Handset Country Share Tracker

A vital tracking tool for helping companies measure the success of competitors and partners in their local markets.

September 5, 2014 05:38 woh

According to our latest UK handset vendor share by operators report -- published by our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service -- Motorola is showing robust signs of resurrection at major operators in the UK, including O2, Vodafone and Everything Everwhere in Q2 2014, mainly boosted by the growing sales of its affordable Moto G and Moto E line-ups. Motorola is providing these appealing products at relatively competitive price-points through diverse channels from operators to open retailers. If Motorola's emerging success in Western Europe continues in the coming months (even if the face of Apple's new "iPhone 6" range), it will be sure to make Lenovo, the potential new owner, maintain Motorola's brand for the Western European market ahead of their own.

In addition to the UK, Motorola is also enjoying steadily increasing marketshare in other major Western European countries like Germany and France, which our HCST service also covers. These three reports for UK, Germany and France can be viewed at our HCST service website, and are available to clients.

 


March 5, 2014 15:27 khyers

Verizon on March 3rd announced that it had revamped its prepaid wireless plans to provide more flexibility for customers.  The new Allset offering creates a single base prepaid plan for $45 which provides unlimited voice, text messaging and 500 MB of data while giving customers a choice for additional data packages at three different price points:

  • 500 MB for $5 with 30-day expiration
  • 1 GB for $10 with 90-day expiration
  • 3 GB for $20 with 90-day expiration

While the new plans are straightforward and offer greater value than previous plans by allowing customers to carry over data purchased from one month to the next, they do not move the needle signficantly in the battle between the tier one operators to grow their prepaid customer bases.  For Verizon Wireless, this is by design. 

Verizon Wireless has alwasy positioned itself as, primarily, a higher-value postpaid carrier.  Prepaid is, and always has been, secondary for Verizon Wireless, which isn't willing to sacrafice profitability to chase prepaid volumes.  Its new Allset plans are more accessible to the prepaid market, but it is is clearly seeking to maintain a clear differentiation in value between its prepaid and postpaid offerings. Clearly the Allset plans have been designed to offer more choice to its prepaid customers while avoiding prepaid canibalization of its postpaid base.

Verizon Wireless' unique selling point (USP) has always been network coverage and quality (not price), something that it extended by being the first and fastest to nationwide LTE.  Now that AT&T has caught up in LTE and Sprint and T-Mobile are expanding their own LTE networks, that USP is under siege.  At the same time, value pricing has become steadily more important.  Verizon's Allset plans are a step in the right direction and will appeal to customers already leaning towards Verizon Wireless due to its perceived coverage and quality advantage, but as AT&T increases recognition of its own strength in this same area, and both it and T-Mobile leverage their Cricket and MetroPCS acquisitions, respectively, in prepaid, Verizon Wireless could see erosion of its base to competition.  From this standpoint, while Allset is a step in the right direction, Verizon Wireless will likely need to take additional steps in order to provide additional value to prepaid customers going forward.

Our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service report USA Smartphone Vendor Marketshare by Operator: Q4 2013 provides marketshare and smartphone unit shipment data for smartphone vendors for each of the Tier 1 operators in the USA.  The report is a key tool for tracking current and historic performance for smartphone vendors by mobile operators in the US market.


January 23, 2014 20:07 nmawston

Rumors continue to swirl that Sprint and T Mobile will soon merge their mobile operator businesses in the United States. If the merger goes ahead, our Country Share Tracker (CST) service finds "T Sprint Mobile" will instantly become the largest purchaser of smartphones in the huge United States market, leapfrogging longtime leaders Verizon Wireless and AT&T. This will have major implications for key smartphone suppliers such as Apple, Samsung and Kyocera. More data and analysis of the US smartphone market by operator can be downloaded by clients in this published report.


October 11, 2013 14:24 khyers

Strategy Analytics' Handset Country Share Tracker service reports Gemany handset vendor marketshare by operator for Q2 2013. The German handset market grew by 2% year-on-year in Q2 2013, reversing the declining trend of the previous two quarters. Among the vendors Samsung comfortably cemented its number one spot, but Apple experienced its customary seasonal dip in advance of the anticipated launch of new iPhones in Q3. This report tracks quarterly handset vendor market share at the four major German operators -- T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and E-Plus -- from Q1 2009 to Q1 2013. The report, available to clients, is an important tool for measuring the health of individual handset brands at the operator level.


June 10, 2013 22:26 khyers

AT&T announced June 09, 2013 that it would revise its handset upgrade policy, extending the duration before consumers can upgrade a phone at the lowest subsidized price from 20 to 24 months. The move brings AT&T’s upgrade policy in-line with Verizon Wireless, which made a similar move in April 2013, and aligns upgrades with its standard two-year contracts for postpaid customers.

AT&T’s decision to revise its upgrade practices comes in the face of continued high equipment costs, in particular due to its generous subsidies for Apple’s iPhone, which according to our Country Share Tracker (CST) service accounted for 60% of handsets sold in Q12013 by AT&T. By adjusting its upgrade policy, AT&T gains an additional four months in which to recoup the cost of previous subsidies. The move to revise subsidized upgrade policies by both AT&T and Verizon in the first half of 2013 is in contrast to that of T-Mobile, which has ended handset subsidies in favor of a payment plan which lets consumers pay off the cost of their handset over the course of their contract.

With three of the big-four US operators having made significant changes to their handset subsidy policies over the last few months, all eyes will be on Sprint to see if it changes its own upgrade policy, which still allows customers to upgrade their handsets after 20 months. If Sprint decides to follow the lead of Verizon and AT&T this year, it will likely make the move in early Q3, prior to the next major wave of new handset purchases by consumers that will come in the back-to-school season starting mid-August.

Strategy Analytics provides detailed breakdowns of vendors handset share for each of the big 4 Tier I US operators on a quarterly basis in its USA Handset Vendor Marketshare by Operator report, published in its Handset Country Share Tracker service.  The report provides detailed share and analysis across 16 vendors on a quarterly basis, and is a critical tool for operators, handset vendors, and distributors who follow the US operator and handset market.


March 23, 2013 02:52 nmawston

According to our Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, the French mobile phone market dipped -6% year-on-year in Q4 2012. This followed flat growth in the prior three quarters of 2012 as the country struggled economically. Free Mobile, a challenger operator with low prices perfectly suited to the tougher economic times, is making a serious dent in the French cellphone market. Its main device partners are Samsung and Apple, who dominate shipments there. This published report, available to clients, tracks mobile phone vendor market share at the four major French operators -- Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile -- from Q1 2009 to Q4 2012. The report is an important tool for measuring the health of individual handset brands at the operator level in Western Europe's third largest cellphone market.


March 23, 2013 02:41 nmawston

According to our Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, the German mobile phone market slipped by -8% year-on-year in Q4 2012, as the broader ongoing macroeconomic challenges affecting the whole of the eurozone trumped the relative strength of the German economy. Following the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple reclaimed a significant chunk of volumes in Germany, but there are also initial signs of traction for Nokia's Lumia Windows Phone family.  The Finnish vendor gained 1 point of sequential marketshare in the quarter. This published report, available to clients, tracks quarterly mobile vendor market share at the four major German operators -- T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and E-Plus -- from Q1 2009 to Q4 2012. The report is an important tool for measuring the health of individual handset brands at the operator level in Western Europe's second largest cellphone market.


March 23, 2013 02:31 nmawston

According to our Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, the UK mobile phone market dipped -4% year-on-year in Q4 2012, mimicking the broader economic challenges of the country. While Samsung and Apple showed healthy growth, this was offset by declines from Nokia, RIM, HTC and the Android long-tail. This published report, available to clients, tracks mobile phone vendor shipments and marketshare at the 4 major UK operators -- O2, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and Three -- from Q1 2009 to Q4 2012. The report is an important tool for measuring the health of individual device brands at the operator level in Western Europe's largest cellphone market.


August 11, 2010 14:08 Alex Spektor
It may be the exclusive iPhone carrier in the US, but AT&T is also becoming an attractive option for consumers looking to buy an Android handset. Though things weren’t always as they are today. If T-Mobile was the clear early leader in Android adoption among tier-one US carriers, then AT&T was the clear laggard. Let us quickly recap highlights from the US Android timeline:
  • T-Mobile launched the first Android phone in the world in late 2008.
  • It took approximately one year for Verizon Wireless and Sprint to bring to market their own models, in time for the 2009 holiday season.
  • AT&T began selling its first Android handset quite recently: in March 2010.
Less than six months later, AT&T will have as many as five Android phones in its portfolio. This won’t be quite as many as Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, but it will put AT&T roughly on par with Sprint. AT&T will also be a leader from a variety standpoint, offering smartphones from vendors Motorola, HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, and Dell.

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So, what are the key drivers for the ramp-up?
  • Catering to consumer tastes. Despite what Apple might tell you, not everyone wants an iPhone. Consumers looking for alternative features, such as a bigger screen, memory expansion, a more customizable UI, HDMI, etc., can find them among Android handsets.
  • Lower subsidy levels. Now that AT&T has lowered its monthly data plan rates, there is less revenue to offset the subsidy burden. Paying $200-$300 subsidy for an Android handset seems more attractive than Apple’s $400+ subsidy.
  • End of iPhone exclusivity? The Internet is always abuzz with rumors, and AT&T shifting its focus to other platforms is yet another sign that a Verizon Wireless iPhone is potentially in the works. The carrier may be strengthening its portfolio to offset potential losses once the exclusivity ends.
Regardless of AT&T’s underlying reasons, broadening the options available to consumers is a good thing for many of the involved parties. For example, shoppers get a wider selection of handsets and emerging vendors like Dell get exposure to a growing market. However, AT&T will need to be careful in managing the persistent issue of fragmentation. While developers and content providers will be happy to have a larger Android installed base for which to create applications and services, they will also be faced with the cost of addressing multiple models/processors/resolutions/etc. -Alex Spektor

June 4, 2010 20:06 David Kerr
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The inevitable movement to tiered pricing which started with Verizon Wireless acknowledging its plans to do so for LTE and has been accelerated with the much anticipated data plan announcement by AT&T this week.  So, what next?

    • Will we see significant priced based competition for mobile data among the top US operators?
    • Will we see significant movement in share of adds for AT&T as iPhone wannabees are tempted by a plan of only $15?
    • What impact will lower data plans for smartphones have on AT&T’s Quick Messaging Devices and Verizon Wireless equivalent?
    • How long before we see family data plans and shared usage across multiple devices?

The move by AT&T is a smart play to extend the smartphone momentum as the low hanging fruit of Apple aficionados, multimedia techies and style seekers willing to pay top dollar has been significantly penetrated.

There is no doubt that the iPhone remains the coolest device on the marketplace and the end to end user experience remains easily the best in class. So, reducing the TCO to attract the next 20% of customers to a paid data plans while educating customers about data usage levels and managing the traffic risk is very smart business in my opinion.

The lower price points will help AT&T maintain its current leading share of smartphone users and may be attractive to casual social networkers

  • Although the 50 photos allowance is not exactly generous! For casual messenger, and social network status checking and moderate email the new DataPlus plan is quite attractive overall and will likely attract a portion of customers who would otherwise opt for a Quick Messaging Device from AT&T or a competitive offering from Verizon Wireless.

I do expect to see some modest price competition among the big operators

  • with T-Mobile most likely to drive prices lower given their need for scale and to protect their predominantly youth centric customer base. but also expect an increasingly strong Verizon Wireless handset line up to compete strongly.

The impact on Quick Messaging Devices is in my opinion likely to be modest

  • as a traditional qwerty remains overwhelmingly the input of choice for heavy messengers in the US although there is definitely room for lowering the $10 mandatory data plan on featurephones

Family data plans and data plans which allow access across multiple devices are in the pipeline

  • but will probably not make an appearance until 2012+ as part of LTE offerings.

From a device vendor perspective, the move to lower priced iPhone plans is likely to put further pressure on vendors like LG who have yet to make a credible offer in this space as well as RIM who will find more competition in the consumer space.

The lower pricing on data plans will be music to the ears of ambitious new entrants like Huawei, ZTE who plan to bring mass market priced devices to the US & Europe. The lower TCO of smartphones as a result of downward pressure on service prices boost their addressable market.