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 7, 2015 08:24 woh

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service are at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) trade show this week in Las Vegas, US.

Our earlier CES 2015 pre-blog and blog for Day 1 can be viewed here and here.

These are three key trends and appealing smartphone models we have identified at the event on Day 2 (Tues):

 1. ZTE Grand X Max + : Being an upgraded version of Grand X Max, which was available through Cricket Wireless since Q4 2014 in the US, it is featuring a 6 inch HD display, 13-megapixel camera, 5-megapixel wide-angle front-camera and 3,200mAh battery. The difference between the two similar-looking devices is that X Max + supports 4G LTE, while its predecessor only supports 3G WCDMA.  ZTE is gaining much traction in the prepaid market in the US with affordably-priced, but larger-screened phablets in 2014, and the launch of the X Max + will help this Chinese vendor grab more market share in a tougher US handset market, prepaid segment in particular, during 2015.

2. TCL-Alcatel's new Smartwatch, the 'OneTouch Watch':  A Chinese-French device vendor, TCL-Alcatel, who is very strong in the lower-priced handset segment, is knocking on the doors of the smartwatch market with its price-competitive 'OneTouch Watch' series, pictured below. The first 'Watch' products will be available globally in March 2015 at a decent price, of less than US$200 retail, while providing strong features such as 2 days of intense usage / 5 days of stand-by battery life, full size USB charger, and most typical smartwatch sensors. Among all other features, the most noticeable one is that 'Watch' will pair with major OSs such as  iOS, Android and even WindowsPhone.

3. Smartphones with Intel Processors: Lenovo and ASUS -- the world's 6th and 18th largest smartphone vendors in Q3 2014 -- are unveiling new smartphones based on Intel mobile chipsets. Lenovo's P90 is a first smartphone with the 64-bit Intel Atom processor, Z3560,  and it is supporting LTE-A (CAT 6) with Intel's modem. Lenovo is mainly targeting business / prosumer clients with its LTE-A connectivity and a huge 4,000mAh battery. ASUS, a rising Taiwanese smartphone specialist, is also introducing Zenfone 2, which is equipped with the 64-bit Intel processor, Z3580, an Intel LTE-A modem, and the world's first 4GB DRAM. Intel, the long-lived king of desktop and laptop segments, is strenghtening its technical expertise in the mobile space, focusing on cutting-edge 64-bit architecture and LTE-A technology. It is good news for Intel.

Please check back here, every day, to our blog page, for further blogs and daily updates from CES 2015.


January 2, 2015 03:21 woh

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service will be attending CES 2015, one of the most important mobile and electronic trade shows, in sunny Las Vegas, US, next week, from Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th January, 2015.

Just like the last several years, mobile devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches, will be an integral part of the event. We will be blogging live from the show every day.

Here are five mega trends across the mobile device world we expect to see at CES 2015 and recommend clients / journalists focus on:

1. Wearables will be huge. More practical, diverse and fashionable devices across smartwatches, smartglasses, VR headsets and fitness bands will be there to attract a lot of attentions. You will experience not only diversified devices themselves but also empowered solutions, such as health/fitness, gaming and payment. Companies to visit will include Samsung, Sony, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Intel, Garmin, Oculus and FitBit. Also don't forget to check if traditional wrist-watch makers such as Tag Heuer would exhibit their first smartwatches in Las Vegas.

2. Curved smartphones will fascinate the world again with the 2nd round of products such as LG G Flex 2. They are the first step on the industry's road to rollable touchscreens. Pioneering companies to visit will include Samsung and LG.

3. 2K Display will be widespread. A growing number of vendors are adopting QHD display for their flagship products. Samsung and LG will be sure to exhibit their flagships with 2K display during CES 2015, and you may be seeing more 2K products from ZTE, Sony, Xiaomi, Lenovo and others.

4. LTE-A Capable handsets will be hot. Not only Samsung and LG, but more and more vendors such as Huawei, ZTE, HTC, TCL-Alcatel and Microsoft will be likely to display their newest flagships supporting CAT 6 and above. You might want to stop by Samsung booth to test 450Mbps downlink rate (CAT 9) with the new Samsung flagship Galaxy Note 4 S-LTE.

5. Budget smartphones priced between $50 and $150 in retail will be occupying the exhibition halls during the show. Most of these lower-priced phones will be coming with appealing specifications and services, running on Android One, Tizen, Windowsphone and Firefox. They are targeting the growing emerging markets such as India, Brazil, Indonesia and of course, China. Major device makers that you have to prioritize will be Samsung, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei, ASUS, Lenovo and a slew of local vendors from China and elsewhere.

Please check back here, every day, to our blog pages next week for further blogs and daily updates from CES 2015.





November 21, 2014 14:08 khyers

Even as its share in the North American market steadily shrinks, Huawei's global handset shipments rose +15% annually during Q3 2014. Most of Huawei’s cellphone volumes now ship into developing regions like Africa, and we note the Chinese vendor is quietly evolving into an “emerging markets specialist”.  Even as Huawei focuses more of its attention on emerging markets, it is managing to steadily increase ASPs, in part by focusing on phablets. However, by concentrating on emerging markets at the expense of growth in developed ones such as Western Europe, Huawei risks ceeding market opportunties to Chinese vendors like Lenovo, ZTE, and others.

The report Q3 '14 Huawei Emerging Market Specialist, available to clients of Strategy Analytics' Wireless Device Strategies service, examines Huawei's Q3 2014 performance and strategic focus.


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.


October 8, 2014 20:48 khyers

If it’s October, then Google must be putting the final touches on its next Nexus smartphone. Google’s next smartphone, the Nexus X (aka the Nexus 6 or Motorola Shamu), is rumored to be released soon, though an exact date has not yet been officially announced by Google.  The next generation in Google’s powerful yet affordable lineup of smartphones is speculated to be a 5.9” phablet with Quad HD resolution powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805.  The new device follows the latest trend by device makers to super-size smartphones.  While, given their size, these phablets are polarizing for many users, they allow device makers to show off their best-of-breed technologies, and though they make up a small proportion of the total smartphone market, phablets typically command premium prices and higher margins for vendors. 

The Next Nexus?

 

Strategy Analytics forecasts phablet and other handset sales in our WDS (Devices) report: Handset Sales Forecast by Type: Phablet, Superphone, Smartphone, Feature Phone & Basic Phone.  The phablet and superphone segments look especially promising as a super-high-growth market, bolstered by consumers' preferences for display sizes bigger than 4 inches. These comprehensive report forecasts global mobile phone sales by type from 2003 to 2020, and it identifies which categories will grow at above-average rates during the next 7 years. Types of devices covered include super-phablets, standard phablets, superphones, standard smartphones, smart feature phones, standard feature phones and basic phones.


September 12, 2014 16:14 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) analysis service, global LTE mobile phone industry revenues rose +44% annually during Q2 2014. Apple remained the world's largest 4G handset vendor by revenue, followed by Samsung and LG. Chinese vendor ZTE delivered the highest revenue growth among major 4G players, driven by its volume expansion. Our extensive report -- published here for clients -- provides quarterly global LTE handset shipments, wholesale (transfer) pricing, and revenue metrics for 20 major vendors from Q1 2011 to Q2 2014. 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.


September 2, 2014 17:28 nmawston

IFA, one of the world's largest mobile and consumer electronic industry tradeshows, and several satellite events, will take place this week in Berlin, Germany, between Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 10th September, 2014.

Interest in IFA has been sluggish in recent years, but this year's event has something of a buzz about it. Analysts from our WDS (Devices) research service will be attending the event and pounding the show floor to bring you the latest updates.

We highlight three major trends that you MUST prioritize to explore at the IFA show:

1. Wearables: Numerous hardware makers are keen to get their smartwatches and fitness bands into the global market before Apple's rumored iWatch / iTime juggernaut arrives in the coming weeks. We recommend visiting the booths of Samsung, LG, Sony and Motorola to view their latest smartwatch models. We believe Samsung will focus partly on fitness, LG and Motorola on design, and Sony on Japanese-centric features like waterproofing.

2. Phablets: If 2015 is the year of the smartwatch, then 2014 is the year of the phablet. The global market, particularly across Asia, is being flooded with them. Samsung's Note 4 will be the highlight of IFA and the main mobile show in town. Can Samsung wow enough to outshine Apple's imminent new iPhone 6 portfolio? Will big-screen phablets cannibalize small-screen tablets next year?

3. Motorola: Expect to see an increasingly confident Motorola touting its new products. With Lenovo's money and momentum behind it (subject to various regulatory approval), the Motorola team looks very motivated right now. We expect to view the updated G2 and X+1 smartphone models at competitive pricepoints, as well as the fashion-centric 360 smartwatch with a rounded face. Europe rivals, like Wiko France, will be looking nervously over their shoulders.


August 11, 2014 11:39 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) serviceworldwide mobile phone shipments grew +6% annually in Q2 2014. Asia and Africa Middle East were the world's fastest-growing regions, with LG, Alcatel-TCL and Lenovo all significant contributors. Huawei registered its best-ever single quarter in terms of handset volume shipments, while Alcatel recorded its second-best ever quarter and best Q2 ever. This published report, available to clients, details quarterly mobile phone marketshare for the world's top 30 vendors in North America, Central & Latin America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Africa Middle East and Asia Pacific.


May 22, 2014 19:52 lsui

Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service recently published the report: VALUE SHARE : Global Handset Revenue, ASP and Profit in Q1 2014. WDS clients: please click here to access the full report.

Global handset wholesale revenues increased +8% YoY and profits grew +14% annually. Apple and Samsung continued dominating the revenue pool, but Chinese brands Xiaomi, TCL-Alcatel and Huawei jumped into the top 5 most profitable handset vendor list this quarter, with improved operating margins.

Xiaomi is rising quickly, ranking the third most proftiable handset vendor, the sixth largest vendor by revenue, as well as the ninth largest vendor in shipments this quarter.