The rise of White Box mobile phones

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Djuzz Mobile Gaming Metrics reveal increasing popularity of localized feature phones.
According to global mobile media company, BuzzCity, the dominance of the Old Guard smartphone brands, such as Nokia, Apple and BlackBerry is being challenged by the rise of localized โ€˜white boxโ€™ manufacturers which are coming out of China and Asia. BuzzCity has released its findings based on metrics up until October 2010, from its free mobile games portal, Djuzz.

Djuzz is designed to deliver games typically built on Java, Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android, Flash and BlackBerry as well as to feature phones at the lower end of the market. The portal recognises and delivers games for more than 1,800 handsets.

BuzzCity has been able to analyse the type of handsets that its gamers are using via its improved handset detection. BuzzCity has seen a rise of the โ€˜white boxโ€™ manufacturers coming out across Asia taking 20% of overall downloads compared to 8% last month.

From the Djuzz data, mid-sized OEMs include MicroMax (India), Nexian (Indonesia / Malaysia), K-Touch (China), Spice Mobile(India) and Visual Fan (Romania). BuzzCity believe this may be attributed to the very competitive pricing of these devices in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and China. This trend that BuzzCity is seeing is supported by recent Gartner figures which claim that global sales of handsets rose 35% in the 3rd quarter of 2010 to 417million units, and that a third of the devices sold were made by companies that were not among the top five players, and that many of them were โ€˜white boxโ€™ manufacturers.

Dr KF Lai, CEO at BuzzCity comments: “โ€™White boxโ€™ competition will continue to cannibalise sales from the major manufacturers, largely by mimicking handsets like iPhone or BlackBerry, while offering more features such as multiple SIM capabilities, at lower price points.โ€

Lai continues: โ€œWe believe the game ultimately lies with those who control hardware, software and services and these localized โ€˜white boxโ€™ handsets will soon need to add value with services; users have moved beyond using phones as just a communications tool and the growing priority for consumers is getting more and better content into their phones.โ€

BuzzCity delivered more than 6.5 million games in October alone, seeing a 12% increase compared to September. October also saw an increase of 5% in its number of unique daily visitors to 83,000. Each visitor generates at least three downloads.

Additional key findings from the Djuzz report provide evidence that mobile advertising campaigns boost downloads. The success of Adidas in promoting their application โ€œThe Questโ€ hosted on Djuzz in June 2010, was repeated in October by a number of others. Brands like RockeTalk (messaging) and Reebok ZigTech (Racing/Sports) sky-rocketed to the top of the charts in less than a week due to placements in key areas on the site, plus the right mix of bids and budgets for mobile advertising. RockeTalk is the first application on Djuzz to reach 1 million downloads, taking 13% of overall downloads this month.

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