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CES 2018 Device Blog : Day 2 : Smartphones

by Boris Metodiev | Jan 09, 2018

CES 2018, America's biggest consumer electronics trade show, takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, US, from Sun 7 to Fri 12 Jan, 2018. As usual, Strategy Analytics has a large team of analysts across various services including smartphones, drones, robots, tablets, wearables, smart home, semiconductors and Automotive in attendance.

Our CES 2018 preview blog can be seen here.

Our CES 2018 Day One blog can be viewed here.

Some of the device highlights following our Day Two coverage of CES 2018 are as below:

  1. Huawei launched Honor View 10 and Honor 7X internationally. The third largest smartphone maker in the world unveiled two new models, banking on the rapid expansion of its online brand Honor. The new devices will start selling in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia, as well as countries that the company traditionally found it difficult to penetrate like the US and India:
  • Honor View 10 sports 6-inch 18:9 FHD+ display, powered by a Kirin 970 AI processor and a 3750 mAh battery. It also packs 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, dual rear camera 16MP+20MP, embedded fingerprint and face unlock. Wholesale (trade) price at around US$350.
  • Honor 7X comes with a 5.93-inch 18:9 “FullView” display, dual rear camera 16MP+2MP, 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, powered by a Kirin 659 chipset and a 3340 mAh battery. Wholesale (trade) price at around US$140.

The company’s desire to break into markets where it struggled traditionally is admirable. It plans to open offline stores in multiple countries to increase brand awareness, it uses customization to target younger audience, introducing additional selfie features and a gaming suite. It will also distribute a limited edition of red Honor 7X for the Valentine’s Day.

Both smartphones are great value for money, with Honor View 10 positioning itself as a mid-range flagship and the Honor 7X occupying more of the budget segment of the market.

      Exhibit 1 - Honor View 10                                                 Exhibit 2 - Honor 7X

  1. Chinese vendor TCL unveileved three new Alcatel smartphones. Looking to reverse its slumping sales, the company  is pushing through with a revamped design, standartizing across the entire new product line. Alcatel 1, Alcatel 3 and Alcatel 5 series all come with 18:9 full display, although they fall into three different pricing tiers:


    • Alcatel 5 series covers, what the company calls, the “affordable premium” segment. It will feature superior imaging, larger battery and face unlock. Wholesale price at around US$220.
    • Alcatel 3 series will feature large high-definition displays and dual cameras. Wholesale price at around US$140.
    • Alcatel 1 series sits on the budget end of the portfolio, still coming with 18:9 full display. Wholesale price at less than US$100.

Refreshing device’s portfolio was well overdue.  The company registered its sixth consecutive quarter of declining sales and it dropped out of the top-10 in the global handset maker ranking. Standardizing across different range of devices and modernizing their look and feel should inject new life into the fortunes of the company’s smartphone business.

TCL also announced a strategic partnership with Flipkart, making the company the exclusive sales partner for larger screen Alcatel smartphones in India trying to leverage the expertise of the country’s largest e-commerce player.

  1. TCL updates its BlackBerry portfolio. Following the relative success of BlackBerry KEYone and BlackBerry Motion, the company used CES to unveil two new variants of smartphones originaly launched last year:


    • BlackBerry Motion will be available in US from January 12th, only as an unlocked model via Amazon and BestBuy. It comes with 5.5-inch full touchscreen, powered by Android 7.1 Nougat and an impressive 4000 mAh battery.
    • BlackBerry KEYone Bronze Edition has the same specs as the original device launched in the middle of last year, but this time it comes in a matte bronze color and adds a dual-SIM capability.


    Exhibit 4 - BlackBerry Motion                      Exhibit 5 - BlackBerry KEYone Bronze Edition

Buoyant by the good reception of the two original smartphones, the company seems to be milking the cow with the release of largely the same versions of the devices. Buying time while building new products can be a good strategy, as long as the new devices are good enough to justify the waiting.

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