After nine consecutive quarters of explosive growth, the China smartphone market experienced its first slowdown in the second quarter of 2013.
The latest IDC Asia-Pacific Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker showed that smartphone shipment reached 90.8 million units during the quarter compared to te 94.8 million shipped in the previous quarter, declining by 4.3 percent quarter on quarter.
SoftBank Corp. said on Wednesday its group net profit for the April-December period rose 58.1 percent from a year earlier to JPY488.23 billion, supported by solid sales of Apple iPhones and increased subscriptions.
The mobile phone carrier's consolidated operating profit rose 46.3 percent to JPY924.23 billion on sales of JPY4.56 trillion, up 94.4 percent.
Sales of ultrathin laptops or those weighing less than 2.3 kg and measuring less than 21mm in height has been steadily gaining share in the laptop market consecutively in the last five years in Korea, research firm GfK said.
Sales of counterfeit and substandard cellphones are a USD6-billion a year problem, according to a new in-depth report released recently.
"Research estimates sales of around 148 million counterfeit or substandard cellphones in 2013 through visible retail sites, with many more expected via unofficial retail outlets, online auction websites and local black markets," Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF) Secretary General Michael Milligan said.
Google has been developing an 8-inch tablet to avoid price competition in the 7-inch segment for launch at the end of April with initial shipments of two million units, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers.
Price competition in the global tablet market is expected to become keener in 2014, which will not only further squeeze the profitability of first-tier vendors but also force white-box makers in China out of the market, according to industry sources.
Consumers' appetite for mobile devices is also driving the need for better quality audio.
In 2013, research form GfK estimates the headphone and headset market to reach USD77.3 million across four key Southeast Asian markets.
Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia snapped up nearly 3.8 million units of headphones and headsets—a notable growth of 5 percent over the same period a year ago, expanding the overall market also by 5 percent in total worth.
Yosen Group, China's wholesale distributor and retailer of 3C merchandise, said last week it has opened two new Super Specialty Stores inside of large-scaled super markets in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
One Super Specialty Store was opened on 18 January 2014 inside the Hangzhou Zhuantang branch of China Resources Vanguard, the country's leading supermarket chain, with an operational area of approximately 25 square metres.
Apple Inc's revenue in China in the first fiscal quarter totalled USD8.4 billion which made it the company's fastest growing regional market, the US technology giant said last week.
China has become a place for an "incredible start" for Apple in the coming quarters, Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, said in an earnings call conference.
Australian home entertainment retailer JB Hi-Fi's 10 percent profit increase has been welcomed by shareholders, adding more than AUD90 million (USD79.3m) to its market value.
But the electronics and DVD seller's good news is not necessarily a sign that all is well in Australia's retail space, an analyst says.
JB Hi-Fi's share price climbed by more than five percent on Tuesday after announcing that net profit had climbed by 10 percent in the six months to 31 December.