Revenge of the Droids

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — July 28, 2013

The sale of iPhones increased last quarter over the prior year and there are hints of things to come but nothing new this summer. Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer said on a recent earnings call that new products will ship in fourth quarter but declined to offer additional details. “We are on track to have a very busy fall,” he said. “Let’s wait until October.”

In the meantime, despite the repeated mantra from the company that BlackBerry 10 devices are seeing record sales in some places and that the enterprise continues to adopt the platform, it’s clearly not enough.

BlackBerry confirmed in various reports that it laid off 250 employees from a new product testing unit last week. These cuts seem to contradict what CEO Thorsten Heins said during the last earnings call. He noted that BlackBerry’s smartphone portfolio is just starting to fill out and that the upcoming product portfolio will address different markets.    

Microsoft isn’t exactly talking new devices right now either, except to say it is consolidating divisions into hardware, software and services and streamlining by function. This is new to Microsoft but otherwise a familiar structure that will provide a better foundation for mobile, where the company lags, but where the enterprise wants to see success. With so many businesses running some form of Microsoft software and services, extending the environment to mobile could make it easier on IT.

Both BlackBerry and Microsoft also recently cut prices on mobile devices —BlackBerry on the Z10 and Microsoft on the Surface Pro.

Android March
So with the other three OSes taking the summer off, it’s the perfect time for revenge of the droids and Android is marching on. A new family of exclusive “DROID” smartphones (photo above) was announced by Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility. Google, along with ASUS, released the “new” Nexus 7 (as opposed to the “original”), running on Android 4.3 – “a sweeter Jelly Bean.”  And Samsung, the market leader in Android devices, expects its smartphone sales to pick up in the third quarter and outperform global market forecasts according to an earnings release.
 
DROIDS
The DROID MINI, DROID ULTRA and DROID MAXX by Motorola keep up with the “DROID tradition” — with the first DROID having launched in 2009 with Android 2.0.

The MINI is compact design with an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch HD display and wireless charging capabilities. The ULTRA is the “thinnest 4G LTE smartphone on the market” measuring 7.18mm, and with a 5-inch HD display. It will be available in Black and Red models. The MAXX features wireless charging and a 3500mAh battery that gives users nearly two days of battery life on a single charge, making it the “longest lasting” 4G LTE smartphone available.

All of these DROID smartphones are made with DuPont Kevlar fiber unibody design and are available for pre-order online starting today now. The DROID ULTRA and DROID MAXX will be available for purchase starting Aug. 20 and the DROID MINI will be available starting Aug. 29. The DROID MINI will be $99.99, the DROID ULTRA will be $199.99 and the DROID MAXX will be $299.99, all with a new two-year customer agreement according to Verizon.

In addition to all this, Motorola is scheduled to have a launch event on Aug. 1 in New York City, for the long awaited Moto X smartphone.

Nexus 7
The new tablet is dubbed “thinner, lighter, and faster.” Its claim to fame is the resolution of 2.3 million pixels (323 per inch). It is available today in the U.S. starting from $229.

This tablet weighs .64 lbs and features 9 hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or e-reading.  It has a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM. It’s available with dual-band Wi-Fi and optional 4G LTE, in a 16GB or 32GB model.

Leader of the March
Samsung, in its earnings release predicts that smartphones will grow to account for over 70% of the company's mobile phone shipments in the third quarter due to the strengthening mid- to low-end mobile market.  

In the case of tablets, the company posted about a 10% growth with the introduction of new devices. Shipments of tablets will jump to a little over 30% on-quarter, according to Samsung, “outpacing the market.”

Samsung is also looking to improve profitability in the IT & Mobile Communications division through its lineup of mid-to high-end hybrid tablet-laptop devices such as ATIV Q and wider adoption of LTE mobile telecommunication technology.

Related Content:
Apple in the Business
Microsoft Goes Horizontal
Does BlackBerry Have Any Playbook?
 
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