Unicom tactical adjustment: Wo 3G abandoned iPhone diversion Android

Perhaps it is time to reverse the embarrassing situation.

On June 15, a veteran mobile phone country contractor disclosed to reporters that starting from mid-May, China Unicom launched three-party deep cooperation including contract numbering for Samsung, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and other Android phones and channels. .

Undoubtedly, China Unicom (600050.SH) is the biggest beneficiary of the "all rich and poor" campaign in the telecommunications industry that began in 2008 under the name of 3G and reorganization. It is also the happiest, most painful, and most tangled compound. body.

In the past year, China Unicom, which successfully leveraged the iPhone’s 3G image to “get out of poverty”, has not only paid a small price for the harvest of rich 3G users: China Unicom’s performance in the first quarter of this year has not yet stopped the downward trend. The net profit was 0.48 billion yuan, a sharp drop of 86.93% over the same period of the previous year. The biggest drag on its performance was still the iPhone's huge subsidies (in the first quarter, 3G terminal sales suffered a loss of 1.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year loss of 1.8 billion yuan).

This is the fourth year since China's 3G first year in 2008, and China Unicom has started with "increase without increasing income."

The above-mentioned mobile channel business people believe that China Unicom is experiencing "tactical adjustments." In the past, China Unicom spent 70% of its energy on the iPhone. This is not economical in the future. Mature Android phones are cheaper and Unicom will Will use more economical products, more extensive product line to reduce the proportion of subsidized sales.

Spoiled apple

From a user market with the lowest occupancy and long-term concentration in the low-end consumer groups, the transformation into a 3G user three-point world has its own brand image with excellent user quality. Unicom has only spent two years. If it is said that its miraculous transformation comes from the apple, it would be better to say that the new round of reorganization of China's telecommunications industry has given China Unicom its natural advantage -- WCDMA's commercial maturity from system networks to end-products.

The iPhone gave China Unicom enough opportunities to use the "old aristocracy" China Mobile's time difference from TD-SCDMA to LTE. China Unicom's 3G heavily subsidized iPhone users and successfully secured 3G high-end users. As of April 30 this year, China's 3G subscriber volume was approximately 70 million. After removing data card users, China Unicom not only consolidates the three-point situation (20.35 million households), but also successfully removed the largest amount of gold. Users (including some China Mobile GSM users).

All this is due to China Unicom's "blood-making" strategy: After China's 3G launch, China Unicom's revenue increased from 152.764 billion yuan in 2008 to 176.168 billion yuan last year; but at the same time, its net profit is also increasing. The decline was from 19.741 billion yuan in 2008 to 3.137 billion yuan in 2009 and 1.228 billion yuan in 2010.

The subsidy cost from the iPhone is an important reason for Unicom's "Wang Ding is not wealthy." Taking 2010 as an example, Unicom’s sales loss from 3G terminals was as high as 3.17 billion yuan, most of which was on the iPhone.

Shenzhen Unicom believes that Unicom's strategy of using the iPhone as a breakthrough in the first step of 3G development is successful, otherwise Unicom cannot establish a high-end brand image of Wo3G in such a short period of time and wins so many high-end users. "The market's window of opportunity is limited to China Unicom, which is in a weak position in the 2G era."

However, the future development of China Unicom is facing an inflection point. "The second stage of China Unicom can't use a small amount of high-end mobile phones to develop users. To develop more extensive medium and high-end users, including low-end and mid-range users, we must choose more models of mobile phones." Shenzhen Unicom told reporters In addition to the pressure on operating profit, the distribution trend of 3G users is also the reason for China Unicom to switch to Android.

"The iPhone's openness is not enough, and its growth potential is not enough. Android's development is very fast and it is also more open. Almost all manufacturers are involved." The aforementioned mobile channel business people said that China Unicom needs to integrate the industry chain, including attracting more mobile phones. Manufacturers and channel vendors.

Policy subsidies turn to Android

The aforementioned mobile phone country contractors told this newspaper that China Unicom began to offer large-scale subsidies for the promotion of Android handsets sold on channel contracts nationwide in May. The specific approach is that users can enjoy free 226 yuan packages for a single two-month month. Purchase discount; or buy a variety of packages after buying bare metal, Unicom give 50% return. At the same time, it also provided financial incentives for the performance of the state-owned contractors. "These policies did not exist before." The source said.

According to Shenzhen Unicom sources, only in May, a single month, through the China Unicom and the national contract sales channels for mobile phone sales, the country's top three mobile phones are Nokia C7, Music Phone, MOTO ME525, the latter two are Android Mobile phones, a single model monthly sales of at least 80,000.

According to the reporters, at present, only Guangdong and China Unicom have launched deep cooperation channels such as Shenzhen Hengbo, Tianyin, Guangdong Long Yue, and Dongguan Jietong.

Integrating social channels and developing more popular 3G users with more models is also the goal of Unicom in the second half of 2011. Obviously, this can first alleviate cost pressures. Some national contractors have calculated accounts for reporters: “There are more than a dozen heavyweight manufacturers behind the Android operating system. These manufacturers have relatively strong open channels. Multi-vendor intervention has made Unicom's 3G users rich in products. On the one hand, subsidies will also decline."

On the other hand, Android phones that are priced relative to “civilians” are also beneficial to “pulling in” 3G camps from existing low-end users of Unicom. After all, China Unicom's 2G existing users have 160 million.

Industrial chain shuffle: compete for operators

Mobile phone manufacturers + channel providers + operators, this will be the new ecology of the 3G era communications industry chain.

The aforementioned senior mobile phone country contractors told the reporter that his company’s strategy this year is facing a complete transformation and the business will be tilted towards the 3G smart machine. For this reason, the company took a “broken arm” operation in the first half of this year and massively cleared the 2G inventory. Mobile phone. He judged that operators in the 3G era occupy the core of the industrial value chain, and how the channel leveraging the operators will be the key to success in the next step.

"The sales of products in the 3G era must be integrated into the operator's policy subsidies. More than one-third of the future mobile phone sales will be sold through subsidies." According to him, he predicts that it will be the latest for a national contractor. In 2012, sales through the contract with the operator accounted for 40%-50% of the company's mobile phone sales.

"The reason why small-brand mobile phone manufacturers such as Tianyu is so-so is because the rebate mode that it used to perform in more than 30% of channels in the past is difficult to sustain, because the quality of his mobile phone does not allow users to continue their experience in the 3G era." Dealers said that the current industry average of 8% to 12% of the low channel rebates will pose challenges for mobile phone channel providers. “In the future, the country may only be able to survive around 10 national contractors and fewer regional agents.”


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