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 16, 2014 14:36 nmawston

According to a new report from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, global dual-SIM handset sales will grow a healthy +18% YoY in 2014. Asia, China, India and Africa remain the key markets for popular dual-SIM phones. Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo and Micromax are among major players with high marketshares driving the industry worldwide. Dual-SIM, dual-active (DSDA) models continue to find niche traction in higher-tier segments. Consumers like dual-SIM phones for their flexibility, while carriers dislike them for their churn potential. Our published report, available to clients, contains extensive forecasts for global dual-SIM (multi-SIM) handset sales in 6 major regions and 2 key countries, including China and India, from 2004 to 2020. Qualitative analysis of key vendors and key technologies in this market are included too.


February 25, 2014 10:02 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, Lenovo’s global mobile phone shipments grew an impressive +50% annually in Q4 2013. The Chinese brand was a star performer. However, Lenovo’s mobile phone / smartphone division continues to make very little profit, and taking over the loss-making Motorola unit will not improve financial matters in the short-term. More analysis of Lenovo's challenges for 2014 can be viewed by clients here.


February 24, 2014 16:15 sbicheno

Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service is attending the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

This is a summary of some of our main findings from Day 1 (Monday)

Nokia
has a rich history of announcing major strategic initiatives at Mobile World Congress and the clear highlight of day 1 was another such bombshell. Nokia announced the Nokia X, X+ and XL: a family of smartphones running Android Open Source Project (AOSP) software, rather than the Windows Phone platform, on which all its Lumia smartphones are based. Since one of the main reasons for adopting Windows Phone three years ago was to enable differentiation from Android devices, this is quite a significant U-turn by Nokia, and is made especially intriguing as it comes just weeks before the acquisition of Nokia’s devices division by Microsoft.

The stated aim of the launch is principally to enable entry price-tier smartphones, with the Nokia X having an estimated wholesale ASP of US$85. Nokia is positioning these new smartphones as a bridge between the Asha and Lumia families. The other theoretical primary benefit to end-users is access to Android apps, although since the Lumia X family will not have access to the Google Play store, this will require developers to resubmit their apps to the Nokia store.

The other most prominent device launch of the day so far has been from Sony, which bravely decided to launch a smartphone and a tablet sharing the same name. The Xperia Z2 is the new flagship Sony smartphone, although with its 5.2-inch screen it’s actually a phablet, and continues its predecessor’s focus on waterproofing and imaging. The Xperia Z2 Tablet is a 10.1-inch device that claims many of the qualities - waterproofing, thinness, screen quality - of its smaller sibling, hence the naming scheme.

The other big device announcement of the day is from Samsung this evening, when it is expected to unveil the Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone. We will update this post as soon as the details are made public.

UPDATE: As expected Samsung launched the Galaxy S5 this evening in Barcelona. Since its predecessor was one of the best-selling smartphone models globally in 2013, Samsung has gone for an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach to the Galaxy S5. The look, feel and size appear very similar to the S4, but Samsung has ensured it matches the innovations of flagship smartphones from competitors such as Apple and Sony by introducing a fingerprint scanner and making the device waterproof.

 


February 23, 2014 21:01 sbicheno

The annual celebration of all things mobile is upon us once more and Strategy Analytics devices team will be blogging their first impressions daily. While Mobile World Congress doesn't officially start until tomorrow, handset vendors often look to beat the rush by making their announcements on the Sunday, and this year will be no exception.

Chinese telco giant Huawei was one of the first out of the starting blocks with the launch of the Ascend G6, which aims to bring the popular P6 design and 4G connectivity to the mid price-tier. Huawei has also launched a couple of tablets and unveiled its foray into the wearables market, which is set to be a major theme of this year's show, as is the mid price-tier smartphone segment, which is where we forecast a large chunk of handset sales to come from in the near future.

Firefox OS will be hoping to be part of that growth story, with smartphones focused on the mid and low price-tiers, and Mozilla announced a new reference phone - the Firefox OS Flame - today, in a bid to boost its ecosystem. Meanwhile Microsoft is renewing its efforts behind Windows Phone with the launch of version 8.1 which will allow lower priced smartphones to be built on the WP platform.

We expect there to be further announcements on Sunday and, of course, over the course of the week. We are especially looking forward to seeing what major vendors such as Samsung, Nokia, Sony and LG have up their sleeves. With all vendors producing hardware of a high standard, differentiation is becoming increasingly difficult, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see some novel hardware initiatives, such as bendable screens or modular handsets, make an appearance at the show.

Stay tuned for our daily update of the latest news from the show floor as MWC 2014 commences in earnest tomorrow.

Update: Mozilla also announced a partnership with chip-maker Spreadtrum on Sunday to target the US$25 wholesale ASP smartphone price point. Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch, which runs on its own Tizen platform, rather than Android as the previous version had, and LG launched the G Pro 2 phablet.


February 7, 2014 17:04 nmawston

Accoding to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, Motorola’s global mobile phones shipments dipped slightly in Q4 2013. New models, like the Moto X and G, were introduced with much hype. However, the highlight of the quarter was Lenovo’s purchase of Motorola from Google. Offering an ecosystem of PCs, tablets and smartphones to carriers and corporates, Motorola-Lenovo is now a “one stop shop” for mobile and portable devices that can credibly challenge Samsung, Apple and others. More analysis of this major strategic shift in the industry can be viewed by clients here.


February 7, 2014 16:56 nmawston

According to our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, Huawei grew its worldwide mobile phone shipments three times faster than the industry average in the fourth quarter of 2013. The Chinese vendor is outperforming in Asia and Europe. However, Huawei continues to lag badly in the valuable LTE handset segment. With 4G emerging fast in China, can Huawei finally crack the LTE market this year? More analysis can be downloaded by clients here.

 


January 28, 2014 01:15 nmawston

TCL-Alcatel was the world's 5th largest mobile phone vendor in Q4 2013. Some say it is the biggest handset brand you never heard of. Where is the firm strongest and weakest? How did it get here? Where is it headed next? Should rivals, like Apple, Motorola and Samsung, be worried?

Clients of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service can download additional analysis of TCL-Alcatel in this report here and this blog here.


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.

 


January 8, 2014 20:54 nmawston

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service are at the CES trade show this week in Las Vegas, US, from Sunday 5th to Thursday 9th January, 2014.

Our blogs from Day 1 (Monday) and Day 2 (Tuesday) can be viewed here and here.

These are three key trends and important device models we have identified at the event on Day 3 (Wednesday):

1. Phablets are everywhere at the show. They are not a new trend, but they are a growing trend. The rise of the phablet in the US surely means Apple cannot hold back the tide for much longer and it will have to finally launch a 5-inch iPhone worldwide later this year. Samsung, LG, Nokia and other phablet leaders will be looking nervously over their shoulders.

2. Bluetooth remains as popular as ever, from speakers to tablets. It is a great wirefree technology that deserves more credit for its success. Attractive new Bluetooth products continue to be developed, such as Monster's DNA Pro Wireless stereo headphones for high-end consumers. This over-the-ear model may come to challenge the best-in-class Parrot Zik.

3. Sony delivered this week its SmartWear strategy for 2014. It showcased a fitness band and a fitness app for Xperia smartphones. Sony is clearly getting into lifestyle wearables in a big way. However, we caution that Sony's limited mobile presence in the "big two" countries of the US and China, where demand will be greatest, could put a cap on its global ambitions.

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


January 8, 2014 20:52 nmawston

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service are at the CES trade show this week in Las Vegas, US, from Sunday 5th to Thursday 9th January, 2014.

Our blog from Day 1 (Monday) can be viewed here.

These are three key trends and important device models we have identified at the event on Day 2 (Tuesday):

1. As expected, Intel unveiled several wearable devices, including a smart-watch and a smart-headset. They are prototypes for now. What purpose do they serve? Three main reasons: first, they showcase Intel's new products, such as the Edison platform. Second, wearables offer fresh growth opportunities beyond the maturing PC market and crowded smartphone segment. Third, and most importantly, Intel's devices are a sign that more component makers will eventually become device makers as the component industry becomes more challenging. I expect Qualcomm and others to follow a similar path.

2. The new CEO of BlackBerry indicated that its first Foxconn-built smartphone later this year will be priced around the mid-tier level. This will put BlackBerry in direct competition with Samsung, the king of the mid-range worldwide. BlackBerry will have to develop something special, for hardware and software, if it wants to challenge the South Korean brand. It will not be easy.

3. Smartphones to control the digital home have been displayed at plenty of booths at the show. For example, the Belkin-Jarden Crock-Pot, available in the US in H1 2014, is a wireless pot for the kitchen where your food-cooking temperature can be controlled through a WiFi handset. This is cool and fashionable, of course, but still very niche at the moment.

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