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.

February 25, 2014 18:09 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 2 (Tuesday):

Our attention was mostly caught be lower-priced smartphones on day 2 of MWC 2014. In addition to the low and mid price-tier smartphone announcements from Mozilla, Huawei and Nokia previously, several other major handset vendors played their mass-market hands today.

LG complemented the launch of the G Pro 2 phablet with the F70 and F90 Android smartphones that are designed to bring LTE to lower price bands. Lenovo went one better with the launch of three smartphones: the S660, S850 and S860, which will address a range of price-points.

Alcatel, meanwhile, maintained its rapid rate of handset launches, with the Alcatel Onetouch Pop Fit standing out as it has a tiny 2.8-inch screen and is aimed at the currently niche fitness smartphone market.

And BlackBerry has been quick to learn the lessons from the launch of the Z10 and Q10 by announcing the first fruits of its partnership with Foxconn. The Z3 is an all-touch smartphone designed specifically for the BlackBerry stronghold of Indonesia, while the Q20 will be a combination of the traditional QWERTY handset design with the new BB10 OS in a lower-priced package.


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 21, 2014 18:42 khyers

Clients of Strategy Analytics' device services are invited to join us for a complimentary webinar at 4:00pm London -time (11:00 AM EST / 8:00 AM PST) on Tuesday 4th March, 2014, where we will present a post-Mobile World Congress analysis of the most important device news from MWC 2014. Please click this link to register you or a colleague.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, is the most important mobile industry trade show of the year, where vendors, operators and the rest of the industry meet to present their strategic visions and flagship products. Strategy Analytics’ device analysts will be at MWC 2014 and will meet with the leading smartphone vendors, carriers and component makers.

Following MWC 2014, we will present to clients an after-show review of the most important topics from the event. We will share our analysis of what those topics mean for the industry and individual companies. Attend this complimentary webinar to analyze the most important new 4G smartphone launches, the hottest wearable brands, and how new operating systems like Firefox plan to challenge Android and Apple iOS.


March 5, 2013 17:33 nmawston

Clients of Strategy Analytics are invited to join a post-Mobile World Congress (MWC) webinar.

Please join us for the online presentation for 45 minutes at 300pm UK-time on Wednesday 6th March, 2013.

The registration form for the Webinar is located here.

We look forward to presenting our analysis and findings from MWC, the world's largest mobile industry event.


March 4, 2013 11:10 nmawston

Clients of Strategy Analytics are invited to join a post-Mobile World Congress (MWC) webinar.

Please join us for the online presentation for 45 minutes at 300pm UK-time on Wednesday 6th March, 2013.

The registration form for the Webinar is located here.

We look forward to presenting our analysis and findings from MWC, the world's largest mobile industry event.


March 4, 2013 11:01 nmawston

Our devices analysts attended the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 24th and Thursday 28th February, 2013. We found NEC, Fujitsu and Yota displaying some notably differentiated mobile phone designs. Firefox OS burst into the limelight with a larger-than-expected number of partners. Meanwhile, NFC technology was everywhere at the show. Industry giants Samsung and Visa teamed up to confirm the emergence of wallet phones. This published report, available to clients of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, summarizes our major findings from dozens of meetings and product demos we hosted over five days at MWC 2013.


February 28, 2013 17:31 nmawston

Clients of Strategy Analytics are invited to join a post-Mobile World Congress (MWC) webinar.

Please join us for the online presentation for 45 minutes at 300pm UK-time on Wednesday 6th March, 2013.

The registration form for the Webinar is located here.

We look forward to presenting our analysis and findings from MWC, the world's largest mobile industry event.


February 28, 2013 16:49 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.

Blogs for days 1 to 4, Sunday to Wednesday -- from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service -- can be read here.

After 5 days of nonstop meetings and presentations, it is time to wrap-up.

There were a record 72k visitors to MWC 2013, up +8% YoY. The weather was sunny but chilly, possibly the coldest weather for the event this century.

We could draw hundreds of conclusions from the show, but I will leave you with just two for now:

1. NFC is emerging everywhere in the mobile phone space... but consumer demand is still questionable;

2. Firefox has emerged with a bang... it is a credible low-end smartphone OS rival to Android... but a lack of support from Samsung is a major barrier to success.

See you next year, provisionally from Thursday 27th February to Saturday 1st March, 2014. Yes, you read it right. MWC looks set to open on a Saturday.

And please join us for our own POST-MWC WEBINAR, available to clients, at 300pm UK-time on Wednesday 6th March, 2013. The registration form is located here.


February 28, 2013 16:10 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.

Blogs for days 1 to 3, Sunday to Tuesday, from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, can be read here.

Two announcements stood out from Day 4 (Wednesday):

1. Asus PadFone Infinity: This is a phablet that docks into a tablet. Two devices become one. It is PadFone 2, an upgrade to PadFone 1 from 2012, sporting a larger screen and faster processor. It will be available in 10 countries, such as the UK and Taiwan, from Q2 2013. However, the wholesale (trade) price, set at an estimated US$925 for the full package, is expensive. Initial global volumes are likely to be niche.

2. Yota Phone: Russia's largest cellphone vendor, Yota, got some attention by presenting its dual-display handset, first unveiled in Q4 2012. The Android phone has a 4-inch touchscreen on the front side, and a 4-inch e-ink display on the back side. This is a creative formfactor, which blends a phone and ereader into one device. A visitor on the stand called it a "pheader" (pronounced "feeder"). No carriers have been announced outside Russia, and the phone is still a prototype, so they may be struggling with distribution and production.

See you tomorrow (Thursday) for closing Day 5.