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 29, 2015 01:43 khyers

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global mobile phone shipments grew 7 percent annually to reach 515 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014. It was the first time worldwide mobile phone shipments have passed the half-billion-unit threshold. Apple was the star performer, capturing a record 14 percent marketshare, due to strength in the US and China.

Global mobile phone shipments grew 7 percent annually from 481.5 million units in Q4 2013 to 515.0 million in Q4 2014. It was the first time worldwide mobile phone shipments have exceeded a half-billion units in a single quarter. Smartphones accounted for 7 in 10 of total mobile phone shipments during the quarter. The 7 percent growth rate of the overall mobile phone market is being driven by healthy demand for 3G and 4G models across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Handset shipments reached 1.8 billion units globally in full-year 2014, an all-time high for the industry.

Samsung dipped 19 percent annually and shipped 95.0 million mobile phones worldwide, capturing 18 percent marketshare in Q4 2014. Samsung is facing intense competition from Apple, Huawei and others in the fast-growing, big-screen phablet segment across China, United States and Europe. Apple soared 46 percent annually and shipped 74.5 million mobile phones for a record 14 percent worldwide marketshare in Q4 2014. Apple’s new iPhone 6 portfolio with larger screens is the key to its success. Apple fans have been waiting years for outsized iPhones to arrive and demand for Apple’s expensive models has been exceptionally high.

Microsoft shipped 50.2 million mobile phones worldwide in Q4 2014, down 23 percent from 64.8 million a year earlier. Microsoft is experiencing decent growth in smartphones, but its core feature phone lineup continues to struggle. Lenovo-Motorola finally merged officially to capture 5 percent handset marketshare and become the fourth largest mobile phone vendor worldwide in 2014. China, Brazil, India and United States will be among the main countries targeted by the enlarged group in 2015.

Other findings from the research include:

  • LG had a relatively robust quarter, with volumes in North America notably active; 
  • A long tail of second-tier brands continues to build momentum beyond the top four mobile phone brands. Key emerging challengers in mobile phones worldwide at the moment include OPPO, Vivo, Lenovo, Xiaomi and others. They remain important players to monitor.

Exhibit 1: Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2014* 

 

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Samsung

118.0

451.7

95.0

405.0

Microsoft (Nokia)

64.8

252.4

50.2

199.7

Apple

51.0

153.4

74.5

192.7

Lenovo-Motorola

19.1

63.6

24.9

93.6

Others

228.6

763.9

270.4

919.3

Total

481.5

1685.0

515.0

1810.3

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Marketshare (%)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Samsung

24.5%

26.8%

18.4%

22.4%

Microsoft (Nokia)

13.5%

15.0%

9.7%

11.0%

Apple

10.6%

9.1%

14.5%

10.6%

Lenovo-Motorola

4.0%

3.8%

4.8%

5.2%

Others

47.5%

45.3%

52.5%

50.8%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

Total Growth: Year-over-Year (%)

9.4%

6.6%

7.0%

7.4%

Source: Strategy Analytics

The full report, Apple Becomes World’s No.2 Mobile Phone Vendor in Q4 2014, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, details of which can be found here.

*Numbers are rounded. The term “Mobile Phone” is defined as smartphones plus feature phones combined.


 


December 5, 2014 15:07 khyers

In a newly published report Strategy Analytics identifies and analyzes the ten most important trends that will impact the mobile device industry in 2015.  The report examines a range of key topics including online handset distribution, in which price tiers the most rapid growth will come from, accelerating handset markets, and technologies including LTE-Advanced, SIM cards, and contextually aware services.

Clients of Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Device Strategies service can access the report Top 10 Mobile Device Trends and Recommendations for 2015 here.

 


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.


November 20, 2014 14:12 khyers

Global shipments of handsets grew by 8% year-on-year in Q3 2014, propelled by a rapidly expanding LTE market in Asia and North America.  Apple led the LTE category, with its newly introduced iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, while Lenovo ranked first in TD-SCDMA, even as that category shrank.

The report Vendor Share Global Handset Market by Technology Q3 2014 provides worldwide quarterly handset shipments for more than 30 vendors by nine major 2G, 3G and 4G protocols.  Clients of our Wireless Device Strategies service can access the report here.

 


November 13, 2014 22:44 khyers

Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge is set to hit customers’ hands beginning Friday November 14th.  The new premium phablet sits atop Samsung’s portfolio and is seeing limited release across key markets across the globe. We have been using the device for the past few days and believe that it successfully lives up to its billing as the most striking Android phablet yet released.

The Edge stands out from its stable-mate Note 4 based on one key feature – a display which curves right off the side, essentially creating a second viewing screen which can be used to receive notifications or to control apps and content displayed on the main screen. The main display itself is a bright Quad HD+ Super AMOLED with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, while the curved section of the screen offers an additional 160 pixels down the side.

Strategy Analytics analyzes the Edge and how it will help Samsung gain mindshare in its battle against Apple in the following this published report.


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.


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 22, 2014 19:40 khyers

Shocking few, Apple’s newest iPhones broke records for first weekend sales, despite being available in fewer markets in 2014 than last year. Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus went on sale the weekend of September 19, going on to sell more than 10 million units. While thousands of customers lined up at carrier stores and Apple’s own retail stores in cities across the United States, Europe and select other markets around the world, supplies were limited and customers were left waiting as in-store stocks of iPhones quickly sold out.

Apple sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones this past weekend, a million more than were sold during opening weekend in 2013 when the iPhone 5S and 5C went on sale, and double the number of iPhone 5 handsets sold in the first weekend in 2012.  Despite having more devices on hand than ever before, many stores reported selling out of their stock, with waits of more than a month for the iPhone 6 Plus reported for many markets.  With demand for the iPhone at all-time high levels it is clear that Apple will have a blockbuster quarter in the upcoming holiday shopping season, and is likely to report higher-than-usual sales in Q1 2015 once the iPhone begins to go on sale in China.

Strategy Analytics tracks Apple iPhone and other leading vendors by model in our  Handset Country Share Tracker service and by country and protocol in our Wireless Device Strategies service , which are available to clients. The reports are vital tools for tracking the share and health of leading vendors across the globe.


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.