As Apple iPhone sales stall and China becomes critical to its future growth, the company must be worried by the rapid growth and innovation demonstrated by LeTV – a $1.6bn Chinese media company that is relatively unknown in the West.
By Mark Barrett, CMO, Blu Wireless.
A September 2015 report by Sino Market Research, a subsidiary of Germany research company GFK, revealed that LeTV's LeMax phone had become the top seller in the high-end smartphone market in China - phones that retail for over $472 - ahead of both Apple and Samsung. The report states that in August 2015, LeTV ranked No.5 overall, taking a 4.5% share of the online smartphone market by selling some 427,000 units of its Le1, Le 1Pro and flagship LeMax models.
High-end innovation at relatively low prices is driving LeTV's success. At CES 2016, the company announced the LeMax Pro - the first consumer phone to be WiGig enabled. WiGig is next-gen WiFi and supports 20 times faster streaming of HD video at up to 4Gb/s. The phone is also the first to use the Qualcomm 820AT Snapdragon processor – with integrated WiGig 802.11ad baseband.
Video consumption on smartphones is growing at 30-40% per annum so adding fast transfer and streaming capabilities is going to have great consumer appeal. It’s something that’s lacking into the iPhone today. This trend can only accelerate with HD resolution content becoming the norm and fast emerging UHD/4k resolution video content becoming increasingly available.
The success of Le MAX is creating a wave of new demand for an ecosystem of WiGig enabled dongles and display devices. This, in turn, is creating a major opportunity for chip and system manufacturers to create WiGig-enabled products.