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.

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.


September 5, 2013 19:13 khyers

IFA 2013: Qualcomm throws its hat into the wearables ring with Toq smartwatch

Despite all the attention that Samsung received when it released its Galaxy Gear device at its Unpacked event on September 4th, it’s not the only smartwatch to debut at IFA.  Qualcomm released its own wearable, the Toq, a 1.55” device running a 200MHz Cortex M3 processor, the same one found in Sony’s SmartWatch 2 and the Pebble.  What sets the Toq apart from other smartwatches is the inclusion of a Qualcomm Mirasol display. Mirasol displays do not need backlighting, and are therefore relatively frugal users of battery power; Qualcomm says that it should be able to go for three days between charges. The Toq incorporates Qualcomm’s WiPower wireless charging technology, is waterproof, and unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, is compatible with all Android phones running Android OS 4.0.3 or higher.  At one level the Toq is best viewed as a proof of concept, highlighting a range of Qualcomm technologies that enhance the wearables experience. Strategy Analytics expects to see other manufacturers’ license Mirasol and WiPower technology for their own wearable offerings. The Toq is also a fully-fledged product as well, and will go on sale in Q4 2013 for around $299, the same price as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear device.

Strategy Analytics’ Wearable Device Ecosystem  service provides in-depth coverage of wearables including smartwatches. Additional insights into the smartwatch market can be found in the report Global Smartwatch Sales Forecast by Region.

HTC releases two new smartphones for customers on a budget

While Samsung and Sony were releasing high-profile “hero” phones on the eve of IFA 2013, HTC presented its two newest smartphones, the Desire 601 and Desire 300, for customers who want attractive devices that won’t bust their budgets. While the Desire 601 (which unlike the Desire 600 is not a dual SIM device) incorporates design cues from the HTC One and the year-old HTC One X, its use of a dual-core processor, a 4.5” display and a 5-megapixel camera allows it to meet a lower-price point than its larger siblings.  The Desire 300 is similarly intended to meet the needs of budget-conscious consumers, incorporating similar features to the 601 but with a smaller 4.3” display.

Additional insights into HTC’s strategies can be found in the report Q2 '13: HTC: Shipments Continue to Tumble, but Profitability Maintained.

Acer focuses on video with Liquid S2 smartphone

Acer’s high-end smartphone offering for IFA follows on the recent trend of including premium imaging capabilities in flagship phones but with a twist; the Liquid S2 smartphone’s 13 megapixel camera allows users to shoot 4K Ultra High Definition video, the first smartphone to offer this capability. Movies shot in Full HD mode or in 4K mode can be displayed on compatible TVs and PC monitors, though with few 4K TVs or monitors yet in consumers’ hands, not many buyers will be able to exploit the full capabilities of the device except on its 6” Full HD display.

Strategy Analytics explores the camera phone market in more detail in its Global Camera Phone Sales to Reach 1.5 Billion Units in 2014 report.

ASUS goes large with Padfone Note 6

ASUS introduced a 6” phablet - the Padfone Note 6 - a device that straddles the territory occupied by the newly introduced 5.7” Samsung Galaxy Note 3 phablet and Samsung’s 6.3” Galaxy Mega and Sony’s 6.4” Xperia Z Ultra superphablets. What sets the Padfone Note 6 apart from its competitors is that the Android tablet runs a 2GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 processor, making it one of the few Android OS smartphones to run X86 technology.

Strategy Analytics examines changing form factors in the report Will the Slate Form Factor Continue its Dominance?

 


September 4, 2013 20:14 khyers

On the eve of IFA 2013 Sony took the wraps off of its new flagship Xperia Z1 smartphone. The premium device features a 5” full HD display and is fully waterproof, but what sets it apart from most other smartphones is a 20.7 megapixel camera and integrated post-processing imaging software that puts it in a class currently defined by the newly-launched Nokia Lumia 1020.

With the Z1 Sony is clearly attacking the premium smartphone space by developing a device that marries the imaging quality of its higher-end compact cameras with a smartphone that is capable of taking pictures in any environment, including under water.

The Xperia Z1 is the obvious successor to the Xperia Z, launched in May, 2013, allowing Sony to land a one-two punch of flagship launches and maintain momentum as it focuses on establishing the Sony brand in the premium smartphone segment. The Xperia Z1 will go on sale beginning in late September, in anticipation of the 2013 holiday shopping season. While it will face stiff competition, not least from the new Apple iPhone(s) expected to be announced next week, it will help cement Sony’s Xperia smartphones as a solid alternative to Samsung’s Galaxy line-up, the premium Android long-tail, and Nokia’s Lumia 1020.

Strategy Analytics explores Sony's mobile strategy in more detail in the following report: Q2’13: Sony: Back In The Game, But Competition in 2nd Tier Group Much Fiercer

 


August 14, 2013 13:43 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, global camera phone sales will hit a record 1.5 billion units in 2014. Asia Pacific is by far the largest region, while CE Europe is the smallest. As camera phones become more popular, their usage by consumers is changing. How can camera phone vendors adapt to those changes? This published report, available to clients, forecasts global camera phone sales by 6 regions, from 2000 through 2017.