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Wed, Mar. 5, 6:06 PM
- After growing ~60% in 2013 (and fueling global shipment growth of 39%), IDC expects Chinese smartphone shipment growth to slow to ~20% in 2014 and just ~10% in 2015.
- Though only 40% of China's 1B+ mobile users now use a smartphone, IDC's Kiranjeet Kaur notes most users who can comfortably afford a smartphone have already bought one. Plunging low-end Android prices could expand the addressable market in a country whose nominal per capita GDP is around $6K.
- India, which has a sub-10% smartphone penetration rate, still presents a major growth opportunity. But with a nominal per capita GDP of ~$1,500, the country is even more cost-sensitive than China.
- With China slowing down and developed markets living up to their name, IDC expects global smartphone growth to slow to 19% in 2014; that still spells total volumes of 1.2B. Tough competition and the ongoing mix shift towards emerging markets is expected to lead the industry's ASP to fall $27 to $308.
- Smartphone OEMs with strong Chinese exposure: AAPL, SSNLF, LNVGY, ZTCOY
- Chip suppliers: QCOM, BRCM, CRUS, SWKS, RFMD, MRVL
- Chinese carriers: CHL, CHU, CHA
Mon, Feb. 24, 2:18 PM
- Vringo (VRNG +0.7%) announces a German appeals court has denied a request by ZTE (ZTCOY) to stay the enforcement of an injunction (levied in December) on the sale of base stations ruled to be infringing Vringo's IP.
- Vringo states it's "asserting twelve patents in six countries" against ZTE, and that it expects seven cases against the Chinese telecom equipment vendor to be heard in 2014.
- The company asserts it has offered to license its patents to ZTE on what it considers to be FRAND terms.
Dec. 31, 2013, 1:24 PM
- The Information reports Sony (SNE -0.1%), which (like many OEMs) has focused its smartphone efforts on building Android hardware, is thinking of launching a Windows Phone (MSFT +0.1%) as soon as mid-2014.
- The site also reports Microsoft, hungry to expand Windows Phone's OEM support, is "making new moves" to win over ZTE (ZTCOY) and other vendors, such as slashing licensing fees. The Verge reported three weeks ago Microsoft is thinking of offering Windows Phone and RT for free, and monetizing the platforms via ads/services.
- Microsoft's pending acquisition of Nokia's phone business has fueled concerns third parties will now be reluctant to license WP, particularly since Nokia is the market's dominant player. AdDuplex just estimated Nokia hardware accounts for 92.1% of the WP installed base. But OEM concerns about becoming too dependent on Google could leave Microsoft with an opening.
- Though IDC estimates WP only had a 3.6% Q3 global smartphone unit share, Kantar Worldpanel believes the OS is faring much better in Europe, assigning it a double-digit share within the EU5. That might be of interest to Sony, whose smartphone ops depend heavily on European and Japanese sales.
Dec. 29, 2013, 3:45 AM
- Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. (ZTCOF), which make Android and Windows phones, have reportedly asked China's Ministry of Commerce to make sure Microsoft's (MSFT) acquisition of Nokia's (NOK) mobile-handset unit won't lead to increased patent-licensing fees.
- When the EU approved the deal earlier this month, it said it would monitor Nokia's licensing practices.
Dec. 18, 2013, 12:34 PM
- The Delhi High Court has set aside a November injunction placed on the local sale of ZTE (ZTCOY) phones, infrastructure equipment, and other hardware ruled to be infringing Vringo's (VRNG -3.6%) '980 patent (deemed standards-essential for cdma2000 3G networks).
- ZTE, which praises the decision, says it's committed to licensing standards-essential IP on FRAND terms, and opposes "the anti-competitive use of patents by holders as a tactic for unreasonable demands."
- The ruling comes a day after a German court granted Vringo an injunction against ZTE that covered base station sales.
Nov. 22, 2013, 10:11 AM
- The High Court of Delhi has granted Vringo (VRNG +4.1%) an injunction against ZTE's (ZTCOY) Indian unit over the latter's alleged infringement of Vringo's '980 patent, which has been declared standards-essential for cdma2000 networks (such as the ones run by multiple Indian carriers). (PR)
- The injunction bars the ZTE unit from manufacturing, importing, or selling phones, infrastructure equipment, and other hardware deemed to be infringing the '980 patent.
- Standards-essential patents are typically licensed under FRAND terms. Odds are ZTE will ask for such terms in the event it attempts to settle with Vringo.
- Vringo is also suing ZTE in several other markets.
Nov. 15, 2013, 4:41 AM
- Cisco's (CSCO) FQ1 results earlier this week highlight how major tech firms are feeling the impact of a backlash in China to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. spying.
- "All the big U.S. IT companies are concerned," says Jim Lewis, a China and technology expert at the Center for Strategic Studies in Washington.
- Cisco has been the most explicit about attributing the Snowden effect to its falling sales in China; Beijing could be specifically targeting the company due to American hostility to telecom-equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE (ZTCOY) over fears that their products could be used for espionage.
- However, Juniper's (JNPR) experience is that the "The Snowden effect is not real," adding that business in China continues to grow.
- Other companies to suffer in the country recently include IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT), with the reasons cited including macro-economic factors. IBM might be somewhat inured to the NSA affair, as some of its high-end products face less competition than Cisco's offerings.
Oct. 9, 2013, 9:43 AM
- Marbridge Consulting reports Alcatel (ALU -0.1%) was the only Western telecom equipment provider to receive a large share of a China Telecom (CHA +0.2%) 4G equipment tender.
- Local equipment giants ZTE (ZTCOY.PK) and Huawei are received 32% and 28.9% of the order, respectively. Alcatel came in at #3 with 16.6%, and was followed by China's New Postcom (6.4%) and Datang (5.7%). Ericsson, Nokia, and Fiberhome (another local firm) received less than 5% of the order between them.
- Alcatel also received a double-digit share of a recent China Mobile tender for 207K 4G base stations. Ericsson and Nokia fared notably better that time around.
Sep. 26, 2013, 1:39 PM
- A Chinese-language site (translation) has leaked an image for a China Mobile (CHL +0.5%) poster advertising the iPhone 5S and 5C (AAPL +0.6%). The posters make note of the 5S/5C's support for CHL's TD-LTE 4G network.
- One source tells the site sales could start in November, following testing in September/October.
- The WSJ reported on Sep. 6 Apple is getting ready to ship iPhones to China Mobile, and Chinese regulators recently gave the iPhone a green light to run on CHL's network (unofficially, many of the carrier's subs already use iPhones, courtesy of grey-market purchases).
- IDC estimates the iPhone only had a 5% share of the Chinese smartphone market in Q2, thanks in part to its premium pricing in a market where per capita GDP (in absolute dollars) is a little above $6K. Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) is assigned an 18.3% share, and local Android vendors Lenovo (LNVGY.PK), Coolpad, ZTE (ZTCOY.PK), and Huawei shares of 12.6%, 11%, 8.8%, and 8.7%, respectively.
- Also: IDC thinks smartphones with 5"+ displays will account for nearly 20% of 2013 Chinese sales, and 50% of 2017 sales. Apple, which has faced growing calls to offer a larger iPhone, is reportedly thinking of offering phones with displays ranging from 4.8"-6".
Aug. 22, 2013, 11:41 AM
- China Mobile (CHL +1.1%) has handed out RMB20B ($3.26B) worth of 4G TD-LTE base station supply contracts. 65% of the orders are reportedly going to local vendors - Huawei (25%), ZTE (ZTCOY.PK - 20%), and Datang (10%) are getting large portions - and the rest are going to Alcatel-Lucent (ALU +3.5%), Nokia (NOK +1.7%), and Ericsson (ERIC +1.9%).
- Alcatel is said to be receiving a 13% share of the orders (worth $424M), and Nokia and Ericsson are each believed to be getting 11% (worth $359M). Evercore previously forecast Western suppliers would receive ~30% of the orders.
- Altogether, CHL is procuring 207K base stations. The purchases will consume a large chunk of the ~$7B the world's biggest carrier has allocated this year to 4G capex, ahead of the expected arrival of government licenses at year's end.
Apr. 24, 2013, 9:03 AMMicrosoft (MSFT) adds ZTE (ZTCOY.PK) to its stable of Android licensees a week after having struck a deal with Foxconn. In a blog post, exec Horacio Gutierrez boasts "80 percent of Android smartphones sold in the U.S. and a majority of those sold worldwide are covered under agreements with Microsoft." Though Microsoft keeps terms confidential, the reported royalty rates and Android's staggering growth suggest Android licensing might now be a $1B+/year business, and a key reason why the E&D unit grew 33% Y/Y last quarter in spite of Xbox weakness. Android is almost certainly a more profitable OS for Microsoft right now than Windows Phone. | 2 Comments
Mar. 5, 2013, 1:38 PMIntel's (INTC +1.4%) foundry business could account for 6% of its sales and boost EPS by $0.12 in 2017, estimates JPMorgan with the help of some back-of-the-envelope math. The firm thinks Cisco (previous) and Brocade will be the next companies to be named as clients, and considers Apple a real possibility. Separately, Intel and ZTE (ZTCOY.PK) announce ZTE will use Intel's Z2580 (Clover Trail+) mobile processors. ZTE already makes use of the original Clover Trail. (Intel/Altera) | 1 Comment
Feb. 25, 2013, 2:53 PMQualcomm's (QCOM +0.9%) Mobile World Congress announcements include: 1) Baseband modems for tablets/laptops/data cards that (in lab tests, at least) enable 150 Mbps 4G downloads. The chips will go into commercial hardware in 2H, giving them a head start on rival offerings from Broadcom. 2) A partnership with Deutsche Telekom to enable apps for M2M hardware using Qualcomm baseband chips. 3) The ZTE (ZTCOY.PK) Grand Memo, the first Android phone to use a chip from Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon 800 line. (previous) | Comment!
Feb. 21, 2013, 2:56 PMNvidia (NVDA) has landed ZTE (ZTCOY.PK) as a client for its Tegra 4 app processor and i500 4G baseband processor. Though Nvidia has suggested volume shipments for the Tegra 4 won't start until the end of the July quarter, the chipmaker says a ZTE phone featuring the chips is expected in 1H. ZTE, whose phone sales to emerging markets have been growing quickly, also buys processors from Qualcomm, Intel, and MediaTek. (SemiAccurate report) | 1 Comment
Dec. 28, 2012, 7:39 PMZTE Corp. (ZTCOY.PK) is set to ramp up competition in the crowded U.S. smartphone market with higher-end gadgets and closer ties with carriers, as it aims to become one of the world's top three smartphone brands. ZTE handset chief He Shiyou says success in the U.S. and China markets are key to its ambitions. "If you don't get these two markets right then you can be eliminated as a player," says Mr. He. | 1 Comment
Oct. 15, 2012, 3:29 AMZTE shares plunge 15.1% in Hong Kong after China's second-largest telecom-equipment maker warns that it will make a Q3 loss of up to 2B yuan ($319.1M). ZTE blames a delay in some overseas deals and a large number of low-margin contracts in Europe, Asia and the domestic market. U.S.-listed shares on watch include ALU (-1.7% in Paris), ERIC (-0.85% in Stockholm), CSCO, JNPR,CIEN, MMI, BBND. (PR) | Comment!
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ZTE Corporation is a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions. Through its network of operators across 140 countries, the company delivers innovative products and business solutions. It connects global customers via voice, data, multimedia and WLAN. Founded... More
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