This is part 2 of our feature on OEM Stock Watch 2017. If you haven’t already, make sure you go back and check out part 1 to get our feelings on how the other major OEMs are doing this year. Once you’ve done that, click on through to read part 2! Part 2 covers what my (Shawn) thoughts are on the rest of the OEMs; Sean P. will have his parts coming in a special part 3 (as soon as his RL work stuff calms down a bit)
- (Shawn) I’d Hold onto Moto. They don’t make great high end smartphones, at least any more – but they do make a lot of really good budget phones, in both the mid and lower end tiers. The Moto Z Play is the undisputed battery champion of the world, and for many reasons, it’s a terrific value. The other Moto devices (it seems at times there is a alphabet full of them, with C, E, G, X, and Z already taken) fill various niches in markets globally and for perhaps that reason alone, Moto has a future. They know who they are, and they don’t try to overreach (too much) and they have enough products out in the market to hit with something. I can’t imagine their margins are huge, but Moto is the classic “quantity over quality” argument, and their quality isn’t that bad either.
- (Shawn) I’d Buy OnePlus, based on their progression from the beginning. The OnePlus 1 has become the OnePlus 3T, which is an excellent device and a terrific value for the money. The OnePlus 5 rumors are already coming, and while there is some concern in those rumors regarding a 2k display with a smaller battery, there isn’t any reason to think that OnePlus is going anywhere anytime soon. They process OS updates relatively quickly, their hardware works well with the software, and they offer some perks and features on top of what is basically stock Android on their devices. There’s a lot to like about OnePlus going into the summer of 2017.
- (Shawn) Buy – the Galaxy S8 & S8 Plus – need I say more? Okay I will say more…I’ll say the Galaxy pre-orders in Korea broke all kinds of records…again.
- (Shawn) I’m a Sell on Sony. They’ve not sold a device in the US in years, and the phones they announced at MWC this year were virtually indistinguishable from those of 2-3 years ago (unless you count the shiny mirror one) – if we were talking big screen TVs, I’m all in – where phones are concerned, move along from Sony – nothing to see here.
- (Shawn) I’m Selling on Xiaomi too, for now. Between the Mi Mix and the soon to come Mi 6, I’m not interested in the slightest with what Xiaomi is doing. I’m on record that completely bezel-less phones are a bad idea, and that makes the one thing that Xiaomi had going for it a con in my eyes. And now that Hugo Barra has left their ranks, I think they will continue to be a niche player in a market that is dominated by others around them. Why hang on to them then?
- (Shawn) A recent report from Pocketnow indicated that ZTE turned a profit in Q1 of 2017, which might make you think this would be worth a Buy – but you’d be wrong. The report goes on to further state that the profits generated were mostly from non-mobile related devices, and they are still facing a $1.2B fine from the US government for unlawful trade with Iranian companies. Oh, and they are getting 3,000 jobs from their mobile division off the books this year. While the Axon 7 from ZTE was a solid budget friendly device, this is a Sell for me – Amazon won’t sell enough of these devices to keep ZTE at the big boy table with most of these folks listed above.
Some OEMs are poised to do big things in 2017…others are in danger of being irrelevant this year and beyond. We will be covering all the major news as it happens. For more Silicon Theory, make sure you follow the website, check us out on Instagram/Twitter @silicontheory, and subscribe to the Silicon Theory podcast and YouTube channel!