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Analysts take on handset OEMs' latest offerings

Posted: 17 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:handset OEM? W-CDMA? handset shipment? 3G?

Cellphone OEMs have recently launched a number of new phones. Apple, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Samsung and others have rolled out new products. So how are these products doing? And what are Google's future plans in the arena?

Here's what analysts think and predict:

1. iPhone hype dwindles
Daniel Amir, an analyst at Lazard Capital Markets, on Apple's iPhone: "Our latest channel checks indicate that October iPhone shipments increased 80 percent-plus over September levels, reaching a historical high at 5.4 million units. We believe that 1.1 million units were iPhone 3G and 4.3 million units were iPhone 3G. iPhone shipments are projected to drop 40 percent in November (month-on-month) followed by another 14 percent month-over-month drop in December, in line with seasonality."

Amir forecasts that total Q4 09 iPhone shipments are likely to come in at about 11 million units, giving about 40 percent q-on-q growth and about 160 percent y-on-y growth. "For 1Q10, initial projections target shipments of 7.2 million units, a 35 percent drop quarter-over-quarter and a 90 percent increase year-over-year. Overall, sell-through for Q4 for Apple should be in the 7.5 million unit range, which suggests that the build for China was significant."

2. iPhone (or Verizon) expands horizons
Ashok Kumar, an analyst from Northeast Securities, on the iPhone: "Our supply chain checks indicate that Apple will launch a W-CDMA/CDMA 2000 iPhone through Verizon by summer. This Qualcomm-powered world phone will facilitate Apple to be carrier agnostic."

Kumar reiterated that weak pre-sales of iPhone at China Unicom will translate to disappointing sell through. "Most of the take up thus far through China Unicom has been by their own employees who have been incentivized with heavy subsidizes on their tariff. In response to the weak adoption of iPhone in China, Apple is expected to cut prices. But weak W-CDMA network coverage and unattractive plans remain structural head winds."

3. Failed Moto attempt?
Kumar on Motorola's Droid: "We have argued earlier that the Droid is largely a me-too product and the take up will disappoint. Our checks indicate that the sales through the Verizon channel have moderated significantly since the launch.

We have posited that when the dust settles, Motorola's offerings will be largely undifferentiated in an increasingly crowded Android lineup. The iPhone launch through Verizon next year will completely take the air out of the Motorola story."

4. Can Nokia remain on top?
Kumar on Nokia's woes: "The primary headwinds for Nokia are the mix shift to low-end, continued share loss in smart phones and the resultant pricing and margin pressure. Weak capital outlays will also delay the recovery of the network segment. Less than 5 cents of every dollar of revenue drops to the bottom line and there is no turn around in sight.

Lack of product differentiation in Nokia high-end road map has significantly reduced the draw for application developers. While the Linux based Maemo platform is considered an improvement over Symbian OS, it is unlikely to garner much support in the developer community against Android and Linux Mobile."

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