China's Huawei Technologies plans to expand its presence in the smartphone industry, intensifying competition in a market dominated by "superheroes" Apple and Samsung.
Huawei emerged as the third largest smartphone vendor in the world in terms of shipment, behind Samsung and Apple, in the fourth quarter last year, according to industry-tracker International Data Corporation. China, Western Europe and Japan are target markets for Huawei devices, yet the company's home country remains its most intense focus.
Korean consumer durables major LG expects the Indian market to become its third largest in the world within the next three years with an estimated revenue of over Rs 25,000 crore.
Toys "R" Us Japan announced on Friday that it will start selling a tablet computer designed for children this week, saying it is a promising market with plenty of room for growth.
The Meep tablet will be the first in Japan targeted at kids, according to Paul Winslow, vice president of merchandising at Toys "R" Us Japan. Aimed at children aged 6 and above, it will hit store shelves this Friday for JPY14,999 (USD150).
Apple occupied 71.6 percent of consumer tablets sold in the China market during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to China-based Analysys International. For business-use tablets alone, Eben had the largest market share at 41.9 percent, followed by Samsung Electronics with 21 percent, Asustek Computer with 6.6 percent and Lenovo with 4.5 percent, Analysys indicated.
As demand for inexpensive entry-level tablets in the China market is growing fast and retail prices have dropped to below USD100 currently, 100 million tablets are likely to be shipped in the market in 2013, according to China-based supply chain makers. China-based component providers believe total tablet shipments from tier-one brands such as Apple are also likely to reach 100 million units in China in 2013.
Samsung Electronics is introducing the Samsung GALAXY S4 to the Hong Kong market on 27 April with a retail price of HKD5,898 (USD760).
Australian electrical and homewares retailer Harvey Norman has lifted its third quarter sales by 0.6 percent to AUD1.28 billion (USD1.33b).
Comparable sales, which strip out store openings and closures, for the three months to 31 March were up 2 percent.
Harvey Norman said its technology categories continue to be challenged although the market appears to be stabilising.
China's largest e-commerce group Alibaba on Monday launched six new mobile phone models that run on the Aliyun system as it joined other internet giants to tap growing demand for smartphones.
Alibaba's cloud computing unit will allocate CNY1 billion (USD161.7 million) of subsidies this year for handset makers and software developers to boost its market position and deepen collaboration. Alibaba will also share paid software income and digital content sales with handset makers.
Low-cost Indian smartphone brands like Micromax and Karboon are growing rapidly, and hope to soon threaten the dominance of leading global players like Apple and Samsung in the country.
Micromax and Karbonn are two of the leading domestic contenders, having both increased their shipments of smartphones in recent months, according to data from Consumer Media Research.
Indonesia's personal computer market will defy a global decline to expand as the economy grows and first-time buyers emerge from eastern Indonesia, technology research group International Data Corporation (IDC) said on Friday.
According to Sudev Bangah, head of operations at IDC Indonesia, a combination of economic growth, penetration in the eastern part of the country, and new government projects will support the growth of PC shipments in Indonesia.