Wireless Device Strategies

First to market each quarter with the most accurate and detailed data on handset strategies. The industry’s most timely, consistent and accurate tracking of device vendor KPI metrics, as well as handset market sales and shipment forecasts.

February 11, 2014 01:29 woh

Strategy Analytics' analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service will be pounding the floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2014 in Barcelona, Spain, from Sunday 23rd to Thursday 27th February, 2014. It is the world's most important trade show for the mobile industry.

We will be blogging live from the show every day.

Here are five major trends that we recommend clients / journalists / techies look out for at this year's event:

1. Wearables will, of course, be a major buzzword. Smartwatches, smartglasses and fitness / health bands will be the primary products on display. There will be also be a long tail of emerging wearable devices for niche markets, from smartsocks to smartmedics. We recommend you visit major companies like Samsung, LG, Huawei and Broadcom.

2. More curved smartphones will be on show. We saw dozens of curved TVs from Asian brands at CES 2014, and two curved smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Round and LG G Flex. Curved smartphones will gain market traction faster than curved TVs. Curved smartphones are the first step to a future of rollable touchscreens. Innovative companies to visit will be Samsung and LG. Will the new, rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 have a curved display?

3. Global expansion of the rising Chinese smartphone vendors. After dominating at home in China, many Chinese brands are now turning their eyes overseas, such as the valuable United States market. Major vendors you should visit include Huawei, ZTE, TCL-Alcatel and Lenovo-Motorola. Keep an eye out, too, for any Indian players, like Micromax.

4. The rise of affordable 4G handsets. The majority of LTE handsets available until last year have been in the premium price-range. However, the China LTE market is about to soar in 2014, due to China Mobile. Low prices will be the key to unlock rapid growth. Companies to visit include Samsung, Qualcomm and MediaTek.

5. Faster LTE-A CA (Carrier Aggregation) and TD-LTE will excite the tech geeks among us. We recommend you experience the multiple LTE-A devices and TD-LTE devices on show from numerous handset vendors, such as Samsung or Huawei. The era of "mobile fiber" is here.

Please check back to see our daily blogs and further updates on MWC 2014 every day during the show. We look forward to seeing you soon in beautiful Barcelona!

 

 


January 3, 2014 19:15 nmawston

Smartwatch sales in the huge United States market will grow almost 500% in 2014. We expect technology heavyweights -- such as Samsung, Apple, Sony, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom and Google -- to expand the market significantly in coming years. Smartwatches will initially be companion devices for smartphones and tablets. Fitness and health are the first "killer apps".

This published report, available to clients of our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, forecasts global smartwatch sales, for 88 countries worldwide, from 2012 to 2017. Almost every major country worldwide is covered, including United States, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This report can be used by hardware vendors, semiconductor and component suppliers, operators, software developers, content developers and other stakeholders to determine the size and growth rate of the important global smartwatch market.


August 15, 2013 16:34 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, LTE-Advanced handset shipments grew swiftly in South Korea during June and July 2013. Samsung, LG, Pantech, Qualcomm, SK Telecom and others are benefitting from the emergence of 4.5G. How will this growth in South Korea impact other LTE-Advanced markets, like the US and Japan, in 2014? More analysis and data can be viewed by clients here.


June 5, 2013 21:27 lsui

Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service's freshly published report -- Global Handset Distribution Forecast: Offline vs. Online -- models mobile phone sales by channel.

We forecast the distribution of mobile phones through online retail channels will grow +27% worldwide in 2013. A steadily growing number of mobile phones will be sold through online channels over time, making this an increasingly important distribution channel for operators and retailers.

North America and Western Europe represent the highest online % during the forecast timeframe, while China is seeing significant changes in distribution flows at the moment, due to pioneering companies like Xiaomi, as well as emerging e-commerce players.

Online channels continue to gain a rising share of global mobile phone distribution flows, notably in developed regions where wide Internet access and access to financial credit support online purchasing behaviors. While operators are especially strong in online distribution channels in developed markets, they will find it more difficult to gain a similar presence in developing markets where third-party retail channels currently dominate. Operators are best positioned to establish a foothold in mobile phone distribution in developing markets, both online and offline, by partnering with handset suppliers and focusing on upcoming high-value 4G postpaid customer segments.


March 4, 2013 11:05 nmawston

Global mobile phone shipments overall remained flat annually in Q4 2012. However, the quarter witnessed phenomenal +1100% annual growth for LTE handset volumes, led by Apple and Samsung in developed markets. Meanwhile, 3G handset shipments slowed due to the spike in 4G demand. In this published report, available to clients of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, we provide quarterly handset shipments by protocol for the top-30 global vendors, for 9 cellular access technologies, from 2001 to 2012. This hugely detailed report is valuable for handset vendors, component makers, operators, IPR holders and other stakeholders who want to track the size of 2G, 3G and 4G mobile phone markets.


February 26, 2013 19:49 nmawston

Our mobile phone and tablet teams are blogging daily from the show floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th February, 2013.

The Day 1 (Sunday) and Day 2 (Monday) blogs, from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, can be read here.

Three announcements stood out from Day 3 (Tuesday):

1. LG Buys webOS: LG purchased most of the webOS assets from HP this week. LG indicates the OS and UI knowhow will be implemented in smart TVs in 2014. Some mobile geeks hope the webOS platform will eventually make a full comeback in smartphones or tablets. This is unlikely, as webOS is a tarnished sub-brand. Instead, we think elements of the UI, such as card-stacking, could well find their way into LG's future software roadmaps.

2. Samsung & Visa: Following on from our recent analysis that NFC is everywhere at MWC this year, Samsung and Visa announced they will deepen their NFC-payment partnership. Visa's payWave wallet will soon be preloaded on most Samsung NFC smartphones. This is a good win for both firms. However, whether influential US mega-carriers, like Verizon Wireless and ISIS, will be willing to adopt the "SamVisa" solution remains to be seen.

3. Fujitsu Stylistic S01: Fujitsu is re-expanding into Western Europe this year. Its first new product will be a niche seniors phone -- the Stylistic -- at Orange France from Q2 2013. We trialed the Android device today and found it to be user-friendly, with a crisp, proprietary UI supported partly by targeted healthcare services. The S01 should resonate relatively well with mature consumers in the 40 to 75 age bracket. To my mind, the Stylistic may well be the best seniors phone on the European market today. Doro, Emporia and others will be looking anxiously over their shoulders.

See you tomorrow (Wednesday) for Day 4.


February 25, 2013 18:58 nmawston

Our mobile phone and tablet teams are blogging daily from the show floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th February, 2013.

The Day 1 (Sunday) blog can be read here.

This is the Day 2 blog (Monday), from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service.

Three announcements stood out from Day 2:

1. Nokia 105 / 301: Nokia is the king of feature phones. It is the clear number one player worldwide. The launch of the new 105 and 301 feature phones will help to strengthen its leadership. The Nokia 105 will be priced at an estimated US$15 wholesale -- that is impressive. It will be available in ChIndia and elsewhere from Q1 2013. The 105 will ship tens of millions of units globally this year. Arguably, one slight negative for Nokia is that profits at such a low price-point are likely to be modest.

2. NFC Everywhere: Most smartphones from Nokia, Sony and other big brands are now launching with NFC technology. Companies like G&D, Visa and MasterCard are clearly interested in this trend. However, one major player is absent from this trend -- Apple. We await their next move in this space with the new iPads and iPhones later this year...

3. Sony Xperia Z Tablet: This is one of the world's slimmest tablets, measuring 7mm thin. It has a 10-inch screen and employs Android OS. It is waterproof, so the tablet can be used by adults or children in the kitchen, garage, bathroom or living room. It will be available in Europe from Q2 2013. Retail pricing will be set at iPad-like levels, which may cap volumes. Sony has so far struggled to gain traction in the tablet market, but the Xperia Z Tablet is a desirable product that will give Apple and Samsung pause for thought this year. The XZT wins my informal "Device of the Day" award.

See you tomorrow (Tuesday) for Day 3.

PS. The rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 launch-date has been set for New York, US, on March 14th, 2013. Can the S4 recapture the title of "world's best-selling smartphone", recently taken by Apple's popular iPhone 5? We shall see. Pricing, screen size and supporting LTE features / services will be among key factors to monitor.


February 25, 2013 00:00 nmawston

Our mobile phone and tablet teams will be blogging daily from the show floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th February, 2013.

This is the Day 1 blog (Sunday) from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service.

We arrived at Barcelona airport on Sunday morning. The weather is sunny but chilly. An overcoat is needed. The checkin process to obtain our MWC badges at midday was efficient and painless.

Several presentations and meetings took place on Sunday afternoon. Three announcements stood out from Day 1:

1. Firefox OS & Firefox Marketplace: There are 18 operators, 4 device makers and 1 chipset vendor onboard worldwide. This is a good start for phase 1 of the launch. Huawei, LG, Qualcomm, TCL-Alcatel and ZTE are the five main hardware partners. Mozilla is gunning hard to attack the entry-level Android smartphone market with its low-cost HTML5 framework. However, Firefox will need to gain more support from giants Samsung or Nokia if it wants to really make a mega impact.

2. Huawei Ascend P2: This new flagship LTE model is being hyped as, perhaps, the world's fastest smartphone. The P2 was launched alongside a fresh "Make It Possible" promotional campaign. Huawei, the world's 3rd largest smartphone vendor, is clearly aiming to deliver higher-end products with more-emotional marketing campaigns at competitive price-points. However, its predecessor, the Ascend P1, was not a global hit last year, so Huawei still has some work to do in its attempt to become a credible premium player.

3. HP Slate 7: This is HP's first Android tablet. It is for consumer users. It will retail for around US$170 in the US from Q2 2013. It has a 7-inch screen and uses Android Jelly Bean. However, HP has so far failed to gain traction in the tablet market, and this low-cost-but-ho-hum offering is unlikely to change that trend in the near-term.

See you tomorrow (Monday) for Day 2.

Nokia, Sony Mobile and ZTE will be among the big press conferences to watch.


October 11, 2012 15:35 Neil Shah

Global handset sales will reach 1.6 billion units in 2012, and consumers will have a wide variety of handset types available for purchase.

Bigger screen size complemented with powerful processors and high-speed 3G/4G and beyond network capabilities have made these superphones and tablets high demand devices for content consumption (iPhone) and slowly shifting towards creation (Galaxy Note).

Thus, postpaid or mature mobile phone users are upgrading to phablets, superphones, and smartphones, while prepaid consumers are upgrading to feature phones and smaller sized / mass-market smartphones. The phablet and superphone are high ASP, high profit smartphone sub-segments which look especially promising as a super-high-growth market, which we forecast to expand over 300% between 2012 and 2017, bolstered by the recent addition of Apple iOS devices to a long list of Android- and Windows Phone-powered superphones.

The report below forecasts global handset sales by type from 2003 to 2017, and it identifies which categories will grow at above-average rates during the next five years. Types of devices covered include phablets, superphones, smartphones, smart feature phones, standard feature phones and basic phones.

Handset Sales Forecast by Type: Phablet, Superphone, Smartphone, Feature Phone & Basic Phone

 

Superphones & Tablets


January 10, 2012 15:32 sbicheno

LTE smartphones

As expected LTE smartphones have dominated the first day of the biggest US tech show.

AT&T seems to have launched the greatest number of devices, including the first Windows Phone LTE handsets:  the Nokia 900 -- which you can read about in greater depth in our dedicated blog post -- and the HTC Titan 2, which has a 4.7-inch display and a 16 megapixel camera.

On top of that there was the first Sony LTE phone -- the Xperia ion -- and the first Pantech LTE handset -- the value-oriented Burst. AT&T also announced the US launch of an LTE-compatible Samsung Galaxy Note, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S 2 Skyrocket HD and the eco-friendly Samsung Exhilarate.

Meanwhile Sprint announced a couple of Android phones to run on its future LTE network -- the Galaxy Nexus and the eco-friendly (possibly a bit of a trend emerging there) LG Viper 4G LTE. And Verizon unveiled the LTE-enabled DROID 4 by Motorola, which has a slide-out qwerty keyboard.

 

Smart TVs

It wouldn’t be CES if there wasn’t a new generation of smart TVs on display. Samsung has evolved its offering with new content, new UIs, and even the ability to upgrade the TV’s processor, while Sony hasn’t given up on Google TV, and has launched a couple of media players featuring motion-sensitive controller, based on Google TV 2.0.

The traditional consumer electronics giants may have more competition than ever in this market, however. Lenovo has launched a smart TV running the latest version of Android -- 4.0 -- as part of its broader connected device strategy, while Yahoo augmented its Connected TV offering and Nuance launched a voice interface technology called Dragon TV.

 

Kinect for Windows

Lastly, Microsoft is swimming against the current -- from the TV back to the PC -- by announcing the launch of its Kinect gesture interface for Windows, possibly inspired by the many ‘unofficial’ initiatives already undertaken by the independent technology community.