Feeds

CTIA: Handset vendors flaunt their wares

Under shadow of market squeeze

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

Kyocera and Sanyo

We saw last week the difficulty that Japanese and Chinese players will have in competing in the global market because of their dependence on their close ties with home operators and their small market share (one per cent worldwide for Japan's phonemakers). But they continue to play the game, with Kyocera showing off WiMAX devices at CTIA, as well as research-driven handsets that are highly targeted to specific applications or consumer groups - like the M1000 Qwerty slider designed for messaging, or the flagship slim flip-style E5000.

Kyocera's unique selling point has often been support for a wide variety of air interfaces - it is the only major manufacturer still focused on the iBurst system invented by Arraycomm, for instance, and worked closely with Qualcomm on 802.20. This stands it in good stead to attack the multimode device sector, and it has announced a WiMAX PC card that will soon be joined by a WiMAX/CDMA product - following a similar mode unveiled recently by Sanyo.

Kyocera hopes to expand its presence outside Japan by leveraging its wide range of technologies and the experience it has of advanced mobile internet and multimedia usage in its home country. The aim is to incorporate such functionality into its handsets before western consumer bases even know they want it.

"Kyocera is seeing a tremendous expansion in the consumer applications for mobile devices, ranging from streaming music and television to on-the-go payment platforms," said Dave Carey, vice president of strategic planning at Kyocera Wireless. One of Japan's successful mobile applications has been payments, and Kyocera showed a Visa-based system running on its WiMAX PC card and a new Wi-Fi/CDMA handset. It showed how beverages could be purchased from vending machines by presenting a payments-enabled handset to a contactless payment spot.

Also demonstrated were streaming mobile TV sessions transmitted at speeds up to 20Mbps through the MobiTV software platform to the WiMAX card. Kyocera is using WiMAX chips from Runcom.

"When it comes to consumer electronics, a common perception is that countries like Japan bring the newest technologies to market first, and eventually these technologies arrive in the west," said Tom Maguire, VP of global marketing, product planning, and design at Kyocera Wireless.

Sanyo, though it also has the benefit of experience of the advanced Japanese consumer market, and has been early into combining CDMA with WiMAX and Wi-Fi, seems to be having a harder struggle. Although, when it dissolved its mooted joint venture with Nokia for CDMA handsets, most of the focus was on the failure of the Finnish company in this market, it was also the loss of a significant opportunity for Sanyo to achieve greater market presence. Mobile phones may be one activity that the company chooses to exit altogether, following in the footsteps of other companies like Alcatel and Siemens, which recognized that a tiny percentage share is sometimes more damaging than no share at all in this volume segment.

Sanyo's president Toshi Iue said last week that he would resign on 2 April, ending his family's leadership of the company and potentially signalling the sell-off of various units, possibly including handsets - Iue has been highly resistant to calls by Goldman Sachs, brought in last year to help bail out the company, to break it up.

Facing a group net loss of ¥50bn ($426.4m) in the current financial year ending 31 March, Iue's successor, current vice president Seiichiro Sano, said sell-off was a possibility. "As for the issue of selling our mobile phone and digital camera operations...this is not something that can be decided lightly. I am still settling on a plan for fiscal 2007," he said.

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Next page: Motorola

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.