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.

October 22, 2014 10:15 nmawston

Qualcomm, one of the world's largest component makers, is starting to promote 4K content and 4K video-recording for cellphones in 2015 (e.g. see page 7 of this published Qualcomm report). Device vendors and component builders are keen to sell more 4K phones next year because the integrated technology can differentiate their brands and raise average selling prices. Consumers are certainly interested in 4K phones, but relatively high costs, limited 4K content, and slightly confusing marketing ("what is 4K") are challenges for the category in the near-term. A forecast for global 4K phone sales by region through 2020, from our WDS (Devices) service, can be downloaded by clients at this link.


October 7, 2014 14:58 khyers

LTE handset sales are set to surge in 2015 according to new research from our WDS (Devices) service.   China and the US will drive sales growth, with global LTE handset sales expanding by a healthy 37% year-on-year in 2015, making the technology the fastest growing and most important segment in the mobile phone market.  The big four LTE markets will be China, the US, South Korea and Japan, with growth in China driven by a rapid transition from 2G/3G to LTE, and in the other three markets by a transition to next generation LTE-A which will support advanced new services.  This report forecasts LTE handset sales for 88 countries through 2020 and is an essential resource for operators, software developers, content developers, handset vendors, component makers, car manufacturers and other stakeholders to determine or prioritize the size and growth rate of the huge 4G phone market.

 


September 19, 2014 16:22 nmawston

Sony, of Japan, has a proud history of innovating revolutionary gadgets. It released the Walkman portable music player in the 1970s, and the PlayStation games console during the 1990s. But for smartphones in the 2010s, Sony's Xperia range has not fared quite so well. The vendor's global smartphone ranking has drifted from 6th to 9th in the past three years. The Sony Group this month wrote down billions of US dollars in its financials, partly as a result of the lackluster phone division.

What can Sony Mobile do to recover its mojo in smartphones?

Our WDS (Devices) research analysts recommend 3 simple but effective actions for Sony Mobile in 2015:

1. Expand distribution. In the US, China and India -- the "big 3" markets -- Sony needs to regrow;

2. Rebrand Xperia. Develop a new sub-brand for a new portfolio;

3. Target prepaid phones, not just postpaid. It is working for ZTE and others.

Above all, Sony Mobile must get its skates on. Xperia must NOT become "Ex-peria".


August 27, 2014 14:37 khyers

Lenovo’s global handset shipments grew +40% annually and delivered record marketshare in Q2 2014. Firmly planted among the top-10 global handset vendors, the Chinese company is poised to enter the top-5 if the Motorola acquisition gets approved by authorities in the second half of the year. However, despite record shipments, growth is slowing for Lenovo, profits remain elusive, and the takeover of loss-making Motorola will make achieving profitability that much harder in the near-term.

The company’s sales volumes are strong in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and particularly so in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).  Lenovo smartphones were available in 20 markets in CEE and MEA in Q2 2014 and it is entering +20 additional markets in the regions from 2H 2014.

For the present Lenovo is holding off expanding in Western European markets as it waits to complete its acquisition of Motorola.  It intends to leverage the Motorola brand, which has strong recognition and 90% consumer brand awareness to target the region.

Lenovo believes that a market shift from premium to mid-tier devices favors its portfolio, and also expects to realize economies of scale as it leverages its supply chain for Motorola handset production.  However, profitability will continue to be impacted for at least four to six quarters as it integrates Motorola into business.

This published report, available to clients, includes additional datapoints and analysis of Lenovo’s handset plans.


July 30, 2014 16:54 khyers

Nokia's global handset shipments dipped slightly in Q2 2014 with smartphone and feature phone volumes sluggish. Microsoft has recently embarked on a major cost-cutting program to restore Nokia's profitability, after it lost millions of dollars in the first half of this year. Significant changes for Nokia include factory closures, employee layoffs, and a de-emphasising of the Android and feature phone range.  Signficant new introductions include the Lumia 930 smartphone with 20 megapixel camera and Microsoft Phone 8.1 OS, the latest version of Microsoft's mobile phone platform. The latest analysis of Microsoft Mobile Devices Group, from our WDS (Devices) service, can be found here.


May 27, 2014 15:13 nmawston

Our WDS (Devices) research service forecasts mobile phone revenues to grow +13% worldwide during 2014. At the same time, the four BRIC countries combined -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- will all grow at rates well above the global average. Led by China, BRIC countries will generate 36% of all global cellphone revenues in 2014. Among the four countries in 2014, China will experience the highest revenue & ASP growth rate, propelled by the decrease in ultra-low tier market and the increase in other higher price range segments.

Our extensive report -- which can be downloaded by clients here -- forecasts BRIC country handset sales volume, wholesale (trade) revenues, and wholesale ASPs across five price-tiers from 2009 to 2020. Additional analysis of the premium, high, mid, entry and ultra-low price-bands is included. The report is a valuable tool for device vendors, operators, component manufacturers, software developers, financial analysts, car makers and other stakeholders who want to measure each country's mobile phone market by value and benchmark their pricing strategies.


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.


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.


January 31, 2014 14:23 nmawston

As predicted last year in this June 2013 report -- from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service -- Chinese mobile phone makers, like Lenovo, are firmly on the hunt for takeovers of local or foreign brands.

Lenovo has recently acquired Motorola (assuming government approvals). We can tick that one off the list. Who might be next on the takeover target list? Well, we'll be keeping a close eye this year on companies such as Xiaomi and HTC, that's for sure. They are either ambitious to grow (Xiaomi) or struggling to grow (HTC). Time will tell.


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.