The next year is hugely important for Microsoft. The company is launching Windows 10 Mobile later in the year, while new devices and flagships are certainly on the way alongside the fresh OS. However, Redmond may have to take a significant loss as it seems as though the company?s handsets are not selling as well as what was expected when Microsoft purchased Nokia's devices and services business.
Samsung and Apple dominate the mobile space, but there is a very interesting battle behind those heavyweights for who should be next in line. Third place in the market is currently held by Lenovo (thanks to buying Motorola), while Xiaomi and Huawei are also in the mix. Chinese company Xiaomi is certainly going from strength to strength and recorded a bumper first quarter to put itself in a position to snatch third place.
Things are really not going well for Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor. The chipset has been pegged as causing overheating problems (despite being a good performer), something Qualcomm denied only to see evidence of overheating persisting in the Sony Xperia Z3+. Now the leading Japanese carrier (DoCoMo) is piling on the pressure by putting an overheating warning on smartphones with the Snapdragon 810.
We have written before about the success Sony is enjoying with its mobile image sensor business, so much so that it is now the most important part of the company. That may come as a shock for those who remember Sony from even a decade ago, but as a hardware brand the Japanese company is struggling. In imaging it is thriving and with the focus now on camera tech, Sony is considering expanding its operations into China.
HTC has been decking its smartphone portfolio out with high end devices, including the One M9 flagship. However, stocks are plummeting and the M9 is tanking on sales charts, leading to plenty of worry within the company. With that mind, HTC needs to deliver some device that capture the imagination, as the One M7 and to some extent the One M8 did.
Over the last eighteen months, HTC has gone from struggling to recording profit most quarters, but the company has not enjoyed significant growth. Indeed, margins have been slim and one slip would mean a plunge back into the red, something that is now happening. The new One M9 flagship has not been received well and sales are sluggish and HTC is in trouble as a result.
At the start of the week there were reports that Nintendo?s next games console would run the Android platform. We thought that was wishful thinking, and it seems we were right as the Japanese company (through a spokesman) has told the Wall Street Journal that "there is no truth to those reports".
Since BlackBerry fell into trouble a couple of years ago, it has often been widely mooted that the company would stop making smartphones. Despite sales declining to a standstill, the Canadian giant has kept releasing new handsets. CEO John Chen was brought in to steady the company, something he achieved, and he sat down with Maria Bartiromo for USA Today and explained why BlackBerry is still in the business of making smartphones.
The shift to Quad HD screen technology is well underway. Starting last year with the LG G3, most major Android vendors have at least one device with 1440p displays, but Sony is one company that is sticking to 1080p Full HD for its flagships. The recently launched Xperia Z4 and Xperia Z3+ both came with 1080p and it seems the company is going to stick with the older technology for a while longer yet.
The sales numbers for the major smartphone manufacturers through the first quarter of this year have been revealed, and actually they throw up little in the way of surprise. Of course, through the fourth quarter of 2014, Apple topped the market with an unprecedented period, beating Samsung in the process. However, the Korean company has now wrestled back number one spot in the market through Q1 of this year, while Chinese companies continued to make their presence felt.