For the mobile internet, tomorrow begins in Asia


After five years of blistering growth sales of high-end smartphones have hit a plateau and the $2 trillion industry - telecom carriers, handset makers and content providers - is buckling up for a bumpier ride as growth shifts to emerging markets, primarily in Asia.

While carrier subsidies have helped drive sales of high-end devices in mature markets, the next growth chapter will be in emerging markets where cost-conscious users demand cheaper gadgets and cheaper access to cheaper services.

RACO Wireless moves up value chain with Position Logic takeover

M2M MVNO RACO Wireless has completed the acquisition of location-based services specialist Position Logic in a move aimed at improving its managed services offer to M2M customers.

Position Logic’s (Naples, FL, USA) technology allows enterprises to track and manage their assets through a web-based platform and the company claims it can integrate virtually any signaling device into its software to provide real-time monitoring across the globe.

BlackBerry to spur M2M development with Bluetooth Smart support

BlackBerry has announced that devices using the BlackBerry 10 platform are to provide support for Bluetooth Smart Ready, a connectivity standard that could help drive the development of new M2M applications.

In a joint announcement with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the body that oversees the development of Bluetooth standards, the handset maker said that integration of Bluetooth Smart Ready with the BlackBerry 10 platform would allow developers to easily incorporate Bluetooth Smart functionality into their applications.

Wearable technologies too narrowly focused: Beecham Research

Current products in the market for so-called “wearable technologies” are too narrowly focused to address a larger opportunity, according to a new paper from Beecham Research and Wearable Technologies Group.

“The wearable technologies market is reaching an exciting stage of development and potential, yet we feel that there is more work to be done to bring together viable value chain partners,” said Robin Duke-Woolley, chief executive of Beecham Research.

ZTE reports 11.6% drop in first-half revenues

Chinese equipment maker ZTE has reported a 23% increase in net profit for the first half of the year, to RMB302 million ($49.2 million), even though revenues slid by 11.6%, to RMB37.7 billion.

In a statement, the company blamed the revenues slippage on a decline in revenue from GSM and UMTS products in China as well as poor sales of GSM handsets and data cards both at home and abroad.

Telecom Egypt strikes $28.6 million services deal with Etisalat

Egyptian fixed-line incumbent Telecom Egypt has signed a deal to provide transmission services to Etisalat Misr, the country’s number-three mobile operator and a subsidiary of United Arab Emirates giant Etisalat.

In a statement, Telecom Egypt (Cairo, Egypt) says the “long-term” agreement gives Etisalat (Cairo, Egypt) the right to use transmission services across its network immediately, citing the value of the contract as EGP200 million ($28.6 million) annually.

Smartphone laggard Nokia picks up pace under CEO Elop


Nokia CEO Stephen Elop recalls a meeting in August 2011 in which the company's leadership struggled to decide on the name of its new smartphone, the first using Windows Phone software.

"We almost fell into the trap that had often befallen Nokia [Helsinki, Finland], which was... let them work on it a bit longer because we couldn't quite reach agreement," Elop said. Instead, he demanded a decision that day.

"Why wait till tomorrow or next week? We could make the decision today. And we did." Lumia was the result.

Russian mobile operators stop selling Apple's iPhone, report says


Russia's top three mobile operators, Megafon, MTS and Vimpelcom, have stopped selling Apple Inc's iPhone, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Vimpelcom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) ended negotiations with Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA) over iPhone sales this month as the U.S. company would not soften its contract terms, the paper said, citing a person close to the operator.

MTS (Moscow, Russia) ended its contract in June but is in discussions with Apple about resuming iPhone sales, the paper said, citing the company without specifying who gave the information.

AT&T follows T-Mobile US with more frequent device upgrades


AT&T Inc customers will be able to upgrade phones once a year instead of waiting two years under a new option that involves monthly device payments as AT&T defends itself against challenges from T-Mobile US.

AT&T's (Dallas, TX, USA) latest offering, which will not require upfront device fees, comes as the No. 2 U.S. mobile provider strives to regain the market share it has been losing to market leader Verizon Wireless (New York City, NY, USA), and to fight back against tougher competition from smaller rivals like fourth-ranked T-Mobile US (Bellevue, WA, USA).

NEC talks on Lenovo mobile phone venture stalled: report


Japanese electronics company NEC Corp's talks with Lenovo Group Ltd over a mobile phone venture have stalled due to disagreements over majority ownership and patents, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The Nikkei business newspaper reported that NEC (Tokyo, Japan) planned to exit its loss-making smartphone business after a mobile phone deal with Lenovo (Beijing, China), already a partner in the personal computer business, failed to materialize.

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