Clouds hang over Russia and challenges abound in Latin America and South Africa, but emerging market (EM) consumers remain robust in Asia and are voracious almost everywhere when it comes to buying cars, smartphones and holidays, a survey of 16,000 EM consumers conducted by Nielsen, a research firm, shows.

The survey – conducted in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and South Africa for Credit Suisse – shows that differentiation between countries and products is key to understanding EM consumer trends this year, rather than generalising across emerging markets as a whole. Read more

How do you like your smartphones and tablets? Light or large? Black or white? For most consumers in emerging markets the question is: cheap or cheaper?

This is the market manufacturers should be focusing on, according to a new report by Gartner, a technology research company, which estimates that no less than 78 per cent of global smartphone sales will come from developing economies by 2018. Read more

Apple and Nokia’s latest quarterly results always throw up something interesting – usually in different directions, as the Finnish phonemaker declines and the US tech giant forges on.

So here’s one nugget from the recent reports: in revenue terms year-on-year, Apple added the equivalent of Nokia’s entire China services and devices business in just one quarter. Read more

Apple’s launch of its iPhone 5S and 5C has generated as much speculation over its business in China as it has interest in the models themselves.

Can Apple pull off a deal with China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile carrier? Or would a better question be: is it too late? Read more

Apple’s simultaneous product launch in California and Beijing was the latest sign that the global brand is attempting to push into Asian markets.

But Apple’s foray into China has not so far been an unmitigated success, write Kate Allen and Sarah Mishkin. In fact, the brand seems to be struggling to seize the market. Why so? Here are six key points about the Chinese mobile market that might help to explain. Read more

While attention has been focused on the demise of new chapter for Nokia as part of Microsoft, another phonemaker is in deep trouble.

Unlike Nokia, Taiwan’s HTC actually makes very good smartphones, and sold a lot of them a few years back. But sales have been dropping steadily since the 2011 heyday, and two bits of news have made the outlook for investors even grimmer. Read more

Not long ago, the future for Nokia looked merely bleak. In developed markets, Apple and others were outselling the Finnish company with advanced smartphones, leaving Nokia to play catch-up. In emerging markets, Nokia clung on to its market by selling so-called feature phones – simpler, slimmed down smartphones.

Then things got bleaker. With the advent of cheaper handsets running Android, customers in emerging markets began to buy advanced smartphones, too – and not Nokia ones. So, can Microsoft’s €5.4bn purchase of Nokia’s phone business pay off – and how important are emerging markets? Read more

India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s third largest market for smartphones, joining China and the US on the podium.

In some ways, it’s unsurprising. With a population of over a billion people India is bound eventually to be among the largest markets for pretty much anything. What is interesting is how Indians are using their phones – and the local handset makers that are seeing lightning fast growth. Read more

Pieces of HTC’s recent management shake-up seem to be falling in place with its announcement on Thursday of new leadership for its south Asia operations.

Most notably, the struggling Taiwanese smartphone maker says its new head of south and southeast Asia has come over from the key competitor HTC has been trying hard to emulate – Apple. Read more

Samsung Electronics’ new Galaxy S4 smartphone has smashed the company’s sales records – but that hasn’t been enough to prevent a nasty slide of nearly 9 per cent in its shares over the past three trading days.

The immediate trigger for the slide appears to have been a cautionary broker’s note on Friday from analysts at JPMorgan, who said third-quarter sales of the Galaxy S4 would undershoot their previous expectations. Read more

Taiwanese consumers are a discerning lot when it comes to tech – it is the key industry in this island nation, after all – so it’s a bit surprising that a popular new brand on the market is a Chinese smartphone company, Xiaomi.

Strong sales meant Xiaomi nearly ran out of phones in its first foray in Taiwan, part (along with Hong Kong) of its first big push out of mainland China. But if the popularity of the launch showed the potential of the brand, some operational snags point to the trendy company’s inexperience in foreign markets. Read more

HTC, the bealguered Taiwanese phonemaker, expects sales to jump over 60 per cent between the first and second quarters. That’s quite an uplift, and certainly better than last quarter, when sales significantly missed expectations, driving down its first quarter profits to record lows.

What’s behind the change? Well, it helps to have a flagship phone to sell. Read more

Apple may be souring the market with its unimpressive forecasts, but not all the suppliers who rely on the US tech group for orders are suffering.

Shares in Largan Precision, a Taiwanese lens maker, gained 7 per cent on Friday after it reported stronger than anticipated earnings for the last quarter and, against expectations, forecast more growth ahead. Its secret? Growth of other brands has been strong enough to offset Apple. That’s a change from the days when Apple was component companies’ key driver of growth. Read more

After the apologies, the mea culpas and the admissions of getting it wrong, Apple can claim to be doing something right at last in China – as far as the company’s latest results show.

The tech giant may have lost the confidence of some investors, with shares falling from the giddy heights of just over $700 to around $406 – a reduction in market cap of over $290bn. Commentators have asked questions of the product line, even the position of chief executive Tim Cook.

But Apple in China is doing very nicely, thank you. It’s the only region to register an increase in revenues from the last quarter. Read more

A quarter of the world’s 161m blind and severely visually impaired people live in India, according to Sightsavers, the international charity.

Combine that with the fact that India is buzzing with technology and entrepreneurship, and it makes sense that the world’s first Braille smartphone is being developed in the country. Read more

ZTE marked its 15th anniversary in the handset market on Thursday, but the man heading up that section of the business was not in a celebratory mood.

China’s second-largest telecom equipment maker should consider spinning off its devices arm lest it become a casualty of the state-controlled group’s staid ways and financial struggles, according to He Shiyou, head of the company’s handset unit (pictured). Read more

Taiwan smartphone maker HTC has, again, reported a sharp drop in monthly sales.

The year on year fall of 44 per cent in its February sales is unsurprising — executives last month warned revenues would slip this quarter — but the trouble at HTC is also part of a broader upheaval in the mobile market as even market leader Apple and its rivals now grapple with how to deal with what consumers want, and how much they’re willing to pay. Read more

Source: NQ Mobile

A US Congressional committee might have branded Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corporation, the Chinese telecom equipment makers, as a threat to US national security.

But such fears do not appear to be shared by Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man. On Monday, Slim’s América Móvil, which dominates the mobile phone business in Latin America, announced plans to team up with security software maker NQ Mobile, a Cayman Islands-registered company with Chinese roots. Read more

India may be the world’s second largest mobile phone market by users but so far it hasn’t been a major focus for Apple. In the absence of the iPhone, Samsung and BlackBerry have led the way in the country.

More recently, however, that has begun to change. Just as BlackBerry launches its first smartphone in India under the BlackBerry 10 operating system, Apple is joining the fray with a big push in the developing market. Read more

In 2005 Henry Lin, a young professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, was working with a scientist from mobile maker Nokia when they discovered something unusual. It was malware, on the Symbian platform that powered most of Nokia’s smartphones at the time; the first known instance of malicious software appearing on a smartphone. And to Lin, it was an opportunity.

Lin, his colleague Vincent Shi and five graduate students cobbled together $15,000 from their families and set up NQ Mobile on the premise that mobile phone security was going to become every bit as important as personal computer security. Eight years on, the company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and has 242m users in 150 countries. Read more