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 9, 2015 06:25 woh

This year's CES trade show in Las Vegas is coming to an end, with many stories and 'wow' experiences created across a lot of displayed consumer, automobile and mobile products. Our analysts from WDS (Wireless Device Strategies) research service are in Las Vegas to watch and experience those thrilling products the whole this week.

You can read our daily blogs from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 along with pre-blog.

These are three key trends and important device models that our analysts have identified at the event on Day 4 (Thurs):

1. Various Operating Systems for Smartwatches to be Showcased during CES 2015: While the global smartphone industry is dominated by two major OS's, Android (from Google) and iOS (from Apple), which many people dub them as 'two-horses races', it is likely that we are going to see some more various operating systems in global smartwatch industry, on top of Google (Android Wear) and Apple. Tizen, on which Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear S from Samsung are built upon, is already capturing the number one market share in global smartwatch shiments in Q3 2014, and Samsung is expected to enlarge its Tizen ecosystem for their wearable strategy. The second cadidate is WebOS on which LG is building its 'G Watch R' device customized for its smart car partner, Audi. Undoubtedly LG is one of strong champions of Android Wear based smartwatch, so it is still not clear whether LG will sell WebOS-based versions to the general public. The third candidate is a customized Alcatel own proprietary OS implemented on their Alcatel One Touch Watch. Strikingly, this Watch product is speculated to be compatible with all the major smartphone OS's such as Android, iOS and WindowsPhone. Android device vendors are using smartwatches as a new inflexion point to try to break free from the shackles of Android. 

2. Dozens of Price-Friendlier LTE-Capable Smartphones to Flood the Hall: 4G LTE-capable smartphones have been regarded expensive until the end of 2014, but we are seeing more and more OEM's displaying price-friendlier 4G LTE smartphones, priced below US$400 to $450 retail, at CES 2015 from Samsung, Huawei, TCL-Alcatel, Lenovo, ZTE, ASUS and Acer. A growing number of users from developed to developing countries don't want to spend much money to buy 4G smartphones, but as they are hungry for faster LTE services, device vendors are targeting to tap into this market as another high-revenue generating chance. Samsung didn't launch the new smartphones this year at CES 2015, but is showcasing less priced Galaxy A3 and A5 than premium Galaxy S and Note series, and TCL-Alcatel is unveiling its new lower-priced 4G smartphones dubbed Pixi 3 (4.0/4.5/5.0 inch) and the new line of POP 2 line-ups in three different sizes. Huawei displays Budget LTE Handset Honor 4X in the CES 2015 with 3,000 mAh battery. Also Lenovo is unveiling an affordable LTE smartphone, A6000 at CES 2015, which will be available in India later this month. ZTE's new phablet, Grand X Max +, will be hitting the US market at US$199, and two Taiwanese vendors, ASUS and Acer, are unveiling mid-priced 4G smartphones, ZenFone 2 and Liquid Z410.

3. Struggling, but still Powerful Vendors: Blackberry's showcased Passport looks good with the stonger support of Android applications, and this vendor is gearing towards IoT and BBM monetization. HTC is quite bullish about 2015, and is expected to focus on flagship leadership, Desire family, software, services and connected productsMicrosoft is segmenting their target markets into three areas, from high-end to affordable to first, and they are ready to release the appealing products for each segment. Sony didn't bring its new Xperia Z4 to the general publich here, but as this Japanese vendor is focusing on smart home during CES 2015, we believe that Sony will try to gain more traction in mobile space with upcoming Xperia Z4 and the  SmartWatch 3 launched at CES 2015.

This has been the daily blogs from CES 2015, and we look forward to seeing you again at CES 2016 in wonderful Las Vegas.

 


January 5, 2015 22:00 nmawston

Following the pre-show blog of what to expect by our WDS (Devices) analysts at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA, this is a summary of our "top three" findings for the mobile industry from the showfloor (pre-opening) on day one (Monday):

1. Sony SmartWatch 3: A stainless steel version of the pioneering smartwatch (first launched in 2012) will be introduced commercially worldwide during February 2015. Its timing is clearly intended to counter the rival Apple Watch, due in a window between February and May. However, whether consumers will warm to Smartwatch 3's slightly unattractive hardware design remains open to question;

2. Samsung Milk VR: A content-delivery system optimized for the company's Gear VR headset. It offers much-needed content for the virtual-reality device, such as videos. VR headsets remain niche, of course, but this will help to make them more attractive to early adopters worried about a lack of available services.

3. LG G Flex 2: A curved Android smartphone with Snapdragon 810 (an industry "first") to be launched commercially worldwide in H1 2015. The banana-like, curved formfactor (pictured below) will standout on store shelves and make handling it in the palm of the hand more tactile. One compromise, though, is that the 3000mAh battery is NOT removable, which may upset some consumers.

Back tomorrow for day 2!

CES 2015: LG G Flex 2 hands-on - Sexy curves 2


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.


September 19, 2014 16:22 nmawston

Sony, of Japan, has a proud history of innovating revolutionary gadgets. It released the Walkman portable music player in the 1970s, and the PlayStation games console during the 1990s. But for smartphones in the 2010s, Sony's Xperia range has not fared quite so well. The vendor's global smartphone ranking has drifted from 6th to 9th in the past three years. The Sony Group this month wrote down billions of US dollars in its financials, partly as a result of the lackluster phone division.

What can Sony Mobile do to recover its mojo in smartphones?

Our WDS (Devices) research analysts recommend 3 simple but effective actions for Sony Mobile in 2015:

1. Expand distribution. In the US, China and India -- the "big 3" markets -- Sony needs to regrow;

2. Rebrand Xperia. Develop a new sub-brand for a new portfolio;

3. Target prepaid phones, not just postpaid. It is working for ZTE and others.

Above all, Sony Mobile must get its skates on. Xperia must NOT become "Ex-peria".


May 11, 2014 23:01 nmawston

The recent unconfirmed rumors that Apple is interested in buying Beats, a headphones maker, for US$3 billion are an important development.

Most analysis so far in the industry has focused on Apple buying Beats for its music service. However, the reality is: Beats is a hardware firm. Its music services so far are niche. Apple is primarily buying Beats for its headphones -- wired and Bluetooth.

Put simply, a premium devices maker is purchasing a premium accessories maker. If the two firms can blend their corporate cultures, and not clash on egos, this deal will prove a good fit for both sides.

More analysis on the Apple-Beats rumors can be viewed in this WSJ TV interview with Strategy Analytics' Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, which has published externsively on Bluetooth headsets and other related markets.


April 8, 2014 18:34 khyers

Global LTE handset industry revenues rose 81% annually during Q4 2013. Apple remained the world's largest 4G handset vendor by revenue, followed by Samsung and Sony. Sony also represented the highest annual growth rate among major players.

The report VALUE SHARE: Global LTE Handset Revenue and ASP by Vendor: Q4 2013 provides quarterly global LTE handset shipments, wholesale (transfer) pricing, and revenue metrics for 17 major vendors from Q1 2011 to Q4 2013. 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.

This report ia available to subscribes of Strategy Analytics' Wireless Device Strategies service.


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.


January 3, 2014 18:06 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, global mobile phone shipments will grow +6% in 2014. Samsung, Apple and multiple Chinese vendors, including Huawei and Lenovo, will be among the main vendors driving growth, with 4G providing significant uplift in mature markets such as South Korea, Japan and the US. This published report, available to clients, forecasts global handset, smartphone and feature phone shipments by quarter for 12 of the world's largest vendors from 2000 to 2014. Global grey phone volumes by quarter through 2014 are also included. The report is a valuable tool for component makers, software developers, operators and other stakeholders to support their planning activities for the coming year.


September 23, 2013 14:09 nmawston

Global Bluetooth headset sales will grow 18% during the next five years. Mono headset volumes are slipping in developed regions, but there are signs of growth in some emerging markets like China. The stereo Bluetooth headset category is rising steadily but competition from corded headphones, like Monster Cable, remained intense this year. Despite fierce rivalry and market fragmentation, Plantronics, Jabra, Samsung and Motorola are still the big 4 Bluetooth headset vendors that dominate the global industry in 2013.

This published report, available to clients of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, forecasts worldwide Bluetooth headset sales by region, for mono and stereo, in-box and after-market, from 2001 to 2017. It also contains global Bluetooth headset marketshare for the world's 7 largest vendors in 2005 to 2017. The report goes on to forecast global Bluetooth speakerphone sales by region and attach-rate from 2008 to 2017. It is a detailed report suitable for anyone involved in the complex Bluetooth headset industry.