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 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.


December 27, 2013 18:34 nmawston

This published report -- available to clients of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service -- analyzes ten important trends that will emerge in the global mobile phonemarket during 2014. We identify opportunities for growth, areas for differentiation, and potential for competitive surprises. The report examines why the ten trends are important and it makes actionable recommendations for customers. Topics covered include LTE-Advanced, Bluetooth, Firefox, curved phones, wearables and 3D printing.


June 5, 2013 21:27 lsui

Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service's freshly published report -- Global Handset Distribution Forecast: Offline vs. Online -- models mobile phone sales by channel.

We forecast the distribution of mobile phones through online retail channels will grow +27% worldwide in 2013. A steadily growing number of mobile phones will be sold through online channels over time, making this an increasingly important distribution channel for operators and retailers.

North America and Western Europe represent the highest online % during the forecast timeframe, while China is seeing significant changes in distribution flows at the moment, due to pioneering companies like Xiaomi, as well as emerging e-commerce players.

Online channels continue to gain a rising share of global mobile phone distribution flows, notably in developed regions where wide Internet access and access to financial credit support online purchasing behaviors. While operators are especially strong in online distribution channels in developed markets, they will find it more difficult to gain a similar presence in developing markets where third-party retail channels currently dominate. Operators are best positioned to establish a foothold in mobile phone distribution in developing markets, both online and offline, by partnering with handset suppliers and focusing on upcoming high-value 4G postpaid customer segments.


March 4, 2013 11:05 nmawston

Global mobile phone shipments overall remained flat annually in Q4 2012. However, the quarter witnessed phenomenal +1100% annual growth for LTE handset volumes, led by Apple and Samsung in developed markets. Meanwhile, 3G handset shipments slowed due to the spike in 4G demand. In this published report, available to clients of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, we provide quarterly handset shipments by protocol for the top-30 global vendors, for 9 cellular access technologies, from 2001 to 2012. This hugely detailed report is valuable for handset vendors, component makers, operators, IPR holders and other stakeholders who want to track the size of 2G, 3G and 4G mobile phone markets.


February 26, 2013 19:49 nmawston

Our mobile phone and tablet teams are blogging daily from the show floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th February, 2013.

The Day 1 (Sunday) and Day 2 (Monday) blogs, from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, can be read here.

Three announcements stood out from Day 3 (Tuesday):

1. LG Buys webOS: LG purchased most of the webOS assets from HP this week. LG indicates the OS and UI knowhow will be implemented in smart TVs in 2014. Some mobile geeks hope the webOS platform will eventually make a full comeback in smartphones or tablets. This is unlikely, as webOS is a tarnished sub-brand. Instead, we think elements of the UI, such as card-stacking, could well find their way into LG's future software roadmaps.

2. Samsung & Visa: Following on from our recent analysis that NFC is everywhere at MWC this year, Samsung and Visa announced they will deepen their NFC-payment partnership. Visa's payWave wallet will soon be preloaded on most Samsung NFC smartphones. This is a good win for both firms. However, whether influential US mega-carriers, like Verizon Wireless and ISIS, will be willing to adopt the "SamVisa" solution remains to be seen.

3. Fujitsu Stylistic S01: Fujitsu is re-expanding into Western Europe this year. Its first new product will be a niche seniors phone -- the Stylistic -- at Orange France from Q2 2013. We trialed the Android device today and found it to be user-friendly, with a crisp, proprietary UI supported partly by targeted healthcare services. The S01 should resonate relatively well with mature consumers in the 40 to 75 age bracket. To my mind, the Stylistic may well be the best seniors phone on the European market today. Doro, Emporia and others will be looking anxiously over their shoulders.

See you tomorrow (Wednesday) for Day 4.


February 25, 2013 18:58 nmawston

Our mobile phone and tablet teams are blogging daily from the show floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th February, 2013.

The Day 1 (Sunday) blog can be read here.

This is the Day 2 blog (Monday), from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service.

Three announcements stood out from Day 2:

1. Nokia 105 / 301: Nokia is the king of feature phones. It is the clear number one player worldwide. The launch of the new 105 and 301 feature phones will help to strengthen its leadership. The Nokia 105 will be priced at an estimated US$15 wholesale -- that is impressive. It will be available in ChIndia and elsewhere from Q1 2013. The 105 will ship tens of millions of units globally this year. Arguably, one slight negative for Nokia is that profits at such a low price-point are likely to be modest.

2. NFC Everywhere: Most smartphones from Nokia, Sony and other big brands are now launching with NFC technology. Companies like G&D, Visa and MasterCard are clearly interested in this trend. However, one major player is absent from this trend -- Apple. We await their next move in this space with the new iPads and iPhones later this year...

3. Sony Xperia Z Tablet: This is one of the world's slimmest tablets, measuring 7mm thin. It has a 10-inch screen and employs Android OS. It is waterproof, so the tablet can be used by adults or children in the kitchen, garage, bathroom or living room. It will be available in Europe from Q2 2013. Retail pricing will be set at iPad-like levels, which may cap volumes. Sony has so far struggled to gain traction in the tablet market, but the Xperia Z Tablet is a desirable product that will give Apple and Samsung pause for thought this year. The XZT wins my informal "Device of the Day" award.

See you tomorrow (Tuesday) for Day 3.

PS. The rumored Samsung Galaxy S4 launch-date has been set for New York, US, on March 14th, 2013. Can the S4 recapture the title of "world's best-selling smartphone", recently taken by Apple's popular iPhone 5? We shall see. Pricing, screen size and supporting LTE features / services will be among key factors to monitor.


February 25, 2013 00:00 nmawston

Our mobile phone and tablet teams will be blogging daily from the show floor at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th February, 2013.

This is the Day 1 blog (Sunday) from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service.

We arrived at Barcelona airport on Sunday morning. The weather is sunny but chilly. An overcoat is needed. The checkin process to obtain our MWC badges at midday was efficient and painless.

Several presentations and meetings took place on Sunday afternoon. Three announcements stood out from Day 1:

1. Firefox OS & Firefox Marketplace: There are 18 operators, 4 device makers and 1 chipset vendor onboard worldwide. This is a good start for phase 1 of the launch. Huawei, LG, Qualcomm, TCL-Alcatel and ZTE are the five main hardware partners. Mozilla is gunning hard to attack the entry-level Android smartphone market with its low-cost HTML5 framework. However, Firefox will need to gain more support from giants Samsung or Nokia if it wants to really make a mega impact.

2. Huawei Ascend P2: This new flagship LTE model is being hyped as, perhaps, the world's fastest smartphone. The P2 was launched alongside a fresh "Make It Possible" promotional campaign. Huawei, the world's 3rd largest smartphone vendor, is clearly aiming to deliver higher-end products with more-emotional marketing campaigns at competitive price-points. However, its predecessor, the Ascend P1, was not a global hit last year, so Huawei still has some work to do in its attempt to become a credible premium player.

3. HP Slate 7: This is HP's first Android tablet. It is for consumer users. It will retail for around US$170 in the US from Q2 2013. It has a 7-inch screen and uses Android Jelly Bean. However, HP has so far failed to gain traction in the tablet market, and this low-cost-but-ho-hum offering is unlikely to change that trend in the near-term.

See you tomorrow (Monday) for Day 2.

Nokia, Sony Mobile and ZTE will be among the big press conferences to watch.


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.


November 14, 2011 12:04 Alex Spektor

In a recent report from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, we published that superphones will be the world's fastest growing sub-category of wireless handsets this year. Global superphone sales will grow 200 percent in 2011, driven by popular models such as the Samsung Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation, increasing fifteen times faster than the overall handset market's growth rate of 13 percent.

Superphones are a relatively new sub-category of wireless handsets that first appeared on the global market in 2009, initially leveraging the now-obsolete Microsoft Windows Mobile platform. Superphones today integrate high-level operating systems like Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone with supersized displays of at least 4 inches and superfast processors of at least 1GHz.

Superphones are driving super growth in the handset market. Consumers and operators like the richer experience of larger screens and faster processing speeds that can be delivered by superphones, for applications like Web browsing, gaming, and watching HD video. Samsung is currently the world's leading superphone vendor due to the success of its Android-powered Galaxy S2 model, and Samsung has been aggressively leveraging this leadership to attack rivals with much weaker superphone portfolios such as Nokia, Blackberry and even Apple.

Alex Spektor
Wireless Device Strategies