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.

January 8, 2015 02:38 woh

It's already halfway through the official four-day schedule of CES 2015 trade show in Las Vegas, the US, and several analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service are pounding the floors across the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and adjacent hotels to check out the new trends and products, and also to directly have face-to-face meetings with many clients/prospects/journalists.

Our earlier blogs from Day 1 and Day 2 can be viewed here and here.

These are three key trends and appealing handset / smartphone models we have identified at the event on Day 3 (Weds):

1. Smartphones and Smartwatches to Control the Smart Home,  Smart Car, IoT and Smart Everything: Smart Home and Smart Car are getting in force this year at CES 2015, with many concepts and products introduced by consumer electronics companies such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic and TCL, and car makers such as BMW, Toyota, Audi, Hyundai and Volkswagen,  and chipset companies such as Qualcomm, nVidia and Intel. By manipulating a Samsung Gear S and LG G Watch R, drivers can park their cars automatically. Also smartphones can remotely send several wireless commands to smart home appliances such as washers, robot cleaners and refrigerators to control and monitor them. As machine-to-machine connectivity is becoming important in Smart Home, Car and IoT spaces, smartphones and smartwatches will play a crucial role to centrally manage these complicated systems. The smartphone is your "hub".

2. Microsoft to Revive the Feature Phone with Nokia Brand: It is very uncommon to see feature phones during the trade shows recently, but Microsoft unveiled the Nokia 215, which is known as one of the most affordable Internet-ready, entry-level phones yet. Nokia 215, a smartphone-like feature phone with popular apps and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Opera mini and Bing pre-installed, pictured below, is offering a battery time of up to almost a month in standby mode after just one charging session. Available only for US$29 retail, Microsoft will be sure to target emerging market such as APAC and African countries in which many people are still eager for even 2G connecitivity.  Microsoft is not giving up on the feature phone segment and believe that there are three categories of customers to target with this kind of trusted, ultra-affordable feature phone: 1) 1st phone buyers, 2) feature phone loyalists and 3) people looking for a second phone that is smaller and less valuable.

3. Dual-Edge Bending Display To Be Available Soon: LG Display, one of the biggest smartphone display-panel providers, is showing its Active Bending display for selective customers in Las Vegas. This new prototype has a 6.0 inch Plastic OLED display that folds over the "two-sided" edges of the device, which is different from the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge with a one-sided bent display. It is speculated that Samsung is working on a dual-edge, curved Galaxy S6 at the moment, and it woudn't be a suprise if Xiaomi and LG would also release their new flagships equipped with this display in limited volume in 2015.  The question is, how smartphone vendors are making the users want this innovative device, as there are arguably few practical or appealing users cases so far. So, if more useful use-cases are to be created with this sort of dual-edged display, we believe that this segment can create a huge market opportunity as consumers remain hungry for technological differentiators.

Please check back here, every day, to our blog page, for further blogs and daily updates from Las Vegas.


January 5, 2015 14:40 nmawston

According to our WDS (Devices) service, global Bluetooth headset sales will grow 14% during the next five years. Mono headset volumes are slipping in developed regions, but there are continued signs of growth in some emerging markets like China. The stereo Bluetooth headset category is rising steadily -- but competition from corded headphones remained intense this year. Despite fierce rivalry and market fragmentation, Plantronics, Jabra, Samsung and Motorola are still the "big 4" Bluetooth headset vendors that dominated the global industry in 2014. Our extensive report -- available to clients here -- forecasts worldwide Bluetooth headset sales by region, for mono and stereo, in-box and after-market, from 2001 to 2020. It also contains global Bluetooth headset marketshare for the world's 7 largest vendors in 2005 to 2020. The report goes on to forecast global Bluetooth speakerphone sales by region and attach-rate from 2008 to 2020.


January 2, 2015 03:21 woh

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service will be attending CES 2015, one of the most important mobile and electronic trade shows, in sunny Las Vegas, US, next week, from Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th January, 2015.

Just like the last several years, mobile devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches, will be an integral part of the event. We will be blogging live from the show every day.

Here are five mega trends across the mobile device world we expect to see at CES 2015 and recommend clients / journalists focus on:

1. Wearables will be huge. More practical, diverse and fashionable devices across smartwatches, smartglasses, VR headsets and fitness bands will be there to attract a lot of attentions. You will experience not only diversified devices themselves but also empowered solutions, such as health/fitness, gaming and payment. Companies to visit will include Samsung, Sony, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Intel, Garmin, Oculus and FitBit. Also don't forget to check if traditional wrist-watch makers such as Tag Heuer would exhibit their first smartwatches in Las Vegas.

2. Curved smartphones will fascinate the world again with the 2nd round of products such as LG G Flex 2. They are the first step on the industry's road to rollable touchscreens. Pioneering companies to visit will include Samsung and LG.

3. 2K Display will be widespread. A growing number of vendors are adopting QHD display for their flagship products. Samsung and LG will be sure to exhibit their flagships with 2K display during CES 2015, and you may be seeing more 2K products from ZTE, Sony, Xiaomi, Lenovo and others.

4. LTE-A Capable handsets will be hot. Not only Samsung and LG, but more and more vendors such as Huawei, ZTE, HTC, TCL-Alcatel and Microsoft will be likely to display their newest flagships supporting CAT 6 and above. You might want to stop by Samsung booth to test 450Mbps downlink rate (CAT 9) with the new Samsung flagship Galaxy Note 4 S-LTE.

5. Budget smartphones priced between $50 and $150 in retail will be occupying the exhibition halls during the show. Most of these lower-priced phones will be coming with appealing specifications and services, running on Android One, Tizen, Windowsphone and Firefox. They are targeting the growing emerging markets such as India, Brazil, Indonesia and of course, China. Major device makers that you have to prioritize will be Samsung, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei, ASUS, Lenovo and a slew of local vendors from China and elsewhere.

Please check back here, every day, to our blog pages next week for further blogs and daily updates from CES 2015.





October 30, 2014 02:35 woh

According to the latest report from our WDS (Devices) research service, global MOBILE PHONE shipments grew 8 percent annually to reach 460 million units in the third quarter of 2014. LG was the star performer, capturing 5 percent marketshare and reaching its highest level in the overall mobile phone market for three years.

 

Global mobile phone shipments grew 8 percent annually from 427.2 million units in Q3 2013 to 459.5 million in Q3 2014. Smartphones accounted for 7 in 10 of total mobile phone shipments during the quarter. The 8 percent growth rate of the overall mobile phone market is being driven by healthy demand for 3G and 4G models across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

 

Samsung dipped 15 percent annually and shipped 101.7 million mobile phones worldwide, capturing 22 percent marketshare in Q3 2014. Samsung’s growth rate has slowed recently due to tougher competition from Chinese vendors, but Samsung maintains a good product portfolio and it is still shipping more mobile phones worldwide than Apple and Nokia combined. Nokia shipped 52.2 million mobile phones worldwide for 11 percent share in Q3 2014. Nokia, now owned by Microsoft, continues to face intense rivalry from Apple and dozens of Android vendors across all price-bands.

 

Apple shipped 39.3 million iPhones worldwide in Q3 2014, up from 33.8 million a year earlier. We note Apple’s annual growth rate has almost halved from 26 percent in Q3 2013 to 16 percent in Q3 2014. Apple is finding it harder to achieve growth this year, despite a successful recent launch of the new iPhone 6 portfolio. LG had a strong quarter, capturing 5 percent share of the global mobile phone market, reaching its highest level since the third quarter of 2011. LG is performing well in the US and Europe, but we caution that China and India remain major weak-spots that the vendor still needs to address.

 

Other findings from the research include:

·         Xiaomi shipped 18.0 million mobile phones worldwide for a record 4 percent marketshare to become the world’s fifth largest vendor for the first time ever in Q3 2014. The vast majority of Xiaomi’s global mobile phone shipments take place in China, where it has a famous brand and an extensive retail presence;

·         A long tail of second-tier brands continues to build momentum beyond the top five mobile phone brands. Key emerging challengers in mobile phones worldwide at the moment include TCL-Alcatel, Oppo, Vivo, Lenovo and others. They are important players to monitor.

 

Exhibit 1: Global MOBILE PHONE Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2014  [1]

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Samsung

120.1

101.7

Nokia (Microsoft)

64.6

52.2

Apple

33.8

39.3

LG

18.3

21.8

Xiaomi

5.2

18.0

Others

185.2

226.5

Total

427.2

459.5

     

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Marketshare (%)

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Samsung

28.1%

22.1%

Nokia (Microsoft)

15.1%

11.4%

Apple

7.9%

8.6%

LG

4.3%

4.7%

Xiaomi

1.2%

3.9%

Others

43.4%

49.3%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth: Year-over-Year (%)

9.4%

7.6%

     

Source: Strategy Analytics

   

 

 

 


[1]  Numbers are rounded. The term “Mobile Phone” is defined as smartphones plus feature phones combined.


October 10, 2014 13:50 nmawston

According to a new report from our WDS (Devices) research service, worldwide handset manufacturing and assembly continue to polarize around a handful of production locations, such as China, Vietnam and Brazil. Our extensive report -- published to clients here -- tracks cellular handset manufacturing (production) by 6 regions and 10 countries from 2001 to 2013. The report is a valuable tool for handset vendors, component makers, IPR owners, software developers, operators and other stakeholders to monitor global cellphone production by country.


October 2, 2014 18:55 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) service, Blackberry is planning to launch a fresh wave of unconventional cellphone designs in 2015. The recent Passport model -- with its square formfactor and touch-keyboard -- is "step 1" in Blackberry's multi-step roadmap for visually differentiated 4G phone models next year. Blackberry knows it MUST "do something different" to stand out on retailer store shelves -- and making eyecatching hardware is one way of doing that. However, there is a very fine line between "quirky good" and "quirky bad" for cellphone design. At the moment, Blackberry Passport -- which we forecast will ship 1 million units worldwide in 2014 -- hovers right in the middle between those two boundaries of good and not-so-good. Blackberry still has not yet wowed us -- but the company is thinking along the right lines.

More analysis of Blackberry Passport and the vendor's device strategy for 2015 can be viewed by clients here.


September 12, 2014 16:14 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) analysis service, global LTE mobile phone industry revenues rose +44% annually during Q2 2014. Apple remained the world's largest 4G handset vendor by revenue, followed by Samsung and LG. Chinese vendor ZTE delivered the highest revenue growth among major 4G players, driven by its volume expansion. Our extensive report -- published here for clients -- provides quarterly global LTE handset shipments, wholesale (transfer) pricing, and revenue metrics for 20 major vendors from Q1 2011 to Q2 2014. The report is a vital tool for monitoring the financial health and tiered marketshare of leading LTE brands such as Nokia, HTC, BlackBerry, Samsung, Apple and others.


August 11, 2014 11:39 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) serviceworldwide mobile phone shipments grew +6% annually in Q2 2014. Asia and Africa Middle East were the world's fastest-growing regions, with LG, Alcatel-TCL and Lenovo all significant contributors. Huawei registered its best-ever single quarter in terms of handset volume shipments, while Alcatel recorded its second-best ever quarter and best Q2 ever. This published report, available to clients, details quarterly mobile phone 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.


July 30, 2014 16:54 khyers

Nokia's global handset shipments dipped slightly in Q2 2014 with smartphone and feature phone volumes sluggish. Microsoft has recently embarked on a major cost-cutting program to restore Nokia's profitability, after it lost millions of dollars in the first half of this year. Significant changes for Nokia include factory closures, employee layoffs, and a de-emphasising of the Android and feature phone range.  Signficant new introductions include the Lumia 930 smartphone with 20 megapixel camera and Microsoft Phone 8.1 OS, the latest version of Microsoft's mobile phone platform. The latest analysis of Microsoft Mobile Devices Group, from our WDS (Devices) service, can be found here.


July 19, 2014 00:38 nmawston

According to our WDS (Devices) research service, Motorola’s global handset shipments increased sharply during Q2 2014. New Android models, like the Moto E and G, are driving higher volumes across Latin America, Europe and Asia. After eight relentless years of decline, Motorola is finally regaining marketshare. However, North America and China remain major weakspots for the company and they are proving to be significant obstacles. Additional data and analysis of Motorola's second-quarter performance can be downloaded by clients here.