We ve got an early BlackBerry DTEK 50 unboxing and first impressions here at What Mobile!
When BlackBerry launched the Priv last year, there was an air of confusion regarding exactly what the phone was trying to achieve. It was large, cumbersome and came with an extremely premium price-tag. Aside from a couple of subtle security features baked into the Android operation system, there was little to tempt buyers aside from that signature physical keyboard. Even then, software keyboards have gotten massively better over the past few years and, with the inclusion of features such as Swype, we don t necessarily need physical keys anymore.
BlackBerry DTEK 50 unboxing and first impressions
BlackBerry has gone back to the drawing board with the DTEK50, with a new lighter design and mid-range hardware. Sporting an appearance that look eerily similar to the Alcatel Idol 4, you have to wonder if they came out of the same factory. The physical keyboard has been dropped and there s no capacitive buttons to be found, with the 5.2-inch 1080p panel taking up most of the real-estate up front. Above the screen you have a 8 megapixel secondary camera and flash, meaning late night conference calls are going to be a lot easier.
On the rear, you re looking at a 13 megapixel rear shooter with f/2.0 aperture and phase detection autofocus, but no laser autofocus.
Does it have what it needs to stand out?
The phone is named DTEK because of the security software included in the device. The DTEK software will automatically monitor the OS and apps, notifying you when when someone is: taking pictures/videos, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts or location. Internally, it s actually underpowered when compared with the similar Alcatel Idol 4s, but manages to match the Idol 4 pretty much spec for spec. With a Snapdragon 617 and 3GB RAM, it should be enough for business users to get some from the device, though we can t help but feel that they should ve opted for a more powerful 652. Battery size is a moderate 2,610mAh, though it s hardly anything earth shattering either.
This story was delivered to BI Intelligence “Payments Briefing1” subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here2. In its Q2 2016 earnings call3, Apple provided some new Apple Pay data that indicates the service s ongoing steady gains. The data indicates that as the platform expands internationally, it continues to hold its own in the US mobile payments market despite the entrance of strong competition:
- Growth: Apple Pay monthly active users (MAUs), which number in the tens of millions worldwide, were up more than 450% year-over-year (YoY) in June 2016. That growth is likely a result of Apple Pay s international expansion the service is now live in 11 countries worldwide compared to two a year ago.
But it also indicates sustained usage among its customers.
- Popularity: In the US, three out of four contactless transactions are conducted via Apple Pay. For context, Apple Pay represented two-thirds of US contactless spending volume as of January 20154. The firm’s dominance is impressive considering that Apple Pay holds just 43% of the smartphone installed base, according to eMarketer5. It’s also worth noting that a myriad of strong competitors, some of which have much wider acceptance networks than Apple Pay, have cropped up in the past year, but Apple Pay has still managed to hold a strong share of the market.
That s a good sign for Apple Pay, which has been struggling to overcome problems inherent in the US ecosystem.
74% of mobile wallet nonusers wouldn t want to engage in mobile payment activity even if all barriers were lifted, according to the US Federal Reserve. Apple Pay s MAU uptick and command over the US mobile payments market could indicate that existing users are returning to the service and nonusers could be beginning to warm up to the idea of phone-based payments. That sets the stage for ongoing growth, particularly as Apple explores new use cases, like in-browser payments, that might serve as new customer acquisition channels and engagement tools.
But a potential challenge in Australia could lead to a shake-up across the mobile wallet landscape. Four large Australian banks Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac, and Bendigo bank applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to get permission to jointly negotiate with Apple in an attempt to offer their proprietary wallets on iPhones. That s because Apple restricts developer access to its Secure Element, meaning that Apple Pay is the only contactless option for iPhone users. If these banks are granted the opportunity to have talks and convince Apple to grant them access to the chip, it could set a precedent for NFC development on iPhones in other markets, like the US. That could further fragment the mobile wallet ecosystem and has the potential to threaten Apple Pay s dominance.
Mobile payments are becoming more popular, but they still face some high barriers, such as consumers’ continued loyalty to traditional payment methods and fragmented acceptance among merchants. But as loyalty programs are integrated and more consumers rely on their mobile wallets for other features like in-app payments, adoption and usage will surge over the next few years. Evan Bakker, research analyst for BI Intelligence6, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on mobile payments7 that forecasts the growth of in-store mobile payments in the U.S., analyzes the performance of major mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay, and addresses the barriers holding mobile payments back as well as the benefits that will propel adoption.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- In our latest US in-store mobile payments forecast, we find that volume will reach $75 billion this year. We expect volume to pick up significantly by 2020, reaching $503 billion. This reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80% between 2015 and 2020.
- Consumer interest is the primary barrier to mobile payments adoption. Surveys indicate that the issue is less the mobile wallet itself and more that people remain loyal to traditional payment methods and show little enthusiasm for picking up new habits.
- Integrated loyalty programs and other add-on features will be key to mobile wallets taking off.
Consumers are showing interest in wallets with integrated loyalty programs. Other potential add-ons, like in-app, in-browser, and P2P payments, will also start fueling adoption. This strategy has been proved successful in China with platforms like WeChat and Alipay.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts the growth of US in-store mobile payments volume and users through 2020.
- Measures mobile wallet user engagement by forecasting mobile payments’ share of their annual retail spending.
- Reviews the performance of major mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
- Addresses the key barriers that are preventing mobile in-store payments from taking off.
- Identifies the growth drivers that will ultimately carve a path for mainstream adoption.
To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:
- Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP8
- Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT9
The choice is yours.
But however you decide to acquire this report, you ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of how mobile payments are rapidly evolving.
- ^ Payments Briefing (www.businessinsider.com)
- ^ click here (www.businessinsider.com)
- ^ Q2 2016 earnings call (e.businessinsider.com)
- ^ January 2015 (e.businessinsider.com)
- ^ eMarketer (e.businessinsider.com)
- ^ BI Intelligence (intelligence.businessinsider.com)
- ^ a detailed report on mobile payments (www.businessinsider.com)
- ^ START A MEMBERSHIP (intelligence.businessinsider.com)
- ^ BUY THE REPORT (www.businessinsider.com)
LG Electronics1 Inc. said Thursday its second-quarter net income jumped 19 percent thanks to strong sales of high-end TVs and home appliances that outweighed another quarterly loss in its handset business.
Its April-June earnings came in at 268.51 billion won ($238.59 million), on sales of 14 trillion won ($12.44 billion).
LG said its TV and home appliance divisions reported the strongest results in the company’s history. The TV business saw higher profit even as its sales and shipments dropped due to lower sales in emerging markets2.
Instead, its portion of premium models, such as the OLED TV, went up, boosting profitability. The company expected that demand for the high-end TVs would be robust during the current quarter.
But its mobile phone division was in the red for a fifth straight quarter despite the company’s ambitious launch of the G5 smartphones.
Initially, the G5 received positive reviews with its modular designs that feature a bottom that pops out and can be swapped in with other hardware. But LG failed to increase sales of flagship phones. Its overall smartphone shipment declined from last year.
LG’s mobile phone division lost 153.5 billion won ($132.1 million) during the quarter. The company’s handset business has never been profitable since April last year and it quickly lost market shares to up-and-coming Chinese phone makers.
The company said its mobile division’s performance will improve in the next quarter with the launch of its V series smartphones, which feature a large screen, and more mid- and low-end models.
Sage has announced the redesign of two of its iOS apps to offer up a better experience for iPhone and iPad users. Sage One and Sage Live have been re-built from the ground up to take advantage of Apple technologies including 3DTouch Location Services and TouchID. They will enable support partners and accountants to manage finances on the go, with an experience specifically designed for mobile.
Later in the year, Sage will be announcing more mobile apps, including for the Apple Watch, which will make it even easier for businesses and consumers to keep track of finances.
“Mobility is at the heart of business transformation, and we’re just scratching the surface of its potential,” Sage CEO Stephen Kelly said.
“As a mobility partner, Sage has worked closely with software and design experts at Apple to fine tune and optimise the Sage One and Sage Live experiences for iOS, as well as create an exciting new Apple Watch application.
“By creating beautiful, easy-to-use applications, we’re able to maintain the best user experience that customers love, giving business owners peace of mind that their workflow will not be interrupted,” Kelly concluded. In May, Sage released Sage Expenses, a free iPhone and iPad app that helps iOS users keep track of their expenses and other business transactions. Users can quickly track the money they’re spending by just taking a photo of a receipt, which is then stored securely on the cloud.
Sage also announced it has joined Apple’s mobile partner programme, meaning it has access to new Apple technologies before non-partners.
Priced considerably lower than BlackBerry’s first Android phone, the new DTEK50 is being touted by the Canadian firm as “the world’s most secure Android smartphone.” Available for pre-ordering today, the $299 DTEK50 is set to ship on August 8.
Faced with steadily declining sales of phones running its proprietary BlackBerry operating system, the company last year came out with its first-ever Android smartphone, the $699 Priv. Aimed at security-conscious professionals, the Priv has seen disappointing sales, which CEO John Chen blamed on the device’s steep pricetag. At less than half the cost of the Priv, the DTEK50 still targets buyers who might be concerned that other Android devices fall short on security. BlackBerry says it will deliver Android security patches for the new phone on the same day they’re announced by Google, and has also developed a DTEK app to monitor the device for unauthorized activities by third parties.
App for At-a-Glance Security Performance
The DTEK50 “puts how you share the details of your private life — pictures, locations, texts, and more — entirely under your control,” director of product marketing Trudy Koen wrote today on the Inside BlackBerry blog. The phone’s DTEK app, she added, not only monitors for potential privacy risks but provides users with information on when and how to improve their device security.
“With just a quick glimpse, DTEK tells you the overall security rating for your device (excellent, fair, or poor) along with suggestions for improving it,” Koen noted. “It also tracks your applications and notifies you when an app’s doing something on your device without your knowledge (taking pictures or videos, turning your microphone on, sending a text message, or accessing your contacts/location).”
Citing a survey of Android smartphone users in the U.S. it recently conducted, BlackBerry said it found that half of those questioned believe their devices are “only somewhat secure.” The survey also found that one in six users doesn’t know about Android security patches.
“You wouldn’t leave the doors of your house unlocked at night,” chief security officer David Kleidermacher said today in a press statement. “Having a smartphone that doesn’t take your privacy seriously is the equivalent. It’s equally important for businesses to protect their sensitive data from cyberattacks at all points of their mobile environment — from the device to the network and servers.”
Mobility Sales Continue their Decline
Running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the phone has a Qualcomm 8952 quad-core processor and a 2610 mAh lithium-ion battery that can support up to 17 hours of talk time. The DTEK50 has virtually the same hardware specifications as the Chinese-made TCL Alcatel Idol 4, albeit with a newly designed back plate, Ars Technica noted in a review today. In its most recent earnings report for the first quarter of its 2017 fiscal year, BlackBerry said its Mobility Solutions revenues had declined by 43.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2016.
“The $117 million decrease in Mobility Solutions revenue was primarily attributable to decreased demand and the Company’s aging product portfolio, which was partially offset by an increase in the average selling price from $243 to $290 with the introduction of the PRIV,” the company noted in its report.
Smartphone sales during the quarter came to just 600,000, less than half of what the company sold in the first quarter of 2016.
Upon the report’s release, CEO Chen said the company’s mobility goal is to “achieve operating profitability in the short term.” However, he has also said that if BlackBerry can no longer make its phone business profitable, the company would “get out of the handset business.”