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.

September 9, 2014 18:49 nmawston

After years of speculation, Apple finally unveiled its hand today in the mobile payments industry. It is launching Apple Pay, which is a mobile wallet feature for the new iPhone6 / iPhone6 Plus portfolio.

As expected, Apple Pay combines an NFC phone with a secure NFC element, dynamic (changing) security codes, TouchID fingerprinting, Passbook, and ties it all in to the millions of credit cards the company has on file inside iTunes.

Apple Pay will start in the United States in October 2014. The US is the world's largest credit card market, so it is no surprise to see this is their first target. Some of the rest of the world, such as the UK, will follow by 2015.

Partners include most major banks and payment networks, such as Citi, Bank of America, Visa, MasterCard and Amex. Several big stores are onboard, including Subway, Nike and Staples. However, our WMS (Media) service estimates that just a modest percentage of all retail stores in the US can currently accept Apple Pay -- that will be an early barrier to uptake.

Rivals, such as Softcard and MCX, will be very worried by this new development from Apple Pay. Some US operators, like T Mobile, may be upset by Apple encroaching on "their" mobile payment territory.

Apple is now entering a huge NFC phone market that our WDS (Devices) research service forecasts will reach 500 million units in 2014.


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.


August 6, 2014 22:02 nmawston

According to our Devices (WDS) research service, Samsung’s global mobile phone shipments dipped annually in Q2 2014, in the face of growing pressure from Chinese and local vendors in markets worldwide. However, in the high-value LTE segment, Samsung is a clear global leader and it is well positioned to attack the fast-emerging China 4G market in the second half of 2014. This published report, available to clients, includes additional datapoints and analysis of Samsung's LTE gains.


July 30, 2014 23:06 lsui

According to the latest Global Handset Subsidy Forecast by Region & Country : 2011 to 2020 report from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, global handset subsidy spending by mobile operators reached a peak in 2013. Subsidies will lessen from 2014 onwards as carriers tighten further their subsidy budgets.

Some major operators in tier-one countries, such as AT&T US or China Mobile, are trying actively to reduce handset subsidies. This means global handset subsidies will slip both in volume and value for the foreseeable future.

The US remains the largest subsidy country by value, while China will overtake the US to become the biggest subsidy country by volume in 2014.

Our extensive report, published here, provides worldwide handset subsidy forecasts by 6 regions and 2 key countries from 2011 through 2020. Subsidized handset volumes, average subsidy per subsidized handset, as well as total subsidy spend are included. Further breakdowns by device-type (smartphone vs. non-smartphones) and by subscription type ( prepaid vs. postpaid) are included, as well.


June 19, 2014 23:30 swaltzer

After years of speculationAmazon finally introduced its first Fire Phone with AT&T in the US on Wednesday, 18th June, 2014. Amazon is planning to take a slice of the global smartphone hardware industry and expand the mobile shopping market. However, the Fire is neither optimized for smartphone buyers nor mobile shoppers, and it risks getting caught in no-man’s land. This first-generation Fire may struggle to gain traction. Further insight and analysis on this topic can be found for subscribers in our published report here: Amazon Fire Puts a Shopping Cart in Your Pocket.


May 28, 2014 11:35 nmawston

According to the latest research from our WDS (Devices) service, mobile phone sales will reach 430 million units and generate revenues of US$87 billion in China during 2014. In contrast, mobile phone sales will stabilize at 163 million units and deliver revenues of just US$60 billion in the United States this year. China will overtake the United States for the first time ever to become the world’s largest mobile phone market by value.

We forecast mobile phone sales to grow 15 percent annually to reach a record 430 million units in China during 2014. Mobile phone trade revenues will surge 53 percent annually to reach a record US$87 billion this year. In contrast, mobile phone sales in the United States will grow zero percent annually, while trade revenues will increase only 4 percent to US$60 billion in 2014. China will finally overtake the United States for the first time this year to become the world’s largest mobile phone market by value.


China’s impressive mobile growth is being driven by the country’s rapid shift to 3G and 4G smartphones. Major brands, such as Samsung, Huawei and Lenovo, are aggressively expanding their distribution channels and product ranges across the region to meet extremely strong demand from Chinese consumers for more advanced mobile phones.


The United States is maturing and has now lost its crown to China as the world’s largest mobile phone market by revenue. However, it is important to remember the US remains by far the mobile industry’s most valuable country by profit. High average selling prices for mobile phones and huge operator subsidies from Sprint and others continue to make the US a very profitable market for major device brands such as Apple, Samsung and Alcatel.

 

Exhibit 1: Mobile Phone Sales and Trade Revenues by Country in 2014  [1]

Mobile Phone Sales (Millions of Units)

2013

2014

China

374.8

429.8

United States

163.3

163.4

 

 

 

Mobile Phone Trade Revenues (US$, Billions)

2013

2014

China

$57.0

$87.2

United States

$57.4

$59.5

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

  



[1]  Numbers are rounded. The term "mobile phone" refers to all smartphones plus feature phones combined. Trade revenues are defined as wholesale revenues. The 2014 data are forecast estimates.


May 18, 2014 13:54 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) service, global mobile phone shipments grew a healthy +9% annually in the first quarter of 2014. The LTE segment grew fastest among all cellphone technologies, surging +93% from a year earlier. We expect this uptick in growth will continue for the rest of the year, as China and others parts of the world rollout additional 4G networks. Companies benefitting from the LTE spike include Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, MediaTek and others. More data and analysis can be viewed by clients here.


May 11, 2014 22:51 nmawston

According to our WDS (Devices) research service, TCL-Alcatel's mobile phone shipments grew an impressive +71% annually worldwide in Q1 2014. The firm's shipments, revenues and profits continue to increase at a healthy clip. TCL-Alcatel is perfrming well in Mexico, Russia and elsewhere. However, the vendor’s best performance was saved for the valuable United States market, where it surged past Motorola to become a top-six mobile phone player for the first time ever in Q1 2014. More data and analysis can be downloaded by clients at this link.


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.