Feature Phone Platform Development
For years, Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson and Sony mobile were holding top places in the feature phone market. Samsung had planned to produce good quality hardware and efficient software with long lasting batteries and increase the efficiency of reducing call drop. As feature phones have very low memory and limited storage capacity, we have to implement efficient memory management techniques to solve memory leak and optimize the storage so that we can support lot's of features within limited storage.
I was performing as a lead engineer along with the team lead of multimedia, system and network module to produce efficient software of intel and spreadtrum based chipset. Within that time, Samsung has sold more than 30 millions units of features which are significant in recent years of Samsung feature phone history and placed 2nd in different regions. Soon, Nokia's market share dropped near 13.3% and Samsung was growing at a fastest pace. I am honored to become part of the feature phone development team and produce quality of phone by solving critical issues like call drops during moving near high-rise building, quality of audio and video players and optimize the system module so that phone can run longer with less amount of charge. These are key components of Samsung feature phones over market competitors.
Samsung Feature Phone models were the 2nd dominant all over the world. With our perfect business strategies and better quality with low cost feature phones, Samsung outsold Siemens, Ericsson and other chinese models in the middle east and Arfica regions. Nokia lost its market share sharply and Samsung created a strong place.
As a team lead of system, message and browser module, my contributions were to create bug free system modules with low cost and user friendly message, browser and answering machine module. The major differences compared to competitor models, Samsung outperformed them in terms of call quality, call drop when low in network or in movement, battery charge lasting.
Because of its own chipset, display and high quality software, Samsung profit increased rapidly in every quarter of 2011,2012 and 2013.
Difficulty of the Project
It is impossible to get into the 2nd position of the feature phone market unless you have good quality of hardware and stable software. Moreover, you have the phone spec with very limited memory. As a team lead and senior software engineer of system modules, I had to optimize disk space to support more features. In the E2330 model, I had optimized 2.3MB where total memory is 15MB. Because of optimizations, we have supported the answering machine which was a very popular feature.
The main application of a feature phone is call and you have to ensure it's quality. We have solved a numerous number of call drop issues due to low network strength at the phone side by adapting the bandwidth. Again, it was very tough work and at the end it was paid off.
Innovative& Unique Methodology
To ensure the quality with more features and low cost, we had to innovate new methodologies in hardware and firmware. First, to optimize the 2.3MB disk space out of 15 MB to support answering machine, we had to introduce new concept disk fragmentation and utilize the application binary space properly along with sharing with CSC binary so that resource of answering machine can be placed on the top of CSC resource and bottom of application binary space.
During movement when passing through a high rise building or in low network strength, multiple calls were dropped. We had to implement new logic to adapt the current network strength with low bit rate and lower the threshold value of call connection so that at least call is connected even if network strength is low.
Noise reduction during playing any media was one of the important and unique modules when even phone spec and physical memory is very low. This improves the sound quality and makes it compatible with external accessories.
Relationship to International Scope
In 2013, Feature phone revenue was 388.6 millions USD. Although, smartphone users are increasing day by day. According to the projection in 2020 to 2022, total revenue from feature phones will be 212 millions USD. My knowledge in the development of feature/smartphone from end to end will have a great impact on the US economy in case of innovation in micro edition devices with low spec for different range of customers. Please check https://www.statista.com/statistics/619815/feature-phone-sales-revenue-in-the-us/
Identifying the corner cases when using the feature phone will have a great impact on smartphones and similar devices. Because, end users face different issues during their daily uses which will help to set up verification platforms to ensure quality.