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.

March 2, 2015 14:30 nmawston

According to our WDS (Devices) research service, global LTE mobile phone revenues surged +78% annually during Q4 2014. The 4G category is the fastest growing part of the mobile phone market today. Apple remained the world's largest 4G handset vendor by revenue, followed by Samsung and Sony. Chinese brands OPPO and Huawei jumped into the top-10 vendor list, with surging LTE volumes and higher ASPs. Our extensive report -- available to clients here -- provides quarterly global LTE handset shipments, wholesale (transfer) pricing, and revenue metrics for 20 major vendors from Q1 2011 to Q4 2014. The report is a vital tool for monitoring the financial health and tiered marketshare of leading LTE brands such as Nokia, HTC, BlackBerry, Samsung, Apple and others.


February 24, 2015 20:52 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) service, global LTE mobile phone shipments surged an impressive +120% YoY in Q4 2014. Growth was driven by intense demand for Apple's new 4G iPhone 6 phablets.

Meanwhile, the 3G TD-SCDMA category in China shrank dramatically, and the CDMA segment worldwide continued to fade. Lenovo retained first place in TD-SCDMA, but it is struggling in LTE.

In our extensive report -- available to clients here -- Strategy Analytics provides worldwide quarterly handset shipments by nine major 2G, 3G and 4G protocols, for the top 30 hardware vendors, from 2001 to Q4 2014.



February 17, 2015 12:48 nmawston

Mobile World Congress (MWC) takes place in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 1st to Thursday 5th March, 2015.

MWC is the world's most influential tradeshow for the mobile industry.

Our WDS (Devices) analysts will be on the showfloor -- click here if you would like to meet us at MWC.

These are the "top five" companies and themes we recommend visiting at the event next month:

1. Wearables -- The hottest topic in mobile right now. The booths from LG, Samsung and Alcatel will display multiple swartwatches across multiple price-bands. There is unlikely to be an "Apple Watch killer" at MWC, but it will be fascinating to see how next-gen features and apps are evolving (e.g. health, fitness, email alerts, etc.);

2. LTE / LTE-Advanced -- There will be hundreds of 4G / 4.5G phones on show. At the higher-end, Samsung's flagship "S6 / S6 Edge" with a funky screen and Android / Microsoft apps will be the model to watch. At the mid-range, check out Huawei or Microsoft (Nokia). At the entry-level, we expect Alcatel to showcase competitive designs;

3. Chinese / Indian Brands -- Many will focus on the fashionable brands of today, such as Lenovo and Xiaomi. But our research indicates their best days of growth are pretty much over. Instead, we recommend visiting the emerging brands of tomorrow, such as OPPO, Micromax or Vivo. Their LTE models are quietly building a solid fan base;

4. Ubuntu -- This UK-based, open-source smartphone platform is trying to break the stranglehold of Android, by offering low-cost software and innovative "scopes" (apps). So far, reaction to Ubuntu has been mixed. MWC will be a great chance to handle the actual, new Ubuntu models from device makers, Meizu China and BQ Spain;

5. Acer / Microsoft Smartphones -- Windows Phone holds a tiny 3% share of the global smartphone market today. Microsoft badly needs new hardware vendors (beyond the Nokia takeover) to adopt its ecosystem in 2015. Help may be coming in the form of Acer, which is desperate to shift from PCs and laptops to tablets and smartphones. We expect Acer to introduce one or more WP handsets at MWC. We expect pricing to be competitive.

Our device analysts will be presenting, meeting and researching at MWC 2015. Please check back here every day -- from Sunday 1st to Thursday 5th March -- to read our daily blogs from the showfloor in sunny Barcelona. 



January 26, 2015 10:45 nmawston

According to our WDS (Devices) service, USB Type-C connectors for mobile phones are set to emerge this year, from companies such as HTC and others. What are the advantages and disadvantages of Type-C USB connectivity for 4G handsets? Will USB Type-C phones takeoff? More analysis and forecasts can be viewed by clients here.


January 5, 2015 22:00 nmawston

Following the pre-show blog of what to expect by our WDS (Devices) analysts at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, USA, this is a summary of our "top three" findings for the mobile industry from the showfloor (pre-opening) on day one (Monday):

1. Sony SmartWatch 3: A stainless steel version of the pioneering smartwatch (first launched in 2012) will be introduced commercially worldwide during February 2015. Its timing is clearly intended to counter the rival Apple Watch, due in a window between February and May. However, whether consumers will warm to Smartwatch 3's slightly unattractive hardware design remains open to question;

2. Samsung Milk VR: A content-delivery system optimized for the company's Gear VR headset. It offers much-needed content for the virtual-reality device, such as videos. VR headsets remain niche, of course, but this will help to make them more attractive to early adopters worried about a lack of available services.

3. LG G Flex 2: A curved Android smartphone with Snapdragon 810 (an industry "first") to be launched commercially worldwide in H1 2015. The banana-like, curved formfactor (pictured below) will standout on store shelves and make handling it in the palm of the hand more tactile. One compromise, though, is that the 3000mAh battery is NOT removable, which may upset some consumers.

Back tomorrow for day 2!

CES 2015: LG G Flex 2 hands-on - Sexy curves 2


January 5, 2015 14:40 nmawston

According to our WDS (Devices) service, global Bluetooth headset sales will grow 14% during the next five years. Mono headset volumes are slipping in developed regions, but there are continued signs of growth in some emerging markets like China. The stereo Bluetooth headset category is rising steadily -- but competition from corded headphones remained intense this year. Despite fierce rivalry and market fragmentation, Plantronics, Jabra, Samsung and Motorola are still the "big 4" Bluetooth headset vendors that dominated the global industry in 2014. Our extensive report -- available to clients here -- forecasts worldwide Bluetooth headset sales by region, for mono and stereo, in-box and after-market, from 2001 to 2020. It also contains global Bluetooth headset marketshare for the world's 7 largest vendors in 2005 to 2020. The report goes on to forecast global Bluetooth speakerphone sales by region and attach-rate from 2008 to 2020.


November 10, 2014 17:03 nmawston

According to our WDS (Devices) service, LG, of South Korea, grew its global mobile phone shipments by +19% YoY in Q3 2014, the highest level for three years. Volumes were bolstered by solid demand for its premium- G3 and low-mid-tier L-series III products. Now that LG’s strategy of focusing on the G series flagships in North America and elsewhere is paying off, LG MUST turn its attention to the China and India markets where it continues to lag. Additional analysis of LG in the global and regional mobile phone market can be downloaded by clients here.


October 22, 2014 11:31 nmawston

Unconfirmed rumors are arising yet again in the mobile industry that Lenovo of China will soon try to purchase part or all of Blackberry in Canada. Such rumors have been around for 2+ years, of course -- but the sound of the drumbeat has recently gotten louder again.

Why would Lenovo be interested in Blackberry? Our WDS (Devices) service indicates there are at least three main reasons. They are:

1. Deeper distribution among global carriers and companies;
2. Good OS software for phones and cars (e.g. BB10);
3. Mature mobile security software.

Should Lenovo try to takeover Blackberry? In our view, it would be a risky move. First, the Canadian government may forbid a partial or full merger, due to security or economic reasons. Second, Lenovo today is already struggling to close the deal on its loss-making Motorola takeover. And third, Blackberry is showing signs of financial stabilization right now -- for the first time in years -- Blackberry executives may no longer want to rollover and just "give up".


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 10, 2014 13:50 nmawston

According to a new report from our WDS (Devices) research service, worldwide handset manufacturing and assembly continue to polarize around a handful of production locations, such as China, Vietnam and Brazil. Our extensive report -- published to clients here -- tracks cellular handset manufacturing (production) by 6 regions and 10 countries from 2001 to 2013. The report is a valuable tool for handset vendors, component makers, IPR owners, software developers, operators and other stakeholders to monitor global cellphone production by country.