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.

May 28, 2014 11:35 nmawston

According to the latest research from our WDS (Devices) service, mobile phone sales will reach 430 million units and generate revenues of US$87 billion in China during 2014. In contrast, mobile phone sales will stabilize at 163 million units and deliver revenues of just US$60 billion in the United States this year. China will overtake the United States for the first time ever to become the world’s largest mobile phone market by value.

We forecast mobile phone sales to grow 15 percent annually to reach a record 430 million units in China during 2014. Mobile phone trade revenues will surge 53 percent annually to reach a record US$87 billion this year. In contrast, mobile phone sales in the United States will grow zero percent annually, while trade revenues will increase only 4 percent to US$60 billion in 2014. China will finally overtake the United States for the first time this year to become the world’s largest mobile phone market by value.


China’s impressive mobile growth is being driven by the country’s rapid shift to 3G and 4G smartphones. Major brands, such as Samsung, Huawei and Lenovo, are aggressively expanding their distribution channels and product ranges across the region to meet extremely strong demand from Chinese consumers for more advanced mobile phones.


The United States is maturing and has now lost its crown to China as the world’s largest mobile phone market by revenue. However, it is important to remember the US remains by far the mobile industry’s most valuable country by profit. High average selling prices for mobile phones and huge operator subsidies from Sprint and others continue to make the US a very profitable market for major device brands such as Apple, Samsung and Alcatel.

 

Exhibit 1: Mobile Phone Sales and Trade Revenues by Country in 2014  [1]

Mobile Phone Sales (Millions of Units)

2013

2014

China

374.8

429.8

United States

163.3

163.4

 

 

 

Mobile Phone Trade Revenues (US$, Billions)

2013

2014

China

$57.0

$87.2

United States

$57.4

$59.5

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

  



[1]  Numbers are rounded. The term "mobile phone" refers to all smartphones plus feature phones combined. Trade revenues are defined as wholesale revenues. The 2014 data are forecast estimates.


March 18, 2014 23:13 yli

Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service recently published a report : China LTE Phone Sales Will Rocket to 135 Million Units in 2014. In there, we predict China Mobile will concentrate on three-mode and five-mode LTE cellphones this year. China Mobile has since reported a shift back toward five cellular modes (TD-LTE / FD-LTE / WCDMA / TD-SCDMA / GSM) for all customized and procured LTE phones via China Mobile's operator channels from June 2014 onwards. We have confirmed this move with China Mobile.
 
We believe the shift to five-mode phones will slow down LTE handset prices penetrating down below the RMB 600 level this year. However, three-mode (TD-LTE / TD-SCDMA / GSM) LTE handsets will continue to be available via open channels (e.g. Gome), and make up a meaningful portion of open-channel LTE volumes in 2014.
 
The shift will also resolve the roaming issues for end-users and save some R&D costs for device vendors. Qualcomm and Marvell will benefit from the move. Both are among the key LTE chipset suppliers for China's LTE market at this moment. However, local chipset makers, such as Spreadtrum, may face some headwinds from it.
 
Apple and Samsung remain major 4G handset suppliers in China at the moment -- however, we expect leading local players, such as Huawei, ZTE, Coolpad and Lenovo, will play an increasing role in this fast-growing market. Meanwhile, second-tier and third-tier local brands, such as Tianyu, Hisense, Gionee, Vivo, OPPO and Changhong, are likely to be aggressive challengers in the LTE segment later this year and worth keeping an eye on.



February 16, 2014 16:43 yli

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, LTE cellphone sales will surge +547% YoY to reach 135 million units in China during 2014. The market is set to take off. Leading brands across the LTE  phone spectrum in China during 2014 will include China Mobile, Samsung, Lenovo, Qualcomm, MediaTek and others. China will very soon be the world's largest 4G market. More analysis and data can be downloaded by clients here.

 


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!

 

 


May 13, 2013 23:13 Neil Shah

Global handset shipments dipped 1% annually during the first quarter of 2013. Developed and emerging markets slowed, but Asia remained the world's fastest-growing region.

Samsung, Lenovo and Coolpad registered the highest global growth rates, starting the year on relatively positive notes. While Samsung maintained the pole position as the largest handset supplier worldwide, Chinese brand Coolpad (also known as Yulong Coolpad) entered the top 10 rankings for the first time surpassing HTC, BlackBerry and Motorola due to rising demand for its 3G/4G handsets in China, parts of Asia and expansion in US market.

Samsung with robust demand for its Galaxy handsets led in most of the regions globally followed by Nokia meanwhile Blackberry became a top three player in Africa with reasonable demand for its handsets in Nigeria and Middle East. Meanwhile LG also registered impressive performance and growth moving up in the rankings globally and in multiple regions.

Latest report from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service details quarterly handset shipments and marketshare for the world's top 30 vendors in North America, Central & Latin America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific. Historical data by quarter from Q1 2004 to Q1 2013 are also included.

VENDOR SHARE: Global Handset Market by Region: Q1 2013


April 18, 2013 18:11 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, several hundred million mobile handsets will flow through "closed" operator channels worldwide during 2014 (e.g. Telefonica). Some regions are dominated by operator-led channels, while others are dominated by retailer channels (e.g. Africa). Notably, China is seeing significant changes in distribution flows at the moment. This published report, available to clients, forecasts global handset distribution flows for 6 major regions and 3 key countries from 2007 to 2017, including North America, Western Europe, Latin America, China and India. The forecasts can be used by handset vendors, vehicle makers, apps developers and others to identify the main regional channels where mobile phones are being sold, and whether operators or retailers are winning the distribution wars.


April 18, 2013 18:06 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, the global installed base of all mobile phones will grow by +6% in 2014. Asia Pacific is the region with the largest installed base by some margin, while Western Europe has the highest population penetration. Countries with huge installed bases include China, United States, UK, Nigeria, India, Brazil and Russia. This extensive published report, available to clients, forecasts the worldwide mobile phone installed base by 6 major regions and 88 countries from 2002 to 2017. It forecasts handset population penetration and handset household penetration. The report is a valuable tool for content developers, car makers, component vendors, operators and other stakeholders to measure the world's installed base of mobile phones by size, growth and penetration.


March 28, 2013 18:23 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, TD-SCDMA phone sales will grow a healthy +38% in China in 2013. The Chinese 3G cellphone market is growing several times faster than the global average. Attractive pricing of devices and helpful operator subsidies are pushing the market higher. This is giving solid growth opportunities to companies involved in the TD-SCDMA industry, such as ZTE, Huawei, Coolpad, Lenovo, and Spreadtrum. However, TD-LTE networks will soon arrive, and the shelf-life of TD-SCDMA is thus limited. This published report, available to clients, forecasts TD-SCDMA handset sales for 88 countries worldwide from 2008 to 2017, including China.


March 27, 2013 12:35 nmawston

Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) team wrote a report in 2011 predicting Coolpad would be a fast-growing mobile phone microvendor of the future. Fast forward to 2013 and that prediction is on track to coming true. Coolpad, of China, has transitioned from microvendor to a known vendor. Coolpad is now a global top-15 mobile phone player and nearly a top-10 smartphone brand, having surged from almost nowhere two years ago. What is driving the growth? Keen pricing of 3G models, a good Android portfolio for entry users, and a solid retail presence in open channels across China are three main causes of its expansion. However, Coolpad's global growth is coming more in "volume" than "value". Recent financial results indicate profits softened last year. Coolpad will need a hot-selling flagship 3G or 4G phone for international markets (where profits can be larger) if it wants to strengthen profitability this year.


February 19, 2013 02:02 Neil Shah

According to the latest research from our Handset Country Share Tracker service, smartphone shipments in China grew 75% YoY to reach a record all-time-high level becoming the world's largest smartphone market in terms of volumes ahead of USA by a huge margin. More than two in three mobile phones shipped in China are now smartphones.

Lenovo and Huawei were number two and number three ranked smartphone vendors hot on Samsung's heels to fight for the number one spot. Meanwhile, Coolpad, Xiaomi and Tianyu climbed up in our smartphone rankings.

Android + Apple iOS were the top platforms capturing a record 99% share of the total smartphones shipped in China in Q4 2012. We estimate this is the peak level for the combined share of the two platforms as the refreshed Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Sailfish and others will try to recapture share to challenge this duopoly situation.

China Smartphone Vendor and OS Marketshare: Q4 2012

The above report contains quarterly vendor and OS marketshare for handset and smartphone shipments in mainland China from Q1 2009 to Q4 2012. A forecast by smartphone vendor for Q1 2013 is also included. The report is a valuable tool for stakeholders wishing to size the China market, the world's largest by volume.