OpenSignal released its latest crowdsourced 4G LTE report for June, and the data doesn’t look good for India and the Philippines. South Korea is doing better than ever, however.
Compared to the data we looked over last November, 4G LTE mobile data has been experiencing greater availability and speeds around the world, but that’s a given with the growing ubiquity of the technology. Check out the graphs below to see how each country ranks worldwide:
Based on data collected from over 550,000 devices from January 1 to March 31, 2017, there’s no beating around the bush on how to approach these findings.
Here are our most noteworthy observations for Asian nations:
South Korea continues to dominate
Ranking on top for 4G availability (96.38 percent) and second for 4G speeds (43.46Mbps), South Korea is once again the destination for nationwide mobile data convenience. Only Singapore was able to best South Korea with slightly faster connectivity (45.62Mbps), but remember that the former has only a tenth of the latter’s population, making the airwaves less congested.
The Philippines ranks in the bottom five for both
The Southeast Asian archipelago is once again near the bottom for both 4G availability (52.77 percent) and average speed (8.59Mbps). This is no better than the showing the Philippines had last year, when it was also at the bottom of the barrel for each chart. However, there are still marginal improvements: The republic previously had an availability of only 44.8 percent and average speed of 7.27Mbps.
India improved in one aspect, failed the other
The most interesting information is India’s rise and fall for each statistic. The country now has a 4G availability of 81.56 percent, which is a great improvement over the 71.6 percent from last November. Unfortunately, the average 4G speed didn’t experience the same boost. In fact, the average speed went down to 5.14Mbps from the 6.39Mbps we saw last time — you can barely call that faster than the average 3G speed of 4.4Mbps.
4G LTE is steadily improving, but 5G is fast approaching
It’s easy to forget, but 4G LTE came out when 3G and its advancements didn’t fully mature yet. The same case may be happening soon, with companies like Qualcomm and Google already testing 5G connectivity in the United States. We have to hope that 4G and LTE technologies don’t go through the same fate, and that local mobile service providers maximize them before jumping on the newer generation.
[irp posts=”2500″ name=”LTE-A Explained”]
Nokia touts an ‘asset-light’ approach to smartphone success
It’s actually working!
A lifetime ago, Nokia dominated the entire smartphone industry. From tough-as-nails brick phones to flashy flip phones, everyone carried one of Nokia’s iconic lineup. Suffice to say, we wouldn’t have a flourishing smartphone market today without Nokia’s pioneering.
Sadly, Nokia’s exploits crashed and burned after Apple’s more aggressive marketing. Today, the market consists almost exclusively of thin slab phones. With that, Nokia bowed out to a thinner form factor. The company sold its mobile assets to Microsoft.
After several years, Nokia eventually regained rights to make new phones through a licensing deal with HMD Global. Now, the company is on track to make another killing in the market.
Talking to press in India, HMD Global VP and Country Head Ajey Mehta detailed Nokia’s roadmap for market dominance. Additionally, he explained how his brand got back to a respectable position today.
As opposed to hardware-driven brands like Samsung and Apple, HMD Global prides itself with success “built purely on partnerships.” Tagged as an asset-light approach, Nokia’s phones stand because of hardware from Foxconn and software from Google. Even now, Nokia’s new generation is a champion of Google’s Android One program. Going forward, Mehta sees this approach as a vital key to further success.
Additionally, Nokia’s current lineup runs the whole gamut. Initially, the company resurrected with a plethora of feature phones. Now, they offer a model for all market segments. Despite the free-flowing approach, HMD Global still chooses one or two models as champions for the Nokia brand. With this, Nokia can maintain a wide variety of products while specializing in a specific segment.
In terms of marketing, Nokia understands its distribution streams. Online, the brand sees more short-term spikes in sales because of the specs-dependent consumer. On the other hand, offline selling offers longer-term but slower growth.
Overall, Nokia’s strategy caused an unbelievable growth margin at a recent Counterpoint survey — growing by almost 800 percent. Based on trends alone, Nokia is on track to surpass several brands in the future. Indeed, Mehta claims that the brand will rise as a top three smartphone in the next three to five years. If anything, the company has proven that its asset-light strategy works.
Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Nokia is the most nostalgic item in the smartphone industry today.
US government will be banned from using Huawei and ZTE tech
Not a total ban, though
The president of the United States has just imposed a major ban against two Chinese tech giants, Huawei and ZTE, from working with the US government. The ban is a component of the Defense Authorization Act which US President Donald Trump has just signed after months of discussions.
We first heard news about the bill earlier this month followed by reports of Huawei spying on people and ZTE getting banned after getting accused of selling merchandise to US rivals. The fiasco hindered Huawei phones from getting sold through US carriers. ZTE, on the other hand, was saved by Trump as confirmed by his tweet.
In the end, though, both Chinese companies now have the same fate. The US Congress worked on a measure that will essentially ban the US government and soon-to-be allies from using components and availing services from Huawei, ZTE, and a number of other Chinese communications companies.
The ban, which will go into effect over the next two years, doesn’t completely cut the ties of the US with Huawei and ZTE. The Chinese companies are not allowed to be part of any “essential” or “critical” systems of the US government, but they can still work with the US government as long as they will not be used to route or view data.
Huawei is not happy about the ban, of course, and calls it a “random addition” to the defense bill which is “ineffective, misguided, and unconstitutional.” The company also said that the ban will increase cost for consumers and businesses.
Via: The Verge
Samsung falls to less than one percent market share in China
Might pull out of Chinese market by next year
Recently, Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 9 to worldwide acclaim. Ironically, despite the positive response, the company is still slogging through one of its most dismal years to date. Previously, the Galaxy S9 opened to tepid, abysmal sales.
Now, with the dawn of more capable competitors, Samsung is falling more drastically than ever before. Formerly a stalwart in China, the company has now fallen to less than one percent market share in one of the world’s biggest markets.
Just a few years ago, Samsung’s phones captured a comfortable market share lead at 20 percent. The huge lead accurately represented Samsung’s grip on the market at the time.
However, with the recent developments (or lack thereof), the balance of power is steadily shifting. This year, gigantic (but more affordable) outings from smaller companies — Huawei, OnePlus, OPPO, Xiaomi — have taken the market by storm.
Besides the downpour of competitive rivals, Samsung has cited the decline of the smartphone market at large as a reason. From the lack of revolutionary features, adoption and upgrade rates have declined, causing an overall plateauing of phone sales.
According to Reuters, Samsung is considering drastic measures to alleviate the slump in sales. Most radically, the company might pull out of the Chinese market entirely.
Specifically, the plan affects Samsung’s Tianjin factory in Northern China. On its own, the facility manufactures 36 million phones per year. Additionally, Samsung has other plants nearby in Huizhou and Vietnam.
Currently, Samsung officials have yet to decide on the Chinese market’s ultimate fate. However, the pull-out is still a tempting move to improve efficiency.
Regardless, Samsung will remain as a global powerhouse even if it withdraws from the Chinese market. If anything, the move will dictate the company’s (and its Chinese competitors’) trajectory for the future.
Besides Samsung, Apple has also fared similarly, bowing out to Chinese brands in multiple markets.
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