Archive for the Cell Phones Category

T-Mobile’s Q1 2013 Shows 500K iPhone 5 Sales In One Month, Signs The ‘Un-Carrier’ Plan Is Working


T-Mobile USA has reported its first quarter earnings for 2013, and this marks the first reporting period ever that the newly rebranded “Un-Carrier” has included iPhone 5 sales, which began at T-Mobile April 12, prompting line-ups of interested customers. 500,000 new iPhone 5s were sold during the few weeks they’ve been available so far, T-Mobile reports.

Unlike some other carriers, T-Mobile doesn’t state what percentage of those went to new customers, saying simply that those 500,000 went to a mix of “new and existing customers.” But we can still do a fair comparison of straightforward sales, as Sprint sold 1.5 million iPhones during its most recent quarter, which was a mix of all device types, not just the iPhone 5. That means interest was relatively strong at T-Mobile, since it managed to bring in one-third of that total for the iPhone 5 alone in just a third of the time.

That’s an indication that T-Mobile’s $99 pricing of the iPhone (which is offset by a monthly device lease for subscribers) is likely working well. What isn’t clear yet is how well the Un-Carrier scheme is working: T-Mobile added 3,000 net branded customers during the quarter, but lost 199,000 postpaid subscribers and added 202,000 prepaid users. Those adopting the new Un-Carrier plans still count as postpaid customers, even though they don’t have fixed term contracts.

Like the iPhone 5, the Un-Carrier plans have only been around for about a month of the total quarter, but there are still signs that despite the continued disparity between postpaid and prepaid growth, customers are coming around. Postpaid churn (loss of subscribers) was 1.9 percent, which is the lowest since the second quarter of 2008. The 199,000 subscriber loss was also a 61 percent improvement over the postpaid decline in Q1 2012, meaning that while the carrier still didn’t see positive growth, it may be on the way to turning things around.

In terms of earnings, T-Mobile reported $1.2 billion in EBITDA for the quarter, a sequential improvement of 12.4 percent, but a year-over-year decrease of 7.5 percent. ARPU for branded postpaid declined by 6.3 percent, which T-Mobile says is the result of customers embracing their Value and Simple Choice plans. ARPU for prepaid is increasing, up 11.3 percent, but there’s still a wide gap between the two. Going forward, watching how ARPU is affected by the Un-Carrier plans will be a key metric for determining T-Mobile’s success with that new initiative.

Localytics Adds Features To Complete The Picture For Mobile App Developers And Marketers


Boston-based Localytics is fleshing out its mobile app analytics and marketing platform in a major way today with a variety of new features to help not just with customer acquisition, but also with monitoring and maintaining customer relationships over the lifetime of an app. The three big new areas Localytics now addresses with its platform are Lifetime Value Tracking, Customer Acquisition Management and Real-Time Funnel Management, all of which serve to help determine long-term engagement value.

Localytics is introducing these new features based on the theory that most marketers spend all their time and money on the front end of the sales cycle, getting people to download the app, and then aren’t really concerned about whether that person will become a quality user over the long term. If you’re used to web marketing trends, it’s like the difference between a low value visitor who comes in from search traffic and doesn’t stay long, and one who is referred by a trusted source and has a much higher chance of becoming a repeat customer. Most web properties, including our own, now value metrics like time spent on page whereas before they cared only about getting page views.

Paying attention to the entire cycle is a key competitive advantage for Localytics, according to CEO Raj Aggarwal, who explained in an interview how it helps his company offers something that mobile marketers won’t be able to find at most of its significant competitors.

“Unlike other vendors in this space, the latest additions to our platform allow our customers to close the loop of the entire customer lifecycle within apps – from acquisition, to funnel optimization to tracking the total customer lifetime value,” he said. “App developers can then leverage that insight to interact with users in a personalized manner and customize the content they receive. No other vendor can deliver the combination of deep insight and action within apps.”

The new features help Localytics users identify which customer segments are driving the most revenue and profit, target the most valuable users with tailored advertising and acquisition outreach efforts, and provide in-app messages aimed at those users. It can also bring in Facebook advertising spend data, and provide long-term looks at how marketing campaigns are shaking out. Finally, there’s more information about how conversion funnels are working to turn people into paying customers, with real-time insights and long-term tracking of the efficacy of any changes made to the process.

This isn’t just good for companies, Localytics argues, but ultimately benefits the consumer, too, since it enables developers to create a better app experience that’s more likely to meet a user’s needs. “The benefit to the end user is that the user will receive a much better experience as the developers can tailor and personalize the app based on a granular understanding of the user’s preferences,” Aggarwal says.

Localytics is essentially trying to move away from a siloed approach to analytics, and providing a more thorough look at an app’s marketing life style is just the first step. Ultimately, the company says that its goal is to help mobile analytics drive real action throughout an organization, not just as it relates to apps, and helping to turn data into a more holistic picture of how a mobile experience can affect a business at the macro level.

China’s Efforts To Rapidly Build Its 4G Network Is A Boon For Struggling Telecom Gear Makers


The Chinese government will reportedly begin issuing 4G licenses (link via Google Translate) by the end of this year or early 2014 at the latest, following news that China Mobile is set to take construction bids for its 4G network as soon as this month. The country’s efforts to build out its TD-LTE network as quickly as possible is a potentially lucrative opportunity for telecom equipment makers, which have been hurt by the sluggish global economy.

In addition to domestic operators like Huawei and ZTE, foreign telecom equipment and chip makers hoping to peg their growth to the expansion of China Mobile’s 4G network include Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics.

China Mobile said last month that it will spend 190.2 billion yuan ($30.1 billion) on its networks this year, with about a quarter of that amount earmarked for TD-LTE technology. The company, the world’s biggest telecom operator by subscriber number, is expected to build 200,000 TD-LTE bases, in addition to 110,000 3G bases. China Mobile’s 4G subscriber base is forecast to reach 228.8 million in 2017, representing 52 percent of China’s 439.9 million total 4G users, according to estimates by IHS iSuppli.))

Ericsson, the world’s largest 4G vendor, is especially eager to grab a bigger slice of China’s 4G market. “We are not satisfied with the results Ericsson achieved in China Mobile’s first-round 4G bidding last year,” said Mats H. Olsson, senior VP of Ericsson Asia-Pacific, during February’s Mobile World Congress. “In the past Ericsson paid a lot of attention to countries including the United States, Japan and South Korea and mainly focused on the deployment of FDD-LTE networks. Now we have turned our sights on China and TD-LTE technology.”

Domestic telecom operators ZTE and Huawei are expected to land the most 4G network contracts with China’s three major carriers (China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom), however, because they enjoy backing from the Chinese government. Securing contracts is especially important for ZTE because its performance has been lagging behind Huawei.

It is still unclear whether China Mobile and China Telecom will operate TD-LTE networks together or separately, as the rival companies would prefer. China’s third major telecom operator, China Unicom, wants to hold on to 3G TD-SCDMA as long as possible because it has yet to recoup its 100 billion yuan ($16.3 billion) investment in the slower speed network, which it began building in 2007. TD-LTE’s predecessor TD-SCDMA was originally developed to become a global 3G standard, but its use was ultimately limited to China.

Nokia Teases Lumia 928 In Low Light Camera Test, Pits It Against Galaxy S3 & iPhone 5


Nokia is teasing the Lumia 928 — a phone it has not officially announced yet, despite all the leaksrumours and, er, magazine ads – in a camera comparison video posted on its U.S. website. All this teasing smells like a new strategy for Nokia to try to manufacture a little hype for the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 flagship, which is apparently heading to Verizon.

The camera comparison pits the Lumia 928 against two of the most hyped smartphones in the tech world: the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5. Although the Lumia device is not identified by name in the actual text or video on the page, the URL is far less coy:

The page does confirm the device will have an 8.7MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics and the optical image stabilization first seen on the Lumia 920. The camera specs are in fact exactly the same as the 920′s. The design, however, looks rather more slab-like — with what look like blunted sides, vs the 920′s rounded edges.


According to Nokia’s low light camera test — conducted at a fairground in New York — the Lumia has greater colour saturation and sharper image focus than the iPhone 5, and less video noise and sharper image focus than the Galaxy S3. But then Nokia would say that, wouldn’t they?

It’s certainly interesting to note  Nokia has picked on last year’s flagship Galaxy for the comparison, rather than pitting it against Samsung’s latest flagship: the Galaxy S4 (which has a 13MP rear camera).


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