’s smartphone and tablet strategies, and those changes should be radical if the company wants to succeed with its devices and services strategy [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 17, 2014]
The tablet market in Q1-Q3’13: It was mainly shaped by white-box vendors while Samsung was quite successfully attacking both Apple and the white-box vendors with triple digit growth both worldwide and in Mainland China [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 14, 2013]
Leading PC vendors of the past: Go enterprise or die! [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Nov 7, 2013]
The question mark over Wintel’s future will hang in the air for two more years [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 15, 2013]
  • Is Android Becoming the New Windows?
  • Tablets to Outsell PCs Worldwide by 2015
  • Android Blows Past iOS in Global Tablet Market
  • Android To Retain Big Lead In Maturing Smartphone Market
  • The Price Gap Between iOS and Android Is Widening
  • In Just 2 Years, Google And Facebook Have Come To Control 75% Of All Mobile Advertising

All supported by facts and well researched forecasts by IDC, Gartner and eMarketer.

image
Source: Is Android Becoming the New Windows? [Statista, Jan 9, 2014]

image
Source: Tablets to Outsell PCs Worldwide by 2015 [Statista, Mach 1, 2014]

image
Source: Android Blows Past iOS in Global Tablet Market [Statista, Mach 3, 2014]

image
Source: Android To Retain Big Lead In Maturing Smartphone Market [Statista, Mach 4, 2014]

image
Source: The Price Gap Between iOS and Android Is Widening [Statista, Feb 14, 2014]

image
Source: In Just 2 Years, Google And Facebook Have Come To Control 75% Of All Mobile Advertising [Business Insider India, March 21, 2014]

In the last two years, Facebook and Google have gone from a position of merely being two big, fast-growing players in mobile advertising to dominating it completely. Combined, they have cornered 75.2% of the entire mobile market in 2013, according to new data by eMarketer.

In 2014, Google alone is expected to be roughly as big as all other companies combined, as this chart of mobile ad revenues from Statista shows.

“new data by eMarketer”:
Driven by Facebook and Google, Mobile Ad Market Soars 105% in 2013 [eMarketer, March 19, 2014]

Mobile ad spending on pace to reach $31.45 billion this year

Last year, global mobile ad spending increased 105.0% to total $17.96 billion, according to new figures from eMarketer. In 2014, mobile is on pace to rise another 75.1% to $31.45 billion, accounting for nearly one-quarter of total digital ad spending worldwide.

Facebook and Google accounted for a majority of mobile ad market growth worldwide last year. Combined, the two companies saw net mobile ad revenues increase by $6.92 billion, claiming 75.2% of the additional $9.2 billion that went toward mobile in 2013. The two companies are consolidating their places at the top of the market, accounting for more than two-thirds of mobile ad spending last year—a figure that will increase slightly this year, according to eMarketer.

image

Facebook in particular is gaining significant market share. In 2012, the social network accounted for just 5.4% of the global advertising market. In 2013, that share increased to 17.5%, and eMarketer predicts it will rise again this year to 21.7%. Google still owns a plurality of the mobile advertising market worldwide, taking a portion of nearly 50% in 2013, but the rapid growth of Facebook will cause the search giant’s share to drop to 46.8% in 2014, eMarketer estimates.

image

The rapid pace at which mobile has taken over the company’s ad revenue share indicates Facebook’s mobile future. In 2012, only 11% of Facebook’s net ad revenues worldwide came from mobile, and last year, that figure jumped to 45.1%. In 2014, eMarketer estimates that mobile will account for 63.4% of Facebook’s net digital ad revenues. Mobile accounted for 23.1% of Google’s net ad revenues worldwide in 2013, and eMarketer estimates this share will increase to 33.8% this year.

Micromax is in a strategic alliance with operator Aircel and SoC vendor MediaTek for delivery of bundled complete solution offers almost equivalent to cost of the device and providing innovative user experience

Micromax, the No. 1 among local smartphone brands in India, has announced its partnership with MediaTek and Aircel, India’s fifth largest operator, aimed to come up with best mobile experience for the Indian users. The offers initially will be available across 4 Micromax devices – MMX 377G data card, Funbook Mini 410i Android tablet, A090 and X070 smartphones. The smartphones will be available across the retail outlets across India from April, 2014.

This strategic alliance is also aimed at the development of a local version of MediaTek’s new “super-mid market” approach as descibed in my earlier MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 4, 2014] post. Here is the illustration of what is the envisaged future state-of-the-market:

versus the current one:

With more than $1 billion of revenue for its latest fiscal year ending March 31 and almost 8 million smartphones delivered in 2013 (18% of the market) Micromax is the company to watch how MediaTek’s new approach will work on this fast growing smartphone market. Look at the following chart to grasp the immense growth potential:

As per IDC producing the above chart:

The overall phone market stood at close to 257 million units in CY 2013 – an 18% increase from 218 million units in CY2012.

CY2013 also witnessed a remarkable migration of the user base from feature phones to smartphones primarily due to the narrowing price gaps between these product categories.

As per another Smartphone Prices Race to the Bottom as Emerging Markets Outside of China Come into the Spotlight for Future Growth, According to IDC [press release, Feb 24, 2014]:

India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.

Details:

Micromax somewhat underperformed on its home market last year according to this chart:

image

image

A detailed analysis of that situation could be found in 2013 Review: Micromax loses market share in Q2 and Q3 [daily.bhaskar.com, March 20, 2014] from which the most important details are:

In 2012 Micromax launched the Canvas 2 A110. This was a hot-seller when the young generation around colleges, in buses and in metros were actually talking about the handset. The Canvas HD A116 followed in early 2013 with 9000 pieces in the initial phase. Less than 24 hours and this Rs. 13990 [$229] phone was gone! Though Micromax was criticized for getting less number of pieces into the market and keeping customers wait, we have to admit this was a best-seller. People did wait for 2 months to get their piece of Canvas HD.

After this Micromax went ahead with costly flagships. It launched Canvas 4 and Canvas Turbo last year apart from other budget launches (that silently made way to stores) throughout the year. It took to premium smartphones with prices like Rs. 17999 [$296] and Rs. 19999 $327. Though these handsets got good reviews but they could not create the craze like the earlier Canvas 2 and Canvas HD. We definitely missed the ‘dus hazaar mein aur kya chahiye yaar?’  last year. (What more do you want in a Rs. 10000 [$167] phone about the Canvas 2?) We have seen people talking about Micromax Canvas 2 or HD outside phone stores being out of stock and in demand. Too bad on our part, but that’s the recall value associated with these two phones.

Competitors has their best budget phones launching during the year 2013. In the first part of the year 2013 Samsung launched Galaxy Grand series of large display screen phones, Sony and HTC went down for launch of budget phones and so did Nokia with its new Lumia phones. Competition was no doubt increased by the end of 2013.

… The market shares dropped from 22% in Q2 2013 to 17.1% in Q3, 2013. This was the time when Samsung gained from 26% in Q2 2013 to 32.9% in Q3 2013. The launch of Galaxy Grand Quattro and Galaxy Mega happened in May at a price of Rs. 16990. The Canvas HD that was launched in mid of February in 2013 was getting delivered till June in the year after its on-and-off appearance in stores.

Note that Canvas HD launched in Q1 2013 started shipping and available in stores by the Q2 2013. The low cost Canvas Viva 5-incher also saw a launch in Q2 2013 and was popular. There were more than two dozen of budget launches from the company in 2013. See 12 top Micromax launches in 2013.

This analysis has even found that Micromax’s Q1’14 move went wrong:

Micromax has just launched its new phone in the market, the Canvas Knight with cutting edge specs and a beautiful body that can compete with the most premium handsets in the market. The new Canvas knight A350 has been placed at a higher price point of Rs. 20K (Precisely Rs. 19999 [$327]).

According to the ex-regular and (most of the time) an authentic leakster Micromax got only 830 pieces for sale initially. The handset was expected to be a best-seller for Micromax and ideally should go out of the stock very soon (we expected it to be out of stock in less than 12 hours). But this did not happen with the Canvas Knight. Even after 24 hours of Day 1 of launch the phone was still in stock. On Day 3 morning when we checked the status it finally showed a waiting period of at least 7-10 days. That is some 40-48 hours to sell 830 number of phones.

so this analysis concludes:

The trend has been towards…

According to the research firm IDC, markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.

Competitors tried to fit themselves in less than Rs. 15000 [$245.5] price bracket. Nokia, Sony. HTC, now Blackberry are planning their smart moves in this direction. Check out our other speculations for the year – Top 10 trends for Indian smartphone market for year 2014

For 2014 the competition will be more tough with Nokia X series, low-cost Moto phones and other budget smartphones. Micromax probably needs to launch low-cost flagship (as one of its flagship phones in a year) that can make it a talk of streets again! We are waiting for Q1 2014 results to know if the Canvas Knight could become the next Canvas HD for the company?

Instead of such expectation Micromax decided to innovate via another route in Q2’13 by providing bundled Aircel offers, i.e. operator based offerings, to which it invited MediaTek innovation in the user experience space, all aimed at a range of complete solution offers for the consumers which will be almost equivalent to cost of the device when sold unbundled:

Micromax to hit $1 billion revenue this fiscal
[PTI [Press Trust of India] via The Economic TimesBGR India, March 20, 2014]

Helped by growing sales of its affordable and entry-level smartphones, homegrown handset maker Micromax expects to hit $1 billion (over Rs 6,100 crore) in revenues this fiscal, ending March 31.

The New Delhi-headquartered company’s revenues were Rs 3,168 crore [$518 million] for the financial year 2012-13.

Micromax, which is the second largest smartphone player in India, held about 16 percent market share in Q4 2013. Some of the top selling models were the entry level smartphones like A35 Bolt and A67, IDC data showed.

The Canvas range of devices has also done well in terms of volume contribution owing to the marketing campaigns launched around them.

“We have seen huge growth in business, especially in the smartphone category (mid and entry-level). We expect to close this fiscal will a billion in revenues,” Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain told PTI.

The firm will continue to launch innovative and affordable products for the market across platforms, he added.

“We will introduce a product based on Android Kitkat with in the next 60 days,” Jain said.

Asked if the company would introduce a device with Windows Phone OS, he said the company is in discussions with Microsoft on bringing out “products relevant to the Indian market”.

Micromax today announced a strategic partnership with chipset maker MediaTek and telecom services provider Aircel.

“This is aimed at offering the best out-of-the-box experiences for the Indian users and the partnership will see a unique amalgamation of the expertise of the three companies,” Jain said.

While, Aircel will offer one stop solutions to address the increasing data demands, MediaTek along-with Micromax’s expertise in product design and performance will redefine the user experience creating a win-win ecosystem for the Indian users, he added.

Under this alliance, Aircel will team up with Micromax to introduce a range of offers for the consumers which will be almost equivalent to cost of the device.

Powered by MediaTek chipsets, the devices promise to deliver a seamless and a powerful user experience, while the bundled Aircel offers will drive data growth in the country.

The offers initially will be available across 4 Micromax devices – MMX 377G, Funbook Mini 410i, A090 and X070 – to be available next month.

The co-developed smart devices by the three pioneers will deliver seamless experience for consumers, driving enhanced performance and data experience for customers across the country.

Micromax, MediaTek & Aircel Partner For The Best Mobile Experience For The Indian Consumers On The Go! [joint press release via … GizbotEFYTimes …, March 20, 2014]

In pursuit to strengthen the mobile eco-system in India, Micromax, India’s 2nd largest smartphone manufacturer, today announced a strategic partnership with MediaTek, one of the leading chipset manufacturers and Aircel. Aimed at offering the best out of the box experiences for the Indian users, the partnership will see a unique amalgamation of the expertise of the three companies. While Aircel will offer one stop solutions to address the increasing data demands, MediaTek along-with Micromax’s expertise in product design and performance will redefine the user experience creating a win-win ecosystem for the Indian users.

Under this alliance, Aircel will team up with Micromax to introduce a range of offers for the consumers which will be almost equivalent to cost of the device. Powered by MediaTek chipsets, the devices promise to deliver a seamless and a powerful user experience, while the bundled Aircel offers will drive data growth in the country. The offers initially will be available across 4 Micromax devices – MMX 377G, Funbook Mini 410i, A090 and X070. The co-developed smart devices by the three pioneers will deliver seamless experience for the consumers, driving enhanced performance and data experience for customers across the country.

The products will be available across the retail outlets across the country from April, 2014. Aircel has launched bundled offers with Micromax devices which will give customers exciting benefits worth more than Rs. 10,000 [$164]:

Device

Benefits

Micromax Dongle – MMX 377G

(Benefits for 6 months)

Aircel customers can get exciting data benefits for 6 months at Rs. 141 [$2.31]

For the first 3 months, customers will get 2GB/month data

For the next 3 months – customers will get double data value for every recharge

Smartphones and Tablets (Benefits for 3 months)

1GB data per month

1.2P/2 sec Local Calling

1.2P/ sec STD Calling

WAP content worth Rs. 10,000 [$164]

Popkorn TV App Free

Data Enabled Feature Phones (Benefits for 3 months)

500MB data per month

1.2P/2 sec Local Calling

Local. 1.2P/sec STD Calling

WAP content worth Rs. 10,000 [$164]

Commenting on the partnership, Vikas Jain, Co-founder, Micromax, said, “At Micromax, we have constantly strived to democratize technologies for the masses by bringing alive unique and customized products and offerings for our consumers. Entering a new phase, our focus is now to provide seamless solutions to the consumers using their smart devices, thereby concentrating a large chunk of our efforts on coming up with products and services which act as solutions to the needs of the fast-evolving consumers. This partnership exemplifies the same endeavor, and we are very delighted to pioneer with MediaTek and Aircel, two pioneers in their own respective domains. While MediaTek supports us with the hardware, Aircel offers customized offerings for consumers to get a complete, affordable and seamless data experience across the country

My insert here Exclusive: Micromax will Launch its Hexa Core smartphone in April 2014 in India  [GadgetsToUse.Com, March 20, 2014]

In an Interview with GadgetsToUse.Com, Micromax Co-founder Vikas Jain confirmed that Micromax has completed internal testing of its up-coming Hexa Core smartphone based on MT6591 chipset and this new phone will be launched by the end of April 2014. Micromax also confirmed that its LapTab will indeed launch and that to in the same time frame.

Interview with Micromax, Co Founder Vikas Jain About Laptop India Launch, Hexa Core Phone [GadgetsToUse YouTube channel, March 20, 2014]

[ As per Micromax Canvas LapTab confirmed to arrive in April 2014 in India [GadgetsToUse.Com, March 20, 2014] LapTab is an 1.46GHz Intel Celeron processor based device, with a 10.1 inch IPS LCD display, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB storage. Despite of the fact that neither Microsoft nor Google are keen on supporting dual boot devices, the LapTab enjoy the productivity of Windows 8.1 Platform and richness of Android 4.2 jelly bean on a single device, but the transition won’t be seamless. You will have to reboot the device to switch between two operating systems. It is expected to be priced between Rs. 25,000 [$409] and Rs. 30,000 [$490] . ]

Sharing his thoughts on the partnership, Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer, Aircel, said, “Aircel has positioned itself well as a data leader by constantly innovating products and services aimed at redefining user experience, which essentially is the youth. While there are many factors driving internet adoption in India; one key factor is the evolution of devices such as smart phones and tablets. Today’s youth are well informed on the data consumption patterns and therefore smart devices becomes an integrated tool to propel consumption of videos, social TV, HD gaming, content on demand etc. Keeping in line with consumer’s needs and demands, Aircel is bullish on device tie ups. We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with Micromax to offer exciting bundled benefits of their newly launched smart devices.” He further added, “According to a study, the number of telecom subscribers in India accessing the internet through mobile devices is increasing and will reach 350 million by 2015. This clearly indicates that mobile devices and data connectivity is undoubtedly the future of mobile telephony.”

Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager – Business Development at MediaTek, said, “For the first time, this unique tri-partnership between MediaTek, Micromax and Aircel provides the end-consumers both unparalleled benefits as well as unparalleled choice. Buyers do not only get benefits equivalent to the value of device they buy, but also a seamless and bundled value-add for data, voice and messaging across the entire product segmentation that includes dual-core smart phones, feature phones, 3G Tablets and 3G data card dongles. Hailing the beginning of the post-PC era, our MT6572, MT6260, MT8377 and MT6280 chipsets offer harmonized platforms to empower fast, powerful, smart and inclusive devices that cater to the emerging ‘super-mid’ market.”

Interview with Mediatek, General Manager Dr Finbarr About 4G Chipset, India Prices, Hexa MT6591, … [GadgetsToUse YouTube channel, March 20, 2014]

Visit http://www.gadgetstouse.com – to read more detailed reviews, hands on and overview of smartphones

Further details about MediaTek’s new “super-mid market” approach you can find in my earlier MediaTek is repositioning itself with the new MT6732 and MT6752 SoCs for the “super-mid market” just being born, plus new wearable technologies for wPANs and IoT are added for the new premium MT6595 SoC [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 4, 2014] post.

Alibaba gets Tango for its push into the U.S. and the whole Western world

It is a further proof point that in 2014: Jack Ma (Alibaba) going against Jeff Bezos (Amazon) et al. [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Jan 8, 2014]. It is also a critical investment as Alibaba needs to have a market leading messaging and social networking app of its own to compete with the Facebook+WhatsApp combo. The aim of Tango after the huge $215M investment from Alibaba (which is giving them 21.5% majority stake) is no less than: 

… to build the WeChat of the Western world. We have all the WeChat features but each one of them is Westernized.

as was declared by Uri Raz, co-founder and CEO of Tango, in an interview to the Wall Sreet Journal. Quite an undertaking considering WhatsApp’s MAU (Monthly Active Users) of 450M and WeChat’s MAU of 355M versus that of the 70M+ MAU for Tango. Considering the details behind this announcement it is—nevertheless—quite feasible:

Tango Announcement [TangoME YouTube channel, March 19, 2014]

Tango announces a $280M round of funding led by Alibaba. Tango is a free mobile messaging service with 200M+ members. Through communication, social features and a compelling content platform, Tango members discover engaging ways to connect, get social and have fun. Download for FREE at http://www.tango.me on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Kindle Fire, and PC.

From TANGO AT-A-GLANCE [company fact sheet, March 19, 2014] 

Funding

 Total funding to date: $367M

  • Series A – $5M (June 2010). Investors:
     MXB Holdings
     WR Hambrecht
     Long Sea Limited
  • Series B – $42M (June 2011). Investors: 4 
     DFJ
     SPA Special Investment Fund
  • Series C – $40M (March 2012). Investors:
     AI SMS
     Qualcomm
     DFJ
     Long Sea Limited
  • Series D – $280M (March 2014). Investors:
     Alibaba [$215M from Alibaba according to Wall Street Journal, which is giving a 21.5% majority stake as the company was valued at the time of Series D founding at $1B]
     DFJ
     Qualcomm Ventures
     Access Industries
     Translink Capital
     Toms Capital
     Jerry Yang
     Bill Tai
     Alex Zubillaga

Tango’s Latest News: A Vision of The Future and a $280M Funding Round [by Uri and Eric  in Tango Me Blog, March 19, 2014], note that my inserts below are from TANGO AT-A-GLANCE [company fact sheet, March 19, 2014] and the TangoME YouTube channel

We launched Tango in September 2009 out of the personal need to stay connected to our own families. It helped tremendously that both of us came from deep video technology backgrounds and had strong entrepreneurial spirits. But it was the emotional connection with family living in other parts of the world that inspired our mission here at Tango. Back then we felt that free online communication through texts, voice and video calls would remove barriers and change the world. The world agreed: we signed up our first million members in the first 10 days after launch.

Since then, we have been on quite a journey. The sheer power of free communication has changed the way we connect with others. Today, the amount of texting from over-the-top messaging apps surpasses carrier SMS. We’re proud that Tango has become a part of this industry disruption and even more excited that Tango has become a preferred place for our members to communicate and share with friends and family.

According to China’s Alibaba Invests $215 Million in Startup Tango [The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014]

Last summer, Alibaba began blocking merchants on Taobao and Tmall from using WeChat to send promotional messages to shoppers. Tencent, meanwhile, added mobile payments last year and has been offering more services and shopping options on WeChat.

There are no immediate plans to connect the Tango app with the company’s various e-commerce services, though that could come over time, said a person familiar with the plans. Tango will operate separately from Laiwang.

Tango also expands Alibaba’s portfolio of fast-growing U.S. startups as the Chinese company tries to gain a foothold here. It led investments last year in app search-engine Quixey Inc. and two-day shipping provider ShopRunner Inc.

Alibaba’s cash will help Tango, based in Mountain View, Calif., to double its workforce to more than 300 this year and open up its service to more outside developers, Chief Executive Uri Raz said.

Mr. Raz said he began adding other services, such as games and photo sharing, after seeing the success of Asian texting apps such as WeChat, Kakao and Line. “We were looking at what happened in Japan and China,” Mr. Raz said. “It was the first time since 1999 that I saw the speed of innovation happening faster over there than here.”

From TANGO AT-A-GLANCE [company fact sheet, March 19, 2014]

What is Tango
Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif.
Tango is consistently in the top 25 on Google Play and top 100 in the iTunes App Store.
 
Tango is available in 14 languages and has subscribers in more than 224 countries with nearly one third of its members in the U.S.
 
Basic Stats
Year founded: 2009
Number of users: 200M+ (if Tango were a country it would be the 5th largest in the world)
Daily user base growth: 325K (average)
Monthly active users [MAU]: 70M+
[note that WhatsApp bought by Facebook has MAU of 450M and Alibaba’s major competitor Tencent’s WeChat MAU of 355M]

Global breakdown based on DAU
 27% U.S. (North America 31%)
 20% Asia
 12% Europe
 29% Middle East
 8% Other

Platform user base demographics:
 Gender neutral
 Over half between the ages 25-44
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, PC
Coverage: 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi
Number of iPhone/iPad users: 40% (whole user base)
Number of Android users: 60% (whole user base)
App store ranking:
 4.3 stars on Google Play
 4.5 stars on iTunes
Number of patents: 30 (4 approved – 26 pending)
Awards:
 Appy Awards: Best Communication App 2013
 About.com: Reader’s Choice 2013
 Webby nomination 2013
 Verizon’s Must Have Apps list 2013
Number of employees: 160
Total funding to date: $367M
Partners: 40+ game partners, 10+ Direct advertising partners, and Spotify on Music Messaging

While we’ve made progress on our mission to enable people to communicate, share and feel more connected, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible. The opportunity for Tango goes well beyond just providing a messaging app for free communications. We see an even bigger opportunity – one where people can have access to free communication, social networking features and enjoyable content – all within a single platform.

Over the past eight months, Tango has evolved.

  • We’ve introduced a content platform that is now home to more than 30 games.

My inserts here:
Connect & Play with Tango [TangoME YouTube channel, June 18, 2013]

Tango is partnering with Gameloft, Bubble Gum Interactive, and other world-class developers to bring great games to their messaging app.

– Games developed for Tango: 35+ games live
– Game developers for Tango: 50+ developers signed

  • We’ve introduced new social networking features that allow members to share updates or photos and to find new friends.

My insert here:
Find Friends Nearby with Tango [TangoME YouTube channel, July 18, 2013]

  • And we’ve introduced social music sharing through integration with Spotify, which means members can now send each other songs.

My inserts here:
Tango powered by Spotify video [TangoME YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

Search, listen and share songs with your friends.

Tango music video featuring recording artist Riz – the first of its kind to be recorded using Google Glass [RizVEVO YouTube channel, Nov 11, 2013]

This is the FIRST ever music video shot entirely using Google Glass.

– Total Music Played: hundreds of millions

According to China’s Alibaba Invests $215 Million in Startup Tango [The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014]

Tango joined with outside developers, such as game maker Gameloft Inc. and music-streaming service Spotify AB, to offer users a range of virtual activities inside the app. For example, Tango users can share 30-second clips of their favorite songs from Spotify or compete with their friends for the high score in the Gameloft title “Candy Block Breaker.” The company shares the revenue from purchases made inside the apps with the developers.

By the end of this year, Tango plans to open its software code to allow any outside developer to build games and other services for its users, Mr. Raz said.

The startup is also bolstering its revenue through mobile advertising. Last December, it began working with Twitter Inc.’s MoPub unit to sell ads within users’ news feeds and message inboxes, promoting apps made by Zynga Inc. and others.

Quite honestly, the results have blown us away. We’re excited by the 2x increase in daily engagement since last July. And we love it that our members are huge fans of music and love to send hundreds of millions of songs to their friends through Tango. These changes are reflected in huge growth in registered users: over the last year we’ve doubled to more than 200 million.

The way we see it, this is just the beginning for Tango. We believe that messaging apps will fundamentally change the way content and services are distributed. We are very excited to continue to build upon our foundation of free communications, while extending into new growth areas in social networking and content. We know that we can’t do it on our own, and for that reason, we couldn’t be more excited to announce our newest investor, Alibaba Group.

According to China’s Alibaba Invests $215 Million in Startup Tango [The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2014]

While the company has an office in Beijing and has seen rising usage in Thailand and Hong Kong, Asia isn’t currently a main area of focus for the company, Mr. Raz said.

Mr. Setton says the alliance with Alibaba will give Tango market insights that will help it beat rivals to new trends.

Rather than take on WeChat in China, Mr. Raz said he’s more focused on perfecting the model for U.S. users.

We want to build the WeChat of the Western world,” Mr. Raz said. “We have all the WeChat features but each one of them is Westernized.”

Together with some of our prior investors, Alibaba has lead a $280 million Series D funding round. [$215M from Alibaba according to Wall Street Journal, which is giving a 21.5% majority stake as the company was valued at the time of Series D founding at $1B.] As part of this financing, Michael Zeisser from Alibaba will join our Board of Directors. We welcome Alibaba’s investment in Tango. We know that we will be able to benefit from Alibaba’s expertise.

More on Tango as it is:

Tango – Connect, Get Social, Have Fun! [TangoME YouTube channel, March 12, 2014]

Tango is a free mobile messaging service with 200 million members. Through communication, social features and a compelling content platform, Tango members discover engaging ways to connect, get social and have fun. Tango is available on iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Blackberry, Kindle Fire and PC and works across platforms and networks. Download the app at http://www.tango.me.

Let’s Play – Tango [TangoME YouTube channel, Feb 21, 2014]

The award-winning messaging app now powers games around the world. Connect & Play with hundreds of millions of people around the world! Play with Tango!

Tango Free Voice, Video, and Text [TangoME YouTube channel, Sept 10, 2012]

Now you can send pictures with all of your Tango friends, or try playing out new game during a video call!

and its first year anniversary was proudly celebrated with the following achievements: Tango Turns One! [TangoME YouTube channel, Sept 30, 2011]

Check out the many milestones Tango achieved it’s first year out to market!

Tango’s market position as per Since Facebook Owns WhatsApp, Here Are 5 Alternative Messaging Services [ReadWrite, Feb 25, 2014]

You shouldn’t feel forced to relinquish your messaging data to Facebook.

Facebook stunned the tech world last week when it scooped up the messaging application WhatsApp for $19 billion.

The deal was largely heralded as a win for both sides: Facebook gained a much-needed service it hasn’t yet delivered on, and the small startup cashed in big time. But the downside of the acquisition fell heavily on the shoulders of users—those 450 million people [MAUmonthly active users] whose private data is now in the hands of Facebook.

If you’re a WhatsApp user who wants to break up with Facebook, or someone looking for a great new messaging application, we’ve put together a list of mobile messaging apps you should try.

Telegram

Almost five million people signed up for Telegram after Facebook bought WhatsApp. As a messaging service, it is sleek and easy to use. 

Telegram, which is built by a Berlin-based nonprofit, is cloud-based and heavily encrypted so users can use several devices to access their messages and documents including both mobile and desktop. The company also claims Telegram is a free service that will remain so in the future, meaning no advertisements or subscription fees will ever be levied on customers.

Telegram is available on iOS and Android. Developers can access and implement the app’s API through Telegram’s open source code.

Wickr

Snapchat’s sophisticated competitor Wickr brings government-strength security and encryption to your messages. Wickr lets you send self-destructing messages, documents, photos, videos and voice calls that disappear after a select amount of time.

Wickr is entirely anonymous, as the application doesn’t ask for any of your personal information. Wickr is also exceeds top secret and HIPAA compliance, so people in medical, law enforcement, and journalism fields can feel confident using Wickr for secure messaging knowing it can’t be traced or reproduced. 

Wickr is available on iOS and Android.

Line

Line is one of the most popular messaging services on the market for free voice and video calling. 

The app is massively popular internationally, especially in Asia, and it finally entered the U.S. market earlier this year. Line is more than just a simple messaging application—it has branched out to offer in-app games and a variety of standalone apps like Line Camera and Line Tools. While the app is free, additional services like stickers and games provide revenue for the company. In the first quarter of 2013, Line made $17 million off sticker sales alone

Line is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry

Kik

Kik is the world’s first messaging application with a built-in browser. The application boasts over 100 million users, a majority coming from North America and Western Europe.

Kik has over 30 HTML5 experiences built into the application for sharing pictures, videos and gaming, according to the company, and recently launched the in-app browser. Kik has also created open source tools to help developers build and optimize their websites for mobile. 

Kik is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.

Tango

Tango, like Line, offers an all-inclusive social app with games, music, video, and voice and text messaging. The San Francisco-based company says the app has 150 million [200 million as of March 19, 2014] users. 

Because of the additional features that extend beyond voice calling and messaging, users of more traditional messaging services like WhatsApp may find the interface a bit confusing, but users can personalize their profiles to find and make friends or discover people you may know nearby. 

Tango is available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone [was on WP7 back in 2011, but it is not on WP8].

Breaking Up Is Hard

It’s inconvenient to switch to an entirely new messaging service, especially if all your friends are dedicated to one app. But you shouldn’t feel forced to turn over your data to Facebook either. All these applications provide messaging services that rival WhatsApp, without the commitment to Facebook services, meaning you’re not turning over your mobile phone book and payment information to the social network in exchange for an efficient messaging service.

OneNote is available now on every platform (+free!!) and supported by cloud services API for application and device builders

This is preparing the ground for launching new overall business positioning as well as new cross-platform Microsoft strategy(IMHO) with Microsoft’s CEO may unveil Office for iPad on March 27: source [Reuters, March 17, 2014]

Investors for years have urged Microsoft to adapt Office for mobile devices from Apple and Google Inc, rather than shackling it to Windows as PC sales decline. But the Redmond, Washington-based software giant has been reluctant to undermine its other lucrative franchise, its PC operating software.

Microsoft gives up some $2.5 billion a year in revenue by keeping Office off the iPad, which has now sold almost 200 million units, analysts estimate.

Tech blog Re/code first reported news of Nadella’s event. Microsoft said in an invitation to reporters that Nadella will discuss “news related to the intersection of cloud and mobile but declined to comment on the specifics of the CEO’s appearance.

Microsoft has had iPad and iPhone versions of Office primed for several months now, sources told Reuters, but the company has dallied on their release due to internal divisions, among other things.

Although Nadella is expected to discuss his thinking in depth next week, the company has already signaled that it will adopt a more liberal attitude toward putting its software on different platforms.

Microsoft said earlier on Monday that it would make OneNote, its note-taking software, available on Mac, a move interpreted by observers as a shot against Evernote, the popular note-taking application that has both Mac and Android compatibility.

Aside from Evernote, Microsoft also faces budding challenges from startups that have released mobile-friendly alternatives to Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

The Evernote related action is already making the central Microsoft message really powerful: “Office 365 and OneNote has made me so much more efficient that I’m able to do a lot more”: Making Faster, Better Decisions (Extended Version) [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Meet Devin. Dedicated to helping others, Devin is working on faster, better ways to deliver medical treatments to people around the world. The information that he works with is complex, dense and endless, but he uses OnetNote to keep track of it all—and when all the pieces fit together, the result can be magical. See how he uses OneNote to make it happen.

OneNote now on Mac, free everywhere, and service powered [Office Blogs, March 17, 2014]

– David Rasmussen, Partner Group Program Manager (on behalf of the whole OneNote team who worked hard to bring you this)

When we started OneNote we set out to revolutionize the way people capture, annotate, and recall all the ideas, thoughts, snippets and plans in their life. As many of you have attested, OneNote is the ultimate extension for your brain, but it’s not complete if it’s not instantly available everywhere. We’ve already made a lot of progress in that direction with our mobile, tablet and online web experiences. But there was still a gap. People frequently asked us for OneNote on Mac, and for more ways to capture content.

image

[Check out the new OneNote for iPad, iPhone and Android [July 1, 2013]]

[iPhone: OneNote for iPhone Version 2.1.5: since Dec 10, 2013]

[iPad: OneNote for iPad Version 2.1.5: since Dec 10, 2013]

[Android: OneNote in Google play since Jan 8, 2014 as described in OneNote for Android update: Do more in less time [Dec 30, 2013]]

[Web: OneNote Online [on One Drive] since January 28, 2014 as per Use OneNote anywhere with the OneNote Web App]

Today we’re excited to complete that story with three major developments:

  1. OneNote for Mac is available for the first time and for free. With this, OneNote is now available on all the platforms you care about: PC, Mac, Windows tablets, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, Android and the Web. And they’re always in sync.
  2. OneNote is now free everywhere including the Windows PC desktop and Mac version because we want everyone to be able to use it. Premium features are available to paid customers.
  3. The OneNote service now provides a cloud API enabling any application to connect to it. This makes it easier than ever to capture ideas, information and inspirations from more applications and more places straight into OneNote, including:
  • OneNote Clipper for saving web pages to OneNote
  • me@onenote.com for emailing notes to OneNote
  • Office Lens for capturing documents and whiteboards with your Windows Phone
  • Sending blog and news articles [from the web] to OneNote from Feedly, News360 and Weave
  • Easy document scanning to OneNote with Brother, Doxie Go, Epson, and Neat [scanners]
  • Writing notes with pen and paper and sending them to OneNote with Livescribe
  • Mobile document scanning to OneNote with Genius Scan and JotNot [smartphone apps]
  • Having your physical notebooks scanned into OneNote with Mod Notebooks
  • Connecting your world to OneNote with IFTTT

Go to www.onenote.com to get OneNote for free for your Mac, PC or other devices, and try out the new OneNote service connected experiences.

OneNote: No Limits [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

OneNote is the ultimate extension for your brain. It’s now available everywhere and for free. Go to http://www.onenote.com to get OneNote for free on all your devices and try out the new OneNote service connected experiences.

image

Mac users have made it loud and clear that you want the first class note-taking experience of OneNote on your Macs. Actually… really, really clear. We got LOTS of direct mails, forum posts, and tweets like these:

  • “Now, @msonenote needs to release the OS X version of OneNote and my life will be complete :)”
  • “Dear Microsoft – the new web OneNote is nice. A native Mac version would be better. By this afternoon please, I have work to do.”
  • “I own a Mac and I LOVE OneNote so for me having OneNote on my Mac would just rock my world.”
  • “I desperately want OneNote on my new Mac… I use OneNote on VMware Fusion… There is nothing remotely like it for Mac… I have just spent a week looking for anything that comes close.”

Okay, we got the message. Rocking worlds and making lives complete is a pretty high bar, and we’re sorry we missed your afternoon deadline, but we’ve been working away, and we’re excited to bring it to you today. And if you’re a Mac user who didn’t already know about OneNote, check out Introducing OneNote for Mac or just get started now by downloadingOneNote for Mac from the Mac App Store to see what your fellow Mac users are so excited about.

image

People love OneNote 2013 on Windows. We want this awesome experience to be available to anybody, so we’ve created a free version! It’s designed for personal and school use, it’s totally ad-free and there’s no limit on how long you can use it because it’s not just a trial. For Office 365 and Office 2013 customers, we have premium features like SharePoint support, version history, Outlook integration and so on, but all the core OneNote application capabilities are available in the free version.

Everything you create in the free PC and Mac clients are synced to OneDrive, so you can access them from your phone and tablet too. Your Microsoft Account gives you 7GB of free storage with no monthly upload limit, so there’s plenty of room for everything you want to remember.

If you have an older version of OneNote or haven’t yet had a chance to use OneNote on your PC, get OneNote 2013 today at www.onenote.com.

OneNote service: Bringing OneNote to the apps you care about

OneNote is more than just syncing your content across all your devices. It’s now a hub for the applications and experiences you care about. By making it easy to send anything from any application to OneNote, it’s one more step towards becoming your digital memory. We’ve built some new experiences for this and we’ve worked with a bunch of partners to integrate it with their applications as well.

OneNote Clipper: The new OneNote Clipper lets you capture any web page in one click. The page is automatically put in your OneNote Quick Notes. It is available for Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox and Mac Safari.

Send email to OneNote: Send a mail to me@onenote.com and we’ll save it into your OneNote Quick Notes. Forward a receipt from your inbox or send a web link from your phone to me@onenote.com.

Office Lens: Office Lens is a Windows Phone app that’s like having a scanner in your pocket. Take a picture of a whiteboard, document, business card, or anything. Office Lens will enhance the image and put it into your OneNote Quick Notes. We’ll recognize the text so you can search for your scans.

Partner apps and devices: We want to make it easy to remember things from anywhere, not just Microsoft apps. So we’ve been working with several key partners to let you do that. You can use these great apps and devices to get anything into OneNote today: Brother, Doxie Go, Epson, Feedly, Genius Scan, IFTTT, JotNot, Livescribe, Mod Notebook, News360 and Weave. Check them all out at www.onenote.com/apps

We also have several more exciting partner experiences coming soon including Neat. If you’d like to make your app, device or service work with OneNote, visit our developer portal at http://dev.onenote.com or check out the OneNote Dev Blog.

Learn more, ask questions

Along with these exciting releases we have some great free events this week.

  • OneNote for Mac 15-minute Webinar: Join Doug Thomas online to learn why OneNote rocks, how to use OneNote for Mac and have some fun. There will be Q&A with the team as well. You can join us for the OneNote for Mac Webinar on March 18 at 9:00am PST or you can watch the recording afterwards.
  • OneNote Twitter Q&A with Joe Block: We will be asking Joe Block, play-by-play broadcaster for the Milwaukee Brewers, about the upcoming baseball season, March Madness, and how he uses OneNote to track it all. To join us on Twitter follow@msonenote or @joe_block. The Q&A will start on March 18 at 9:30am PST.
  • OneNote reddit IAMA: If you still have questions for the OneNote team about OneNote, today’s announcements, our favorite color or anything at all – this is for you. Head on over to reddit on March 19 at 9:00am PST and ask the OneNote team anything!

It’s going to just keep getting better

Today is a huge step forward for OneNote. We’ve made it easier to use OneNote no matter what platform you’re on, and easier than ever to send anything into OneNote. But we’re not stopping here. We’re continually improving OneNote across our applications and service, and working with partners so you can take note of anything and keep it in your digital memory.

Go to www.onenote.com to get OneNote on all your devices and let us know what you think.

Introducing OneNote for Mac [by OneNote Team on Office Blogs, March 17, 2014]

Today we announced three major OneNote developments, including the first version of OneNote for Mac. We are very excited and proud to deliver this to you today.

We’ve seen the countless requests for a Mac client of OneNote, and we’ve been hard at work to deliver it. We’ve been counting the days to finally share with you that OneNote for Mac is now available and you can download it from the App Store for free today!

While you’re downloading the app, check out this video of OneNote for Mac.

Introducing OneNote for Mac [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn about OneNote for Mac, one place for all your digital notes. Learn more at: http://www.onenote.com

OneNote is your place to jot down your ideas, capture your collection of web clippings and research, plan your trips and events, check your to-dos and shopping lists and share your notes with friends and co-workers. It’s a single place to collect your thoughts and ideas, as well as an easy and fun way to stay organized.

Here are some of the main highlights of why we think you are going to love OneNote for Mac.

Create your notes as you wish

Similar to other Office for Mac applications, OneNote for Mac has the Ribbon user interface with a variety of options for formatting and styling your notes. Your notes can be styled however you like. You can choose that special font and color you like to use for your notes, or emphasize important content with bold, underline or highlights.

image

Sometimes notes contain lists. Whether it’s an invitees list for a party, or the checklist you use for traveling, you can manage your lists using multiple levels of bullets and numbering, and with quick shortcut keys you can re-order, strikethrough, format and more. In addition, if you want to remember, flag or track specific items, you can choose from over 20 styles of tags, such as a To Do tag to check off completed items.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so we make it easy for you to insert pictures in your notes and place them anywhere on your page. And when your notes are best organized in a table, you can easily do so with a variety of table formatting options, such as cell shading colors.

One of the unique characteristics of a page in OneNote is that it’s an infinite canvas where you can lay out different note containers with different content types anywhere you like on the page.

image

Familiar notebook experience

Your notes are structured in each OneNote notebook with sections and pages similar to paper notebooks. You can create a separate notebook for each of the different projects or aspects of your life, such as work, family, school and travel notebooks.

image

For instance, you can set up a travel notebook with a section for each of your upcoming trips. Each section can contain multiple pages for itinerary information, such as hotel research, flight options, sights to see and places to eat.

To help you easily find your notes and stay organized, you can re-arrange your notebook as you like, including dragging the pages and sections to change their order or location. And you can apply a color theme to sections to identify them at a glance.

Rest assured, you don’t have to remember where you placed each note. You can very quickly find any text, page, section or notebook by using search options.

image

Share your notes with others

Whether you’re working on a school project or planning an event with friends, OneNote for Mac enables you to collaborate with others on the same notebook. It syncs changes to and from OneDrive seamlessly and fast so that you can see everyone else’s edits and they can see yours. We make it easy for you to identify the changes made in your shared notebook by displaying the names of the different authors next to their edits.

Or, if you want to just share a specific page in your notebook you can simply email that page to others.

image

Your notes on all your favorite devices

We know how important it is for you to access your notes on all of your devices and for your notes to look exactly the same as you created them. Add a recipe to OneNote on your Mac, and you can view it on your iPhone in the grocery store. Research and plan a trip on your Mac at home and then easily access those same notes on your iPad during your trip.

All those notes you create on OneNote for Mac are synced to OneDrive and available to you on all your other OneNote clients, including OneNote for Windows desktop, Windows Store, Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, Android and OneNote Online.

image

These are only some of the highlights of OneNote for Mac—there’s so much more included in this version that we think you’ll enjoy. OneNote for Mac is compatible with Mac OS X 10.9 and above and you can download it for free from the App Store today. You can also visithttp://www.onenote.com to access all the different OneNote apps including a few exciting OneNote services available today that will enhance your web capturing experience on OneNote for Mac.

And this is just the beginning. We hope you enjoy this first version of OneNote for Mac and encourage you to keep the comments, ratings and feedback coming to help us make future OneNote updates even better.

OneNote Clipper: Clip the web, right to OneNote [by OneNote Team on Office Blogs, March 17, 2014]

Today we announced three major OneNote developments, including the OneNote Clipper, the easiest way to save anything on the web to OneNote with just one click. Think of it as your camera for the web, snapshotting any webpage you see directly into OneNote.

image

Researching for a big trip? Gathering recipes for an upcoming party? Collecting inspiration for a home makeover? The OneNote Clipper can help you do all of this quickly and easily. Watch the video below to see it in action.

OneNote Clipper: clip the web, right to OneNote [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how to use the OneNote Clipper — the easiest way, to save anything you see on the web to OneNote, in just one click. Learn more at: http://www.onenote.com/clipper

Try out the OneNote Clipper now

To get started, use any major browser to visit www.onenote.com/clipper and follow the instructions to add the purple Clip to OneNote button to your Favorites bar. Congratulations, now you’re all set to start clipping the web to OneNote!

To clip, just browse to any webpage and click the Clip to OneNote button.

Once signed in, you’ll see the actual OneNote Clipper. The Clipper will let you know that it’s sending the page to OneNote, and when it’s finished, you can click the OneNote logo to immediately view your clip in OneNote Online.

image

All of your clips are saved to the Quick Notes section of your default notebook on OneDrive — automatically accessible and fully searchable on all your devices.

image

We hope you enjoy the OneNote Clipper. Please let us know in the comments if you have any feedback, we would love to hear from you. Happy clipping!

Email your notes into OneNote with me@onenote.com [by OneNote Team on Office Blogs, March 17, 2014]

Today we announced three major OneNote developments, including me@onenote.com.

One of our goals is to make it easy to get content into OneNote, no matter where you are or what app you’re using. me@onenote.com is a big step towards that goal.  Now, you can use any ‘Email this’ button to send content to OneNote.

Email to OneNote is a great way to forward receipts, travel itineraries or documents that you want to keep track of from your mailbox. If you’re on the run and want to send yourself a quick to do, it’s hard to get faster than writing up a quick mail. Or, if you’re in an app, and want to remember what you’re seeing, you can do so quickly by sharing via email.

me@onenote.com: email anything to OneNote [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how to use me@onenote.com to get anything into OneNote. Learn more at: http://www.onenote.com

Try it out now

To get set up just visit the email settings page and select the addresses from which you would like OneNote to accept emailed content. You can also add any email addresses that are not already associated with your Microsoft account by using the link at the bottom of the settings page. If you don’t remember any of that, just send an email to me@onenote.com and we will email back with instructions.

image

Now you’re ready to email content to OneNote quickly and easily! Please let us know in the comments if you have any feedback, we would love to hear from you.

Office Lens: A OneNote scanner for your pocket[by OneNote Team on Office Blogs, March 17, 2014]

Today we announced three major OneNote developments, including Office Lens, a neat new app in the Windows Phone Store.

image

Office Lens is an app that’s like having a scanner in your pocket. You can use it to take pictures of things like business cards, restaurant menus, notes on whiteboards or blackboards — anything you want to keep on hand. But unlike loose sticky notes, business cards or sketches on lunch napkins, you won’t lose track of your ideas when you capture them with Office Lens. Even things like children’s artwork is fair game. Snap a picture of that one-of-a-kind card your child made and it’ll be at your fingertips whenever you’d like to see it.

Office Lens trims, enhances and makes pictures readable. Weird angles are straightened, shadows are cleaned up and the images are automatically synced to OneNote, so you can get to them on all your devices.

When your picture includes printed text, such as a poster or business card, OneNote on a PC can recognize the text with optical character recognition (OCR) so you can search for words in the image — and you can edit the text, or copy and paste it into apps like email and documents.

Office Lens has three modes, or settings, that help make your captures look their best:

  • With Whiteboard mode, glare and shadows disappear.
  • With Document mode, text is clear and easy to read.
  • With Photo mode, you can take pictures of people and scenery.

image
Office Lens: Before and after

If you already have pictures on your phone, you can edit them in Office Lens and clean them up too. See how it works in the video below.

Office Lens: a OneNote scanner for your pocket [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how to use Office Lens, a Windows Phone App, that is like having a OneNote scanner in your pocket. Learn more at: http://www.onenote.com\apps

Office Lens is free in the Windows Phone Store. Install it and try it out today.

Try Office Lens Now!

Please let us know in the comments or in the app store if you have any feedback. We would love to hear from you.

OneNote Featured Apps [OneNote site by Microsoft, March 17, 2014]

Get more out of OneNote with these apps and devices.

Brother [scanner] + OneNote: Better Together [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how Brother scanners can help get content sent directly into OneNote. Learn more at http://www.onenote.com.

 

Doxie [scanner] + OneNote: Better Together [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how Doxie can help get physical documents into OneNote. Learn more at http://www.onenote.com.
Brother Web Connection
Your Brother machine (MFP/Document scanner) can scan images and upload them to OneNote and OneDrive directly without going through a PC.

Get Started

Doxie Mobile Scanners
Doxie is a new kind of paper scanner that’s rechargeable, so you can scan documents anywhere – no computer required. Just charge it up and turn it on, wherever you are – insert your paper, receipts, and photos to scan, archive, and share. Doxie scans anywhere, then syncs to OneNote for access to all your scanned documents, on all your devices

Get Started

Email to OneNote
Capture the things that are important to you while you are on the go by emailing them directly to your notebook! Send documents, notes, itineraries, and so much more to me@onenote.com and we will put them into your OneNote notebook, where you can access them from all of your devices.

Get Started

Epson Document Capture Pro
Document Capture Pro allows you to easily scan documents, edit pages, save files, and transfer data to the applications scanned with Epson scanners such as the Workforce® DS-560 and others. What’s more, users can scan to OneNote with one touch, to easily access documents from multiple devices or share with others.

Workforce® DS-560

Feedly
Feedly focuses on making reading the web a little faster, better. The Feedly OneNote integration makes it easy for people to save great articles they found in their Feedly reader into their OneNote notebook.

Web

Genius Scan
Genius Scan is a scanner in your pocket. It enables you digitize paper documents, create PDF files and immediately store them in OneNote.
iOS     Android

IFTTT
IFTTT lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement – if this then that. Use the OneNote Channel on IFTTT to create and share recipes that automatically create pages, sync content, and connect over 80 other products and services.
iOS  Web

JotNot Scanner
JotNot converts your iPhone into a portable multipage scanner. You can use JotNot to scan documents, receipts, whiteboards, business cards and notes into an electronic format.?JotNot now offers direct integration with Microsoft’s OneNote platform, so you can quickly and easily backup and organize your scans using your OneNote account.

iOS

Livescribe 3 Smartpen
With the Livescribe 3 smartpen and Livescribe+ app, simply write on paper and watch everything appear instantly on your mobile device, where you can tag, search and convert your notes to text. You can send everything to OneNote so your handwritten notes and sketches are integrated with the rest of your important information.

iOS

Mod Notebooks
Mod notebooks are physical notebooks that are scanned, digitized and backed up to the cloud once completed. Each page of completed notebooks can be synced to OneNote and saved forever.?

Get Started

NeatConnect
NeatConnect transforms paper piles into digital documents and sends them straight to OneNote – without a computer. From any room in your house, or any spot in the office, NeatConnect’s Wi-Fi compatibility and touchscreen interface make scanning to OneNote fast and easy so you can save time, taking organization and productivity to whole new levels.
Coming soon!
News360
News360 is a free personalized news app that learns what you like and gets smarter the more you use it. With more than 100,000+ sources, there is always something interesting to read, and you can save your favorite stories directly to OneNote with a tap of a button.
Android   iOS   Windows   Windows Phone 
Office Lens
Office Lens is like having a scanner in your pocket. Never miss notes on a whiteboard or blackboard, and never look for misplaced documents or business cards, missing receipts or stray sticky notes again! Office Lens makes your pictures magically readable and re-useable. Capture content right into OneNote with automatic trimming and clean up.

Windows Phone

OneNote Clipper
The OneNote Clipper lets you save webpages from your browser into your OneNote notebooks. In just one click, it helps you capture things quickly and remember more in your life.

Web

Weave News Reader
Your news, personalized. Get the free Weave News Reader app for Windows 8 and start saving your favorite news articles to OneNote today!
Windows   Windows Phone

 

Feedly + OneNote: Better Together [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how feedly can pull your favorite content into OneNote. Learn more at http://www.onenote.com

Genius Scan + OneNote: Better Together [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how Genius Scan can help get beautifully cleaned up images into OneNote. Learn more at http://www.onenote.com.

Livescribe [smart pen] + OneNote: Better Together [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how Livescribe can help blend the physical and digital world by pushing physical ink into OneNote. Learn more at http://www.onenote.com.

Weave + OneNote: Better Together [officevideos YouTube channel, March 17, 2014]

Learn how Weave can improve your reading experience by saving articles into OneNote. Learn more at http://www.onenote.com.

Bloomberg (Businessweek) legitimizes Allwinner and Rockchip as challengers to Intel and Qualcomm via the tablet space, as well as Spreadtrum in the smartphone space

Although the title is just:

  1. Qualcomm, Intel Threatened as Allwinner Nabs Tablet Share [Bloomberg, March 17, 2014]
  2. Qualcomm, Intel Threatened as Allwinner Gains Tablet Share: Tech [BloombergBusinessweek, March 17, 2014]

Note that for me there is nothing new about those titles as I introduced a whole new blog to the “Allwinner phenomenon” as evidenced with a specially designed banner on the right here:

And the first post of mine, “Hello world! Here is the Allwinner SoC and the ecosystem built around it”, was created 16 months ago, on November 26, 2012. For very well founded reasons which were explained in quite a detail in that post. Please read them as you will learn much more about the Allwinner case than from the whole Bloomberg (Businessweek) articles. Your interest will be more satisfied with quite a number of additional posts in January 2014, October 2013, September 2013, June 2013, April 2013, March 2013, January 2013 and December 2012.

Allwinner’s success is explained now in the Bloomberg (Businessweek) articles by the following quote:

Local chipmakers benefit from their proximity to the device manufacturers because it bolsters their ability to anticipate and react to new features that are in demand, said Ben El-Baz, head of U.S. marketing for Allwinner.

“Shenzhen is really the electronics hub for the world,” El-Baz said in a phone interview. “We are so close to the market that we’re able to come out with new solutions faster than our competitors. We can do it at lower cost.”

as well as the fact that:

The surge in cheaper devices hasn’t gone unnoticed by more established computer makers. Hewlett-Packard this year began selling the HP 8, a $170 tablet that runs on an Allwinner quad-core processor.

In [1], however, the internal text contains reference to Rockchip as well:

Note that this same blog of mine started to recognize Rockchip 2 years ago with MWC 2012: Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics post which was followed 10 months later with another one claiming no less than China’s HW engineering lead: The Rockchip RK292 series (RK2928 and RK2926) example. Under the Rockchip tag you could find even more recent ones.

Intel Corp. (INTC) and Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), the two largest U.S. chipmakers, are under threat in the fastest-growing part of the tablet market from a band of upstarts with names like Allwinner Technology Co. and Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics Co. that are little known outside southern China.

Allwinner, based in Zhuhai near the manufacturing center of Shenzhen, became the No. 2 tablet-processor maker behind Apple Inc. in 2012 as demand for cheaper tablets stoked sales of its low-cost chips, according to IDC. Qualcomm ranks third, while Intel comes in at No. 6, following Rockchip.

Success at Allwinner, which was founded in 2007, and Rockchip, established in 2001, is being driven by increasing demand for inexpensive tablets in their home market, where some devices sell for as little as $50, and in other developing economies. Sales of tablets that retail for less than $150 and don’t carry a brand name will rise 36 percent this year, IDC estimates, driving a 22 percent increase in total tablet shipments. The market for tablet processors grew 32 percent in 2013 to $3.6 billion, according to Strategy Analytics.

Allwinner accounted for 18.2 million of the 88.3 million tablet processors shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013, IDC said. That was more than three times what Santa Clara, California-based Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, shipped in the same period. Rockchip sold 9 million.

Rockchip representatives didn’t return messages for comment.

Update: China’s Parallel Universe [EE Times, March 26, 2014]

SHENZHEN, China — When I’m in China, I often feel as though I’ve dropped into a parallel universe. But worse, once I get back to the good old US of A, I feel even more lost.

This is because I run smack-dab into Western-centric preconceived views on market trends, design requirements, and market leaders that don’t often apply to China.

When I recently sat down with Eva Wu, marketing manager of Allwinner Technology in Zhuhai, she set the record straight. “Yes,” she told me, “there were 10 apps processor vendors in China, all competing for the tablet market in 2012. But by early 2014, those dominating the tablet market are now pretty much down to only three companies — Allwinner, RockChip, and MediaTek.”

I have always felt that a winnowing-down among China’s apps processor vendors was necessary and would happen sooner or later. But I didn’t expect such a drastic change so quickly.

The following table, compiled by Chinese industry sources, is a snapshot of China’s tablet apps processor market. The 2014 market forecast shows a clear upward trend for Taiwan’s MediaTek, doubling shipments and holding its own in China.

Tablet Application Processor Vendors for Chinese Tabletsimage
Source: Compilations of China’s industry data

It’s easy for the Western players to dismiss what’s happening in China, on the presumption that “those guys are playing only in the Tier 2 market.”

Know your tier 2 players
Maybe so, but I find that knowing your Tier 2 players (the guy below you on the ladder) is vitally important. Some of those players are very ambitious and climbing fast. They have no intention to remain Tier 2 forever.

Allwinner’s Wu proudly told me that Allwinner was the first AP vendor to achieve the Android 4.4 Google Mobile Service certification. Noting that the certification tells the world the stability of Allwinner’s apps processor, Wu said, “You have to pass the certification test in order to play in the US market. US retailers like Walmart or BestBuy wouldn’t accept the products without it.”

image

Wu noted that Allwinner’s apps processors are getting designed into Tier 1 tablets — such as Sony’s tablet projectors and Samsung’s tablet designed for printers.

Parallel universe for STB SoCs
Meanwhile, the same parallel universe characterizes the set-top box world. Over here in China, the so-called over-the-top (OTT) market has exploded as Internet companies like Alibaba have gone whole-hog with video services over the Internet. This dates back to the third quarter last year.

The OTT market is growing fast, according to Wu, with as many as 2 million OTT boxes sold in a month at its peak.

For Chinese consumers, there are three ways to receive digital video services. They’re available on smart TVs, which cost around 10,000 RMB (US$1,630). Another route is OTT boxes, priced between 200 and 300 RMB ($33 to $49). The last option is an Android USB stick that you can plug into a TV, selling for between 100 and 200 RMB ($16 to $33).

To Chinese vendors comparing tablet SoCs with IP set-top SoCs, it’s clear that key subsystems — including CPU and GPU — are already common. Allwinner is among many Chinese vendors leveraging their tablet SoCs to enter the exploding OTT market.

Of course, back in the USA, leading cable set-top chip vendors like Broadcom have a very different view of the set-top box market. When I chatted with Stephen Palm, senior technical director at Broadband Technology Group, this week, he pointed out that requirements in today’s set-tops in the West are nothing like what current mobile SoCs are capable of handling.

End of update

while both articles contain a whole paragraph devoted to Spreadtrum as well:

Note that this same blog of mine started to recognize Spreadtrum 27 months ago with World’s lowest cost, US$40-50 Android smartphones — sub-$100 retail — are enabled by Spreadtrum post which was followed 7 months later with another one claiming no less than Lowest H2’12 device cost SoCs from Spreadtrum will redefine the entry level smartphone and feature phone markets. Under the Spreadtrum tag you could find even more recent ones.

Spreadtrum’s Relationships

Like MediaTek, Shanghai-based Spreadtrum Communications Inc. is building on its relationship with handset makers serving the China market and exporting from there. The company, founded in 2001, supplies both processors and modems for smartphones that can retail for as little as $25, said Diana Jovin, a U.S.- based vice president at Spreadtrum.

Her company, which is owned by the Chinese government, has learned that quickly providing adaptable solutions is needed to succeed in a rapidly changing market, she said.

“A significant part of the mobile-handset ecosystem is centered in China,” Jovin said. “We’re the only vendor located in China serving those customers. We’ve expanded our portfolio quite rapidly and have the breadth and depth to compete effectively on a global basis.”

Spreadtrum, which has supplied chips used in Samsung’s Galaxy Star model and HTC Corp.’s Desire, is looking to build on its China base just as Qualcomm, the largest maker of semiconductors used in phones, is trying replicate its worldwide market dominance in that country, the biggest global mobile-phone market.

Regarding the question how the western chipmakers could meet these challenges:

Intel Priority

Intel Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich — who has made catching up in mobile computing a priority since taking over the company in May — said he’s aiming to quadruple tablet-chip sales to 40 million this year and processors from his company will make their way into devices costing less than $100. To speed adoption, Intel will provide tablet makers with subsidies — what it calls “contra revenue” — to make the cost of its chips competitive. That will cut into profitability this year.

Kathy Gill, a spokeswoman for Intel, said the company is “absolutely accelerating” its roadmap for its Atom line of low-power, low-cost processors for phones, tablets and budget laptops.

New Chips

Qualcomm has already responded to the demand for lower-cost devices made in China with new chips, said Cristiano Amon, the head of the company’s chip division.

The adoption of a faster wireless-data technology called long-term evolution, or LTE, particularly by No. 1 wireless carrier China Mobile Ltd., will open the door for Qualcomm, the San Diego-based company says. While other companies including Intel, MediaTek and Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) have announced LTE-capable chips, Qualcomm has been in the market for more than two years and has 100 percent market share in devices that have integrated modems, according to IDC.

Qualcomm’s Edge

Qualcomm’s advantage in LTE modem chips will be tough to beat. Unlike for stand-alone processors, there’s no source of off-the-shelf modem designs [there is, however, highly advanced semiconductor IP on the market with CEVA as the lead vendor in that space which is dating back to CEVA Introduces Low Power, Multi-Mode LTE-Advanced Reference Architecture for the New CEVA-XC4000 DSP Architecture Framework [press release, Feb 21, 2012] – you can find more about that in The future of the semiconductor IP ecosystem post of mine], and building one takes years of experience, testing and qualification work with phone-service providers, according to Will Strauss, an analyst at Mesa, Arizona-based Forward Concepts Co.

In processors, “everybody can get in, thanks to ARM and the ease of implementing your own applications processor. They’ve lowered the bar,” Strauss said. At the same time, “the barrier for entry for LTE modems is still very, very high.”

The articles end, however, with a kind of gloomy outlook for the leadiong Western chipmakers:

I would be much more sceptical about the Western SoC vendors’ capabilities to withstand the onslaught of Chinese SoC vendors (including MediaTek). Even the “lack of modem technology” argument given above applies only to a limited degree as:

See more in:
Chinese smartphone brands to conquer the global market? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, March 18, 2014]

Still, Chinese companies have created an obstacle that their more established rivals may struggle to overcome, said Jim McGregor, an analyst at Tirias Research. While the volumes are huge in China and emerging markets, the devices’ low prices leave little room for profits — particularly for companies like Qualcomm and Intel that have shareholders who are accustomed to wide margins, he said.

“We are not just talking about a billion here, but several billion units,” McGregor said. “It’s foolish to avoid that kind of market. The problem is with a publicly traded company, it’s against their instincts to go for it.”

Chinese smartphone brands to conquer the global market?

The smartphone market in China became saturated between Q3’12 and Q4’13 as per the below chart from Analysys International (EnfoDesk):

image

Note that this chart corresponds to Chinese writing traditions, i.e. in Q2’11 16.81 million smartphones and 51.01 million feature phones were sold, while in Q4’13 97.63 million smartphones and 9.2 million feature phones. Source: 易观分析:2013年第4季度中国手机销量增速放缓,智能手机市场呈现饱和态势 (Analysys analysis: China mobile phone sales growth slowed in the fourth quarter of 2013, the smart phone market is saturated) [EnfoDesk, March 11, 2014]

Chinese Handset Vendors Will Account for Over 50% of Mobile Handset Sales in 2015 [ABI Research press release, March 10, 2014]

ABI Research reports that Chinese handset vendors will account for over 50% of mobile handsets in 2015. Chinese vendors already accounted for 38% of mobile handset shipments in 2013 and the ongoing shift in growth to low cost handsets, especially smartphones, will increase their market share.

Greater China has long dominated the mobile handset manufacturing supply chain, but now its OEMs are beginning to dominate sales at the expense of the traditional handset OEMs, including even Samsung.

Many of the Chinese OEMs have focused almost exclusively on the huge Chinese market, with little activity beyond its borders, but this is set to change. Huawei (6th in worldwide market share for 2013) and ZTE (5th) have already made an impact on the world stage, but other Chinese handset OEMs like Lenovo—the Motorola acquisition is a clear statement of intent—and Xiaomi are set to join them.

Chinese vendors already take up five of the top ten places in terms of worldwide market share, despite three of them only really shipping into China. The Chinese vendors highlight the changing shape of the mobile handset market, as the Chinese manufacturing ecosystem, specifically reference designs, enable the next wave of smartphone growth in low cost emerging markets and amongst price conscious consumers everywhere,” said Nick Spencer, senior practice director, mobile devices.

“South East Asia has already experienced this trend, but ABI Research expects to see the impact of these Chinese vendors increasing in all emerging markets and even advanced markets, especially on prepay,” added Spencer.

image

The New Phone Giants: Indian And Chinese Manufacturers’ Fast Rise To Threaten Apple And Samsung [Business Insider India, March 15, 2014]

The top Indian and Chinese smartphone manufacturers are classically disruptive. They produce products that are “good enough,” at a fraction of the cost of comparable models from premium brands. These ultra low-cost devices are the key to nudging consumers in massively untapped markets like India and Indonesia onto smartphones.

And these companies are starting to aim higher – producing 4G LTE smartphones that have the same processing power as Samsung and Apple premium devices.

They’re also far more innovative than they’re given credit for in terms of their strategy, supply chain management, and hardware.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explain why global consumer Internet and mobile companies will increasingly need to work with companies like Xiaomi and Micromax – not to mention Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Coolpad, Karbonn, and others – if they don’t want to miss out on mobile’s next growth phase in emerging markets

  • Major local manufacturers now account for two-fifths of China’s smartphone market, and one-fourth of India’s. Xiaomi already sells four of the top 10 best-selling Android devices in China, and operates one of the top five app stores.
  • Combined, the top five manufacturers in China and the top two in India – the “Local 7” in the chart above – are now shipping about 65 million smartphones every quarter, more than Apple, and coming close to drawing even with Samsung.
  • These local manufacturers wield influence in various ways. They run their own successful app stores, mobile operating systems, and mobile services. They also hold the keys to which apps are preloaded on their phones. When BlackBerry wanted to take its BBM messaging service for Android into India, it signed a deal with Micromax.
  • The local manufacturers are not provincial outfits producing knock-offs, as some might be inclined to assume. But their main competitive tool, for now, remains price. Local manufacturers in China and India match the features of more expensive devices and manage to produce comparable hardware at a fraction of the price. A Micromax handset comparable to Apple’s iPhone 5C costs less than one-fourth as much.
  • Xiaomi has used a four-point strategy in its three-year rise to produce four of the most popular phone models in China. We discuss all four aspects, including tight inventory management and crowdsourcing product development feedback.
  • These manufacturers will continue to expand overseas, in search of new growth opportunities. Micromax is in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Xiaomi has its eyes on Malaysia and Brazil. Huawei is already in the U.S. For example, it sells a 4G LTE handset on MetroPCS.

Smartphone Prices Race to the Bottom as Emerging Markets Outside of China Come into the Spotlight for Future Growth, According to IDC [press release, Feb 24, 2014]

Singapore and London, February 24, 2014 – Emerging markets have become the center of attention when talking about present and future smartphone growth. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, in 2013 the worldwide smartphone market surpassed 1 billion units shipped, up from 752 million in 2012. This boom has been mainly powered by the China market, which has tripled in size over the last three years. China accounted for one out of every three smartphones shipped around the world in 2013, equaling 351 million units.

Recently the surge in growth has started to slow as smartphones already account for over 80% of China’s total phone sales. The next half billion new smartphone customers will increasingly come mainly from poorer emerging markets, notably India and in Africa.

“The China boom is now slowing,” said Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager for mobile devices at IDC Asia/Pacific. “China is becoming like more mature markets in North America and Western Europe, where smartphone sales growth is slackening off.”

Emerging markets in Asia/Pacific outside of China, together with the Middle East and Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, account for four fifths of the global feature phone market, according to IDC data. “This is a very big market opportunity,” said Simon Baker, Program Manager for mobile phones at IDC CEMA. “Some 660 million feature phones were shipped last year, which could add two thirds to the size of the current global smartphone market.”

India will be key to future smartphone growth as it represents more than a quarter of the global feature phone market. “Growth in the India market doesn’t rely on high-end devices like the iPhone, but in low-cost Android phones. Nearly half of the smartphones shipped in India in 2013 cost less than US$120,” said Kiranjeet Kaur, Senior Market Analyst for mobile phones at IDC Asia/Pacific.

“Converting feature phone sales to smartphone sales implies a relentless push towards low cost,” added Baker. IDC research shows nearly half the mobile handsets sold across the world have retail prices of less than US$100 without sales tax. Two thirds of those have prices of less than US$50.

“The opportunity gets larger the lower the price falls,” continued Baker. “If you take retail prices without sales tax, in 2013 nearly three quarters of the US$100-125 price tier was already accounted for by smartphones. Within US$75-100 the proportion was down to just over half, and between $50-75 it was not much more than a third.”

Many smartphone vendors have begun gearing up for this next wave of cost pressure. Samsung is increasingly switching production to Vietnam, where manufacturing costs currently undercut mainland China. Even Hon Hai, one of the largest contract manufacturers for handsets in China, has announced plans for a plant in Indonesia to furnish a lower production cost base.

In addition to the table below, an interactive graphic showing worldwide sub-$100 feature phone shipments by region is available here. The chart is intended for public use in online news articles and social media. Instructions on how to embed this graphic can be found by viewing this press release on IDC.com.

Worldwide Sub-$100 Feature Phone Shipments by Region, 2013

Region

Shipments (M Units)

India

212.3

Middle East & Africa

150.0

Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan, China, and India)

140.7

Latin America

76.4

PRC

68.1

Central & Eastern Europe

43.6

Western Europe

39.8

North America

13.9

Total

744.9

Source: IDC Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker, February 24, 2014

image

image

Analysys International: Xiaomi Ranked Among Top Five in Q4, 2013 [March 11, 2014]

The statistics from EnfoDesk, the Survey of China Mobile Terminals Market in Q4, 2013, newly released by Analysys International, shows that the market share of Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei, Coolpad and Xiaomi ranked the top five of China smartphone in Q4, 2013. The market share of Samsung shrink slightly over the previous quarter, but it still accounted for 15.07 percent of smartphone market and maintain the leading position.

The release of Apple‘s new product has brought efficiency in Q4, and its market share slightly rebounded. Owning to the release of MI3 (Xiaomi), the market share of Xiaomi up 3.85 percentage points compared to the previous quarter. MI3 still should be bought from booking and the booking is relatively frequent. Meanwhile, the purchase restriction of MI2(Xiaomi) and Red MI(Xiaomi) has been relaxed, coupled with the strategic cooperation between Xiaomi and mobile operators, making it easier to buy custom models as well as contributing to the  enlargement of Xiaomi’s market share. It can be expected that Xiaomi will put more energy into the complement of its retail capabilities and continue to increase their market share.

From: UMENG Insight Report – China Mobile Internet 2013 Overview [UMENG, March 12, 2014]

– The number of active smart devices in China exceeded 700 Million by the end of 2013.
– The five fastest growing mobile apps categories (excluding games) are : news, health & fitness, social networking, business, and navigation. These areas will bring new opportunities for developers in 2014.
– Socializing your apps is the key to success for developers. Currently among the top 1,000 apps (apps and games) in the Chinese market, 55% of them provide links to Chinese social networking services (e.g. Sina Weibo, Wechat, QQ, Renren) The amount of app content sharing to social network platforms per mobile Internet user per day has tripled in the last 6 months.
– Social network sharing in game has become incredibly popular on all social networking platforms, 48% of in app sharing traffic to social networks are from games.
– High-end devices (pricing above 500US$) have a significant market share in China, contributing 27% of total devices. These users have dynamic needs on mobile apps . The users of below 150US$ phones prefer casual games for their entertainment requirements.
– The year of 2013 became known as the first year Chinese developers took IP seriously with many developers licensing IP from rights holders. By the end of 2013, among the Top 100 games, 20% license 3rd party IP.
– Over the course of 2013 the percentage of iOS jailbroken devices in the Chinese Mainland fell by 17% to 13% of all devices. Domestic users are becoming more hesitant to jailbreak their devices.

700 Million active smart devices in China

  • By the end of 2013, the number of active smart devices in China had exceeded 700,000,000, including smart phones and tablets.       
  • In the 4th quarter 59% of new devices were bought by smartphone users upgrading their existing hardware. The remaining new devices where bought by users buying their first smartphone. As smartphone use becomes more commonplace in China new sales are increasingly driven by existing users upgrading, rather than from users purchasing their first smartphone.               

image

The market for budget Android phones is strong in China with 57% of devices under 330 USD price range. However over a quarter of users are using high-end smart phones costing over 500USD, 80% of these are iPhones.

image

Fragmented Android device market

  • In the 4th quarter of 2013, Samsung and XiaoMi (a local brand) prove to be the most popular Android brands as between them they manufacture all of the top 10 active Android devices.
  • However the Android market is still highly fragmented with hundreds of different handsets on the market. Samsung who manufacture many devices in all price ranges control 24% of the device market, while the domestic manufactures are battling it out with the international brands to extend their market share.

image

  • In 2013, changes to device connectivity saw a large growth in WiFi connectivity, from 38% at the beginning of  the year to 52% at year end. Mobile Internet infrastructure has become better in China. However Chinese users are still price sensitive to mobile data tariff.       

image

  • Glossary:   
    Active Device: active device refers to device which has activated at least one app covered by Umeng platform in the stipulated time frame. All  the “devices” in the report refers to “active devices”, not the actual shipment.

  • Data Source:   
    Analysis data in the report is based on over 210,000 Android and iOS apps from the Umeng platform. All data was collected from January to December 2013.

From: More than 247 million mobile handsets shipped in India during CY 2013, a Y-o-Y growth of 11.6%; over 70 million mobile handsets shipped in 4Q 2013 alone [CyberMedia Research press release, Feb 26, 2014]

According to CMR’s India Monthly Mobile Handsets Market Review, CY 2013, February 2014 release, India recorded 247.2 million mobile handset shipments for CY (January-December) 2013. During the same period, 41.1 million smartphones were shipped in the country.

image

India Smartphones Market

The India smartphones market during 2H 2013 saw a rise in shipments by 60.3% over 1H 2013, taking the overall contribution of smartphones to 16.6% for the full year. Further, 65.8% of the total smartphones shipped in the country were 3G smartphones during CY 2013.

image

Commenting on these results, Tarun Pathak, Lead Analyst, Devices, CMR Telecoms Practicesaid, “CY 2013 was primarily the year of smartphones for the India market, particularly for local handset vendors. A first for the India market was a marginal decline in featurephone shipments on a year-on-year basis. This trend is likely to continue with more vendors focusing on entry level smartphone offerings aimed at the consumer segment.”

“Nearly 70 vendors operated in the highly competitive India smartphones market in CY 2013, with ‘Tier One’ brands like Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, HTC, LG and Blackberry capturing close to 53% of the total smartphones market, followed by India brands capturing close to 43% of total smartphone shipments. The remaining market of roughly 4% smartphone shipments was captured by China OEM brands, where we expect a few more players to enter the India market directly, instead of continuing as ODM partners to Indian brands”, Tarun added.

Rapid Growth In Smartphones Offset The Slump Witnessed In Feature Phone Sales In 4Q13, Says IDC [press release, Feb 26, 2014]

India was one of the fastest growing countries worldwide in terms of smartphone adoption in 2013. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) in 2013 the smartphone market surpassed 44 million units shipped, up from 16.2 million in 2012.  This surge has been mainly powered by home grown vendors which have shown a tremendous and consistent growth over the past 4 quarters of 2013.

The overall phone market stood at close to 257 million units in CY 2013 – an 18% increase from 218 million units in CY2012.

CY2013 also witnessed a remarkable migration of the user base from feature phones to smartphones primarily due to the narrowing price gaps between these product categories.

image

Q413 Perspective:

The India smartphone market grew by 181% year over year (YoY) in the fourth quarter of 2013 (4Q13).  According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) APEJ Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 15.06 million smartphones in 4Q13 compared to 5.35 million units in the same period of 2012. 4Q13 grew by almost 18% Quarter-on-Quarter.

The shipment contribution of 5.0inch-6.99inch screen size smartphones (phablets) in 4Q2013 was noted to be around 20% in the overall market. The category grew by 6% in 4Q13 in terms of sheer volume over 3Q13.

The overall mobile phone market (Feature Phones and Smartphones) stood at 67.83 million units, a 16% growth YoY and a meager 2% growth quarter over quarter (QoQ).The share of feature phones slid further to make 78% of the total market in 4Q13, with the market showing a decline of 2% in 4Q13 over 3Q13.

image

The fourth quarter of 2013 witnessed a spike in the smartphone shipments by smaller homegrown vendors like LAVA, Intex which have shown tremendous growth in the past couple of quarters.

“The growth in the smartphone market is being propelled by the launch of low-end, cost competitive devices by international and local vendors which are further narrowing the price gaps that exist between feature phones and smartphones”, said Manasi Yadav, Senior Market Analyst with IDC India.

“The international vendors have understood the importance of creating a diverse portfolio of devices at varied price points and are striving to launch cost competitive devices that cater to every segment in the target audience ” comments Kiran Kumar, Research Manager with IDC India.

Top Five Smartphone Vendor Highlights

Samsung: Samsung maintained its leadership spot with about 38% in terms of market share. Its smartphone shipments grew by close to 37% from 3Q 2013 to 4Q2013. The fourth quarter saw quite a few new launches across price points by Samsung – however the low-end Galaxy portfolio in smartphones contribute to 50% in terms of shipment volumes

Micromax: Micromax held on to its second spot with about 16% in terms of market share in 4Q2013. Some of the top selling models were the entry level smartphones like A35 Bolt and A67. The Canvas range of devices has also done well in terms of volume contribution owing to the marketing campaigns launched around them.

Karbonn: The market share for Karbonn in 4Q2013 was close to 10%, some of the top selling models for this brand were A1+ and A51.

Sony: Sony managed to make a comeback in the top-5 smartphone vendor list in 4Q13 and garnered a market share of 5%. The top selling models included Xperia M Dual and Xperia C handsets, which are targeted at mid-tier price range.

Lava : Lava managed to hold onto the number 5 spot in the top-5 smartphone vendor list. The continued traction around the XOLO and IRIS range of devices helped the vendor garner a market share of 4.7% in 4Q13. Some of the top selling models include the newly launched XOLO A500 S and the existing models like IRIS 402 and IRIS 349.

image

IDC India Forecast:

IDC anticipates the growth in Smartphone segment to outpace the overall handset market growth for the foreseeable future. The end-user shift towards mid-to-high screen size products will be amplified by the declining prices and availability of feature-rich localized product offerings. Vendors who are able to differentiate their offerings at affordable prices will maintain a competitive edge and secure a strong position in the mobile phone market in CY 2014.

From: Gartner Says Annual Smartphone Sales Surpassed Sales of Feature Phones for the First Time in 2013 [press release, Feb 13, 2014]

Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 2013 (Thousands of Units)

Company
2013
Units
2013 Market Share (%)
2012
Units
2012 Market Share (%)
Samsung
299,794.9
31.0
205,767.1
30.3
Apple
150,785.9
15.6
130,133.2
19.1
Huawei
46,609.4
4.8
27,168.7
4.0
LG Electronics
46,431.8
4.8
25,814.1
3.8
Lenovo
43,904.5
4.5
21,698.5
3.2
Others
380,249.3
39.3
269,526.6
39.6
Total
967,775.8
100.0
680,108.2
100.0
Source: Gartner (February 2014)
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Vendor in 4Q13 (Thousands of Units)

Company
4Q13
Units
4Q13 Market Share (%)
4Q12
Units
4Q12 Market Share (%)
Samsung
83,317.2
29.5
64,496.3
31.1
Apple
50,224.4
17.8
43,457.4
20.9
Huawei
16,057.1
5.7
8,666.4
4.2
Lenovo
12,892.2
4.6
7,904.2
3.8
LG Electronics
12,822.9
4.5
8,038.8
3.9
Others
106,937.9
37.9
75,099.3
36.2
Total
282,251.7
100.0
207,662.4
100.0
Source: Gartner (February 2014)
Top Smartphone Vendor Analysis
Samsung: While Samsung’s smartphone share was up in 2013 it slightly fell by 1.6 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2013. This was mainly due to a saturated high-end smartphone market in developed regions. It remains critical for Samsung to continue to build on its technology leadership at the high end. Samsung will also need to build a clearer value proposition around its midrange smartphones, defining simpler user interfaces, pushing the right features as well as seizing the opportunity of bringing innovations to stand out beyond price in this growing segment.
Apple: Strong sales of the iPhone 5s and continued strong demand for the 4s in emerging markets helped Apple see record sales of 50.2 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2013.
“However, Apple’s share in smartphone declined both in the fourth quarter of 2013 and in 2013, but growth in sales helped to raise share in the overall mobile phone market,” said Mr. Gupta. “With Apple adding NTT DOCOMO in Japan for the first time in September 2013 and signing a deal with China Mobile during the quarter, we are already seeing an increased growth in the Japanese market and we should see the impact of the last deal in the first quarter of 2014.”
Huawei: Huawei smartphone sales grew 85.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to maintain the No. 3 spot year over year. Huawei has moved quickly to align its organization to focus on the global market. Huawei’s overseas expansion delivered strong results in the fourth quarter of 2013, with growth in the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Europe.
Lenovo: Lenovo saw smartphone sales in 2013 increase by 102.3 percent and by 63.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Lenovo’s Motorola acquisition from Google will give Lenovo an opportunity to expand within the Americas.
“The acquisition will also provide Lenovo with patent protection and allow it to expand rapidly across the global market,” said Mr. Gupta. “We believe this deal is not just about entering into the U.S., but more about stepping out of China.” 
Gartner expects smartphones to continue to drive overall sales in 2014 and an increasing number of manufacturers will realign their portfolios to focus on the low-cost smartphone sector. Sales of high-end smartphones will slow as increasing sales of low- and mid-price smartphones in high-growth emerging markets will shift the product mix to lower-end devices. This will lead to a decline in average selling price and a slowdown in revenue growth.
In the smartphone OS market, Android’s share grew 12 percentage points to reach 78.4 percent in 2013 (see below). The Android platform will continue to benefit from this, with sales of Android phones in 2014 approaching the billion mark.
Worldwide Smartphone Sales to End Users by Operating System in 2013 (Thousands of Units)

Operating System
2013 Units
2013 Market Share (%)
2012 Units
2012 Market Share (%)
Android
758,719.9
78.4
451,621.0
66.4
iOS
150,785.9
15.6
130,133.2
19.1
Microsoft
30,842.9
3.2
16,940.7
2.5
BlackBerry
18,605.9
1.9
34,210.3
5.0
Other OS
8,821.2
0.9
47,203.0
6.9
Total
967,775.8
100.0
680,108.2
100.0
Source: Gartner (February 2014)