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.

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.



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.


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 13, 2013 06:48 woh

Total global 3G & 4G phone shipments grew to record levels in 2012. For the first time ever, 3G and 4G technologies accounted for more than half of all mobile phones shipped worldwide. Which brands are the biggest players? What is the outlook for 2013? The full report - 3G / 4G Accounted for Half of All Mobile Phone Shipments in 2012 - available to the clients of our WDS (Wireless Device Strategies) service, will guide you on the global 3G/4G handset shipments from 2000 to 2012 and global 3G/4G handset vendor market share per each 3G/4G technology in 2012.


February 23, 2012 17:30 Neil Shah

Global legitimate handset shipments grew 10% annually in Q4 2011. The growth was driven by surging demand for 3G and 4G phones. Samsung was the world's largest WCDMA and LTE vendor, as sales of the Galaxy portfolio soared.

Apple crushed several rivals to capture second place in the CDMA category with just three CDMA carriers footprint globally, while HTC lost 5 points of 3G marketshare in just one quarter due to a lack of hit models. Meanwhile, ZTE & Huawei dominated the TD-SCDMA sub-segment prevalent in their home market.

Nokia remained the king of 2G GSM segment with rising demand for its low-cost dual SIM 2G feature  phones across emerging markets.

Want a deeper dive into vendor rankings and shipment volumes by technology?

Strategy Analytics provides quarterly handset shipments by protocol for the top 30 global vendors from 2001 to 2011. Key technologies covered include 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, iDEN, CDMA, TD-SCDMA and 4G LTE. This can be found in the following report:

VENDOR SHARE: Global Handset Market by Technology: Q4 2011


December 16, 2011 15:18 Alex Spektor

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service attended the recent 2011 Broadcom Analyst Day held in New York City, where the semiconductor firm highlighted its recent successes in the wireless chipset space and outlined a strategy for further growth.

Broadcom's major revenue growth driver so far has been the proliferation of its "combo chip" wireless connectivity solution, providing enabling technologies like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. The solution, Broadcom claims, gives them a typical ASP of US $6-8, which provides a healthy contribution thanks to Broadcom's strong marketshare. Moving forward, Broadcom is seeking revenue uplift from going after the combination baseband/applications processor/GPU market, which together with the wireless combo chip would yield to Broadcom a per-handset ASP of US$12-30. Indeed, Broadcom are already well on their way, and according to our Handset Component Technologies team, Broadcom broke into top-five smartphone AP chip supplier rankings during Q3 2011.

The first phase of Broadcom's long-term plan targets the low-end smartphone market, where Broadcom claims that its solution delivers better performance, dollar for dollar. In particular, Broadcom is targeting cost-sensitive Indian and Chinese microvendors, which are small individually but, according to our Wireless Device Strategies service, together represented about 1 in 10 handsets shipped worldwide during Q3 2011. Going after the low-end smartphone segment, we believe, is a wise decision. Indeed, according to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, more than half of all smartphones will be priced below US$200 wholesale globally in just a few years.

The second phase of Broadcom's long-term plan will be to target the emerging LTE market. Indeed, we expect well over 100 million LTE phones to be sold during the next two years. Coupled with the technology's significantly above-average ASPs, makes it an attractive market for Broadcom to target.

Ultimately, the success of Broadcom's long-term strategy depends on their ability to gain design wins with microvendors and megavendors alike. The recent success of the Broadcom-powered Samsung Galaxy Y is an early indicator that initial momentum is in the right direction.

Alex Spektor
Wireless Device Strategies


March 22, 2010 21:03 Neil Shah
With Q3 FY 2010 financial report released this week and the outlook is still gloomy for Palm, it is being titled as a candidate for a “potential” buyout. But the future is in its own hands, and for the company like Palm it still has enough potential to weather out of this state and see some sunlight. There are some key areas where Palm has to rework its strategy. Palm has a good product line with likes of Palm Pre Plus & Palm Pixi Plus, and powered by a striking Linux core webOS platform enabling an intuitive UI covering all the basic traits to suit the targeted North American market. But still it’s unable to leverage on this appealing product line. The major issue for this lacklustre performance is due to its competition against the smartphone giants- Apple with a richer user experience and sea of applications, Samsung & LG growth with their manufacturing strategy customizing to satisfy mobile operator’s market segments, Blackberry with strong enterprise growth as well as remarkable entry into consumer segment, and the growing entrant Google with its open Android Platform. It is clear that Android, Mac OS X, Blackberry will dominate the North American market and Palm will be a secondary priority for the operators in spite of an innovative webOS platform. Based on the latest results, roughly half of the Palm’s shipments are in carrier channels struggling to sell through and the pressure is likely to increase further as Apple iPhone and Android begins the next innings with major software and hardware revisions in the following quarters. Perhaps Palm need to embrace growing platforms like Android, where operator and consumer interest is on the rise. By developing cross platform interfaces and services such as the Synergy, Palm can still provide a unique user experience on top of Android without betting the farm on webOS. Also, with positive outlook on HTML’s growth and adoption in mobile phones, from the applications development point of view Palm is at an advantage in leveraging its HTML/CSS written webOS in an opportunity to create new revenue vistas through mobile web browser based applications easily which may attract the operators participating in the recently announced “Wholesale Applications Community” at GSMA World Congress in Barcelona. Palm should also keep an eye on in incorporating the evolving wireless technologies (ex: TD-SCDMA, HSPA+, LTE) to expand and diversify its future offerings. So, Palm should for now go with the flow instead going against it and incorporate newer platforms like Android in its portfolio by 2011 instead of pushing the sole struggling webOS devices and thus come up with unique selling propositions satisfying the consumers & operator’s needs. Palm should also focus on striking strong long-term operator relationships especially GSM operators with a well thought and executed go-to-market strategy,and clawback out of this deteriorating situation. Thus, there will not be any need for “Palm” reading, as it will control its own future. - Neil Shah