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.

April 25, 2014 13:10 sbicheno

Today marked the end of an era in the mobile handset industry as the acquisition of the devices division of the once-dominant handset vendor Nokia by software giant Microsoft was completed, after the scrutiny of various global regulators caused some delays.

Such a move would have been inconceivable back in 2007, when Microsoft’s worth was only double that of Nokia, but the arrival of the iOS and Android mobile operating systems somewhat ironically damaged Nokia far more than Microsoft, and the US$5.44 billion this acquisition has cost Microsoft represents around a 60th of its current worth.

Now the hard work really begins for Microsoft, which is making its boldest move yet towards becoming a vertical hardware player, adding to established products such as Xbox and Surface. It is presumed that Microsoft acquired Nokia Devices in order to boost its own mobile OS - Windows Phone - but this is far from guaranteed.

Microsoft’s global smartphone OS shipment market share was just 4% in 2013, while Nokia’s share of smartphone shipments last year was and even more modest 3%. Furthermore, Nokia’s last major handset initiative before being acquired - the launch of a range of lower-priced smartphones based on Android, rather than Windows Phone - is hardly a ringing endorsement of its new parent.

Microsoft has made this acquisition because it cannot afford to be marginalised in the post-PC world, but the combined operation still has a very small stake in the mobile market and the publicity photo below, released by Microsoft to mark the event, may indicate it realises there is still a mountain to climb.


January 28, 2014 00:20 khyers

According to the latest research from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, global mobile phone shipments grew 5 percent annually to reach a record 1.7 billion units in 2013. TCL-Alcatel became the world’s fifth largest mobile phone vendor for the first time ever in the final quarter of the year.

Despite ongoing economic headwinds in Asia and other emerging markets, global mobile phone shipments managed to grow a respectable 5 percent annually from 1.6 billion units in 2012 to 1.7 billion in 2013. It was the industry’s strongest overall performance for two years.

Fuelled by robust demand for its popular Galaxy models, Samsung tightened its grip, shipping a record 451.7 million mobile phones worldwide and capturing 27 percent marketshare to solidify its first-place lead. If Samsung maintains its current growth rate, it could ship a half-billion mobile phones in 2014.

Nokia’s global mobile phone shipments fell 25 percent from 335.6 million units in 2012 to 252.4 million in 2013. Nokia faced tough competition from Samsung in developing markets like India, while LG and others ramped up the pressure in developed regions such as Western Europe. Nokia’s Windows Phones have been performing relatively well, but this was not enough to offset sluggish demand for its Asha models and other feature phones during the course of the year.

Apple shipped a record 153.4 million mobile phones worldwide in 2013, up from 135.8 million in 2012. However, Apple’s growth rate moderated from 46 percent in 2012 to just 13 percent during 2013. Apple’s lack of presence in the low-end smartphone segment and the big-screen phablet category are costing the firm sizeable volumes.

  • LG was the world’s fourth largest mobile phone vendor in 2013, capturing 4 percent marketshare. LG’s Optimus range of Android models is proving popular in Europe and elsewhere;
  • TCL-Alcatel, of China, grew 48 percent annually to ship 18.3 million units globally in Q4 2013 and became the world’s fifth largest mobile phone vendor for the first time ever during the quarter. A portfolio of low-cost smartphones and feature phones in Latin America and Europe is driving the growth.

Exhibit 1: Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2013 [1]

 

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Samsung

108.0

396.5

118.0

451.7

Nokia

86.3

335.6

64.8

252.4

Apple

47.8

135.8

51.0

153.4

LG

15.4

56.6

18.7

71.0

TCL-Alcatel

12.4

39.5

18.3

52.0

Others

170.2

616.0

201.6

679.5

Total

440.1

1580.0

472.4

1660.0

 

 

 

 

 

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Samsung

24.5%

25.1%

25.0%

27.2%

Nokia

19.6%

21.2%

13.7%

15.2%

Apple

10.9%

8.6%

10.8%

9.2%

LG

3.5%

3.6%

4.0%

4.3%

TCL-Alcatel

2.8%

2.5%

3.9%

3.1%

Others

38.7%

39.0%

42.7%

40.9%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

0.1%

2.2%

7.3%

5.1%

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

 

 

 

 

The full report, Global Handset Shipments Grow 5 Percent in 2013, is published by our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, details of which can be found here. 

 

 



[1]  Numbers are rounded. The data-table does not include grey phone shipments. The Mobile Phone total is defined as smartphones plus feature phones combined.

 


February 19, 2013 02:02 Neil Shah

According to the latest research from our Handset Country Share Tracker service, smartphone shipments in China grew 75% YoY to reach a record all-time-high level becoming the world's largest smartphone market in terms of volumes ahead of USA by a huge margin. More than two in three mobile phones shipped in China are now smartphones.

Lenovo and Huawei were number two and number three ranked smartphone vendors hot on Samsung's heels to fight for the number one spot. Meanwhile, Coolpad, Xiaomi and Tianyu climbed up in our smartphone rankings.

Android + Apple iOS were the top platforms capturing a record 99% share of the total smartphones shipped in China in Q4 2012. We estimate this is the peak level for the combined share of the two platforms as the refreshed Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Sailfish and others will try to recapture share to challenge this duopoly situation.

China Smartphone Vendor and OS Marketshare: Q4 2012

The above report contains quarterly vendor and OS marketshare for handset and smartphone shipments in mainland China from Q1 2009 to Q4 2012. A forecast by smartphone vendor for Q1 2013 is also included. The report is a valuable tool for stakeholders wishing to size the China market, the world's largest by volume.


February 14, 2013 15:17 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, total worldwide mobile phone industry revenues grew a healthy +15% annually in Q4 2012. Profits and prices also increased due to a greater proportion of 3G and 4G models in the mix. Samsung and Apple dominate the industry and they are tightening their grip on value share, squeezing out almost all other rivals. This published report, available for download by clients, provides quarterly global handset average selling prices, revenues and profit metrics for multiple major handset vendors, from 2007 through 2012. Revenue share and profit share are also supplied. The report is a valuable tool for operators, component makers, automotive players and financial analysts who want to track the financial health of mobile phone makers.


February 14, 2013 15:08 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, Sony shipped 9 million mobile phones worldwide in Q4 2012. Its position in the high-growth LTE cellphone market has improved recently and its global 4G share doubled quarter-on-quarter. Sony remains under-penetrated in the huge US and China regions, but in other parts of the world, such as Japan and Sweden, the Japanese vendor has good potential to grow this year due to an improved Xperia portfolio and various marketing activities across Latin America. More analysis can be viewed by clients in this published report.


July 27, 2012 03:17 Alex Spektor

According to the latest research from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, global mobile phone shipments grew a modest 1 percent annually to reach 362 million units in the second quarter of 2012. Samsung was the star performer during the quarter, capturing a record 26 percent marketshare.

Ongoing macroeconomic challenges in mature markets like North America and Western Europe, tighter operator upgrade policies, and shifting consumer tastes were among the key reasons why global mobile phone shipments grew just 1 percent annually to reach 362.0 million units in Q2 2012. Fuelled by record-high smartphone shipments, Samsung was the star performer, shipping 93.0 million handsets worldwide and capturing a record 26 percent marketshare to solidify its first-place lead.

Nokia’s global handset shipments continued to decline, albeit at a more moderate minus 5 percent annually, reaching 83.7 million units in Q2 2012. Nokia’s Windows Lumia family of smartphones has made a relatively encouraging start, but shipments are not yet high enough to offset rapidly fading volumes for its Symbian platform. Nokia’s feature phone volumes showed healthy, single-digit annual growth, bolstered by Nokia’s expanding portfolio of dual-SIM and Asha models for emerging markets.

Apple shipped 26.0 million handsets worldwide in Q2 2012. Apple delivered 28 percent annual growth, which was bolstered by solid demand in Asia. Apple’s next major task is to ensure that the upcoming release of its rumored iPhone 5 upgrade is a success. The hardware design, screen size and any integrated new technologies for the iPhone 5 will need to wow consumers and make the new model stand apart from competitors like Samsung’s Galaxy S3.

Other findings from the research include:

  • ZTE captured 5 percent of global handset shipments as shipments slipped minus 16 percent annually, partly because of weakened demand in major markets of Western Europe and China;
  • LG’s shipments nearly halved year-over-year to 13.1 million units, as its feature phone volumes continued to slip. However, its global smartphone shipments encouragingly improved on a sequential basis.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Handset Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2012

Global Handset Shipments (Millions of Units) Q2 ’11 Q2 '12
Samsung 74.0 93.0
Nokia 88.5 83.7
Apple 20.3 26.0
ZTE 19.6 16.5
LG 24.8 13.1
Others 130.8 129.7
Total 358.0 362.0
     
Global Handset Vendor Marketshare % Q2 ’11 Q2 '12
Samsung 20.7% 25.7%
Nokia 24.7% 23.1%
Apple 5.7% 7.2%
ZTE 5.5% 4.6%
LG 6.9% 3.6%
Others 36.5% 35.8%
Total 100.0% 100.0%
     
Global Handset Shipments Growth Year-over-Year % 11.9% 1.1%

January 5, 2012 13:45 sbicheno

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in Las Vegas, USA, from Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th January, 2012. There will be dozens of major and minor announcements vying for your attention, but here are three trends we recommend to look out for at the show:

 

1. Windows Phone LTE handsets

While the main mobile event of the year -- MWC -- occurs a mere six weeks afterwards, CES tends to feature a number of major handset launches of its own -- especially those with a strong focus on the valuable US market. This year, the Windows Phone ecosystem plans to revitalize its assault on the US market with a raft of LTE handsets to counter Android 4.0, Apple iOS 5 and BB10.

A hotly tipped 4G model is the successor to the Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia’s first flagship Windows phone, which was not launched in the US. Instead, Americans could get the opportunity to see what may be Nokia’s first ever superphone, perhaps an enhanced Lumia 800 with a larger screen and LTE, which could be called the Lumia 900 or simply the Nokia Ace. It is important that Nokia gets its sub-branding right for the American market, so we will be watching this one closely.

Elsewhere, HTC should be ready to launch its own LTE Windows Phone devices, while rumors indicate Samsung’s contribution to that market may also be imminent. Sony Ericsson, despite being a launch partner for Windows Phone 7, has been conspicuous by its absence so far. That might be about to change, however, if the ‘tile’ theme for its official pre-show teaser (below) is anything to go by.




Source: Sony Ericsson



2. Intel Medfield devices

Despite initial hype, we’ve seen few LG Windows Phone launches in recent quarters. Two years ago LG was a lead OEM partner for Intel’s Moorestown mobile chip. Unperturbed by the absence of that chip in the broader marketplace, rumor has it that the successor to Moorestown -- the 32nm Medfield chip -- could soon make its public debut inside an LG handset.

After keeping a low mobile profile in 2011 (excluding the Infineon purchase), we expect Intel to make a bigger noise about Medfield at CES this year. While it remains to be seen whether the chip giant has managed to crack the handset market, we would be surprised if Intel didn’t significantly raise its profile in tablets, with the anticipated launch later this year of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 possibly its best opportunity yet.

But the loudest Intel-related noise may well come from ultrabooks -- the ‘thin, light and fast bootup’ notebook platform designed to serve the market demand suggested by the popularity of the Apple MacBook Air and iPad. While not all of the ultrabooks will feature 3G chipsets, they are being positioned as ‘ultra-mobile’ devices, so that would eventually seem a natural feature for many to have.

3. More smartphone-to-smart-TV convergence?

2012 is the year that many major players will have a fresh crack at smart TVs. Google’s first effort last year ran out of steam pretty quickly, while Apple is publicly treating TV as nothing more than a hobby. However, we expect both companies to renew their focus on the living room in 2012, and where better to make a statement of intent than CES?

Given the expected overlap with their mobile platforms -- Android and iOS -- it stands to reason that Google and Apple will look for ways to more closely integrate your mobile device with your TV. Not only does this increase the functionality for end-users -- for example, by using the device as a remote control for media streaming -- but potentially leverages the existing commercial relationship into new product areas. Apple will not be formally present at CES, of course, but Android hardware partners we recommend investigating at the show include Samsung, LG, Sony and even Vizio.



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