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 26, 2014 17:55 sbicheno

Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service is attending the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

This is a summary of some of our main findings from Day 3 (Wednesday):

Enabling technologies caught our eye on day three of MWC 2014. Qualcomm launched three new Snapdragon SoCs: the 610, 615 and 801, which are aimed at the high and premium smartphone price tiers, with the LTE support you expect from Qualcomm, but Mediatek is hot on its heels with the launch of the 64-bit MT6732 which also supports LTE but is targeted as the “super-mid” segment. Meanwhile Intel’s mobile push is showing no signs of slowing, with the launch of the Moorefiled and Merrifield 22nm SoCs.

The chip giants were also racing each other to release LTE-A Cat 6 news, with Qualcommm in partnership with Samsung, SK Telecom and KT conducting live demonstrations and Intel announcing its first Cat 6 modem.

The theme of human interface innovation that we observed at CES earlier this year has continued in Barcelona, with Synaptics and CrucialTec among the companies demonstrating fingerprint sensors, among other things.  Meanwhile Google’s Project Tango prototype smartphone maps your environment merely by tracking your movements.


November 26, 2013 16:59 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, global TD-SCDMA cellphone shipments doubled annually to overtake the sunsetting CDMA market in volume terms for the first time ever during the third quarter of 2013. Huge demand for low-cost TD-SCDMA models in China, from companies like Lenovo and Coolpad, is driving this milestone. More analysis and data can be downloaded by clients here.


August 22, 2013 08:22 woh

Our WDS (Wireless Device Strategies) service has recently updated its global mobile phone enabling technologies (ET) report. It is part two of a three-part series of reports that covers almost 40 technologies integrated into cellphones, from A to Z.

The part one (A to E) report forecasts major enabling technologies from accelerometers through to DivX, DLNA, Dolby, dual-SIM and email, while the second part (F to M) is dealing with technologies ranging from FM Radio through to GPS, HDMI, Miracast and Music / MP3.

This extensive datamodel, available to clients, is forecasting 6 regions from 2004 to 2017: North America, Central & Latin America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa Middle East.


November 30, 2012 19:39 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, there have been significant developments and announcements that will boost HTML5 capabilities in mobile phones next year. Key to this are Tizen OS and Firefox OS, led by companies such as Telefonica, Qualcomm, Firefox (Mozilla), Qualcomm, Intel, Huawei, ZTE and others. Firefox OS handsets will emerge in Latin America in 2013 and help to bring HTML5 functionality to mass-market prepaid users. How will this affect Android? How big is the HTML5 phone market going to be in five years time? More analysis is available to clients in this published report.


October 17, 2012 15:35 nmawston

Total global handset sales will reach 1.6 billion units in 2012. Consumers have a wide variety of handset-types available for purchase. Postpaid users are upgrading to phablets and superphones, while prepaid consumers are upgrading to feature phones and smartphones. The phablet segment looks promising as a high-growth market, which we forecast to expand an impressive +88% in 2013, bolstered by models like Samsung's Galaxy Note. More details for our phablet forecasts by region can be downloaded by clients of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) servce here.


September 26, 2012 23:26 nmawston

Ultraphones are handsets powered by a smartphone OS running atop an Intel processor. We define ultraphones as the mobile equivalent of portable ultrabooks. The first ultraphone was shipped in 2012, and we expect a number of new model introductions over the coming years, led by vendors like Motorola and ZTE. We forecast global ultraphone sales volumes to grow ten-fold between 2013 and 2017. This published report, available to subscribers of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, contains global ultraphone sales forecasts for 6 major regions from 2011 to 2017.


January 5, 2012 13:45 sbicheno

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in Las Vegas, USA, from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th January, 2012. There will be dozens of major and minor announcements vying for your attention, but here are three trends we recommend to look out for at the show:

 

1. Windows Phone LTE handsets

While the main mobile event of the year -- MWC -- occurs a mere six weeks afterwards, CES tends to feature a number of major handset launches of its own -- especially those with a strong focus on the valuable US market. This year, the Windows Phone ecosystem plans to revitalize its assault on the US market with a raft of LTE handsets to counter Android 4.0, Apple iOS 5 and BB10.

A hotly tipped 4G model is the successor to the Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia’s first flagship Windows phone, which was not launched in the US. Instead, Americans could get the opportunity to see what may be Nokia’s first ever superphone, perhaps an enhanced Lumia 800 with a larger screen and LTE, which could be called the Lumia 900 or simply the Nokia Ace. It is important that Nokia gets its sub-branding right for the American market, so we will be watching this one closely.

Elsewhere, HTC should be ready to launch its own LTE Windows Phone devices, while rumors indicate Samsung’s contribution to that market may also be imminent. Sony Ericsson, despite being a launch partner for Windows Phone 7, has been conspicuous by its absence so far. That might be about to change, however, if the ‘tile’ theme for its official pre-show teaser (below) is anything to go by.




Source: Sony Ericsson



2. Intel Medfield devices

Despite initial hype, we’ve seen few LG Windows Phone launches in recent quarters. Two years ago LG was a lead OEM partner for Intel’s Moorestown mobile chip. Unperturbed by the absence of that chip in the broader marketplace, rumor has it that the successor to Moorestown -- the 32nm Medfield chip -- could soon make its public debut inside an LG handset.

After keeping a low mobile profile in 2011 (excluding the Infineon purchase), we expect Intel to make a bigger noise about Medfield at CES this year. While it remains to be seen whether the chip giant has managed to crack the handset market, we would be surprised if Intel didn’t significantly raise its profile in tablets, with the anticipated launch later this year of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 possibly its best opportunity yet.

But the loudest Intel-related noise may well come from ultrabooks -- the ‘thin, light and fast bootup’ notebook platform designed to serve the market demand suggested by the popularity of the Apple MacBook Air and iPad. While not all of the ultrabooks will feature 3G chipsets, they are being positioned as ‘ultra-mobile’ devices, so that would eventually seem a natural feature for many to have.

3. More smartphone-to-smart-TV convergence?

2012 is the year that many major players will have a fresh crack at smart TVs. Google’s first effort last year ran out of steam pretty quickly, while Apple is publicly treating TV as nothing more than a hobby. However, we expect both companies to renew their focus on the living room in 2012, and where better to make a statement of intent than CES?

Given the expected overlap with their mobile platforms -- Android and iOS -- it stands to reason that Google and Apple will look for ways to more closely integrate your mobile device with your TV. Not only does this increase the functionality for end-users -- for example, by using the device as a remote control for media streaming -- but potentially leverages the existing commercial relationship into new product areas. Apple will not be formally present at CES, of course, but Android hardware partners we recommend investigating at the show include Samsung, LG, Sony and even Vizio.



December 21, 2011 16:30 Alex Spektor

The impending avalanche of NFC phones, which our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service projects to grow at an average of 67% per year over the next five years, has everybody thinking about contactless payments. With all the buzz around Google's soft-launched Wallet service and the US carrier joint venture ISIS, which should roll out in 2012, it makes sense. Indeed, the simple fact that money is directly involved in this particular application of NFC rightfully encourages the whole wireless value chain to think about potential revenue opportunities.

However, there is one often overlooked application for NFC -- intelligent device pairing. The idea is simple: instead of inputting PINs, passkeys, or even 26 hexadecimal digits to pair two wireless devices, the user simply "taps" two NFC devices together. The concept can be applied for any pairing event, regardless of which enabling technology, such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, is used to make the actual connection.

So far, only one handset vendor has actively promoted NFC for this application. Nokia's latest NFC-enabled handsets and Bluetooth headsets can be paired together using this very concept. Unfortunately, the latest Windows Lumia devices are not yet in this category, as Microsoft has not yet added NFC support to its platform. Nevertheless, Nokia's attention to NFC tech is a positive sign for the vendor's future portfolio. Nokia's strategy holds two key benefits: it future-proofs handsets, getting them ready for mobile contactless payment services once they eventually roll out, and it improves the usability of a typically cumbersome process.

Chip supplier Broadcom, whose interests span Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC has also recognized this useful application of the emerging tech, and we expect its chipsets and middleware to help device vendors think beyond mobile payments as they develop their NFC smartphones and tablets.

Alex Spektor
Wireless Device Strategies


December 14, 2011 11:28 nmawston

Strategy Analytics forecasts worldwide HTML5 phone sales will surge from 336 million units in 2011 to 1 billion units in 2013. HTML5 has quickly become a hyper-growth technology that will help smartphones, feature phones, tablets, notebooks, desktop PCs, televisions and vehicles to converge through cloud services.

We forecast worldwide HTML5 phone sales to hit 1 billion units per year in 2013. Growth for HTML5 phones is being driven by robust demand from multiple hardware vendors and software developers in North America, Europe and Asia who want to develop rich media services across multiple platforms, including companies like Adobe, Apple, Google and Microsoft. We define an HTML5 phone as a mobile handset with partial or full support for HTML5 technology in the browser, such as the Apple iPhone 4S.

We believe HTML5 will help smartphones, feature phones, tablets, notebooks, desktop PCs, televisions and vehicles to converge in the future. HTML5 will be a pivotal technology in the growth of a multi-screen, 4G LTE cloud that is emerging for mobile operators, device makers, car manufacturers, component vendors and Web app developers. With its potential to transcend some of the barriers faced by native apps, such as cross-platform usability, HTML5 is a market that no mobile stakeholder can afford to ignore.

However, despite surging growth of HTML5 phone sales, we caution that HTML5 is still a relatively immature technology. HTML5 currently has limited APIs and feature-sets to include compared with native apps on platforms such as Android or Apple iOS. It will require several years of further development and standards-setting before HTML5 can fully mature to reach its potential as a unified, multi-platform content-enabler.

The full report, Global HTML5 Handset Sales Forecast, is published by our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, details of which can be found at this link: http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=reportabstractviewer&a0=6901.


March 10, 2010 05:03 Alex Spektor
No, I did not misplace my BlackBerry. This blog post is not about the “Find My iPhone” feature or any other innovations in device recovery. Rather, I would like to lament my disappointment with the general lack of true intelligence in so-called smartphones. Named so for their advanced (PC-like, Wikipedia suggests) capabilities, smartphones trump ordinary phones with their ability to tie in new services, run applications, and browse the real Web. But should being PC-like be the ultimate aspiration for handsets? After all, phones have a key advantage that not even the lightest of netbooks can have – phones are always with their users and, as such, they know a lot about them.
  • Using GPS and accelerometers, the phone can know where you are and whether you are moving.
  • With knowledge of your calendar, the phone can know if you are busy and whether it should interrupt you.
  • By monitoring your behavior, the phone can guess how you will behave next time a similar situation arises.
Privacy advocates and conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one, of course. But their fears can be assuaged with feature opt-in and with clear, published documentation of what data are stored and shared. Mobile context awareness is nothing new. Academics have been talking about it for over a decade. But, outside of downloadable (i.e., not truly integrated) apps and some barebones functionality (such as the “Automatic” ringtone profile on some WinMo phones, which goes to vibrate during scheduled meetings), there still is not a whole lot of context awareness in smartphones. Platforms like Android allow you arrange your widgets across multiple home screens. Powerful? Yes. You then have to flip through the home screens until you find the one with the right widgets. Smart? Not really. Why can’t your phone – knowing whether you are at work, on a train, or at home – give you the right home screen on its own? And switch wallpapers. And change the vibrate settings.

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This example only scratches the surface of the possibilities out there. Vendors looking to differentiate on open platforms such as Android or Symbian have a terrific opportunity in building a robust context-aware user experience. Tomorrow, this stuff will be table stakes. But today, we are still waiting for somebody to lead the way. Handsets are loaded with power: processors, sensors, round-the-clock connection to services. But where is the intelligence to tie all of this power together? Maybe we should call them powerphones until they start doing something smart. -Alex Spektor