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.

May 2, 2014 15:06 sbicheno

The latest research from Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service forecasts global refurbished handset and second-hand handset sales are set to increase by 8% in 2014.

We define refurbished handsets as handsets manufactured by legitimate vendors with a valid IMEI number that was previously owned and which has been professionally refurbished by either a third-party refurbishing company or factory-refurbished. Companies that refurbish handsets typically buy them directly from individuals and mobile operators or from retailers who have taken devices in trade towards new handsets.

A key driver in refurbished handset sales is the continuing growth of legitimate new handset sales worldwide, combined with shortening replacement cycles for these handsets in certain markets, which is creating huge volumes of no-longer-used handsets. Another driver is early-upgrade programs, such as Next from AT&T (in the US), which allow customers to purchase a new device as often as every 12 months.  Moreover, operators' desire in many countries to use refurbs as indirect subsidies for brand-new device purchases is an additional driving factor of the growth in this sector.


April 29, 2014 15:52 sbicheno

According to the latest research from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service, global mobile phone shipments grew 9 percent annually to reach 408 million units in the first quarter of 2014. Huawei was the star performer among the top five players, capturing 3 percent share and growing two times faster than the industry average.

Global mobile phone shipments grew 9 percent annually from 372.7 million units in Q1 2013 to 407.9 million in Q1 2014. Smartphones accounted for 7 in 10 of total mobile phone shipments during the quarter. The 9 percent growth rate of the overall mobile phone market is at its highest level since 2011, driven by healthier demand for 4G and 3G models across Asia, Africa and elsewhere.

Samsung grew 6 percent annually and shipped 113.0 million mobile phones worldwide, capturing 28 percent marketshare in Q1 2014. Samsung’s growth rate has slowed recently due to tougher competition from Chinese vendors, but Samsung maintains an impressive product portfolio and it is still shipping more mobile phones worldwide than Apple, LG and Nokia combined. Nokia shipped 47.0 million mobile phones worldwide for 12 percent share in Q1 2014. Nokia continues to face intense competition from Apple and dozens of Android vendors. New owner Microsoft will be looking to Nokia’s upgraded X phone portfolio to stabilize the downturn in the coming months.

Apple shipped 43.7 million iPhones worldwide in Q1 2014, up from 37.4 million a year earlier. Apple has closed the marketshare gap on Nokia to just one point, and Nokia will have to fight hard to stay ahead in the second half of this year. LG had a mixed quarter, capturing 4 percent share of the global mobile phone market. LG is performing well in Europe, but China and India remain major weak spots that the vendor still needs to address.

Other findings from the research include:

  • Huawei shipped 14.2 million mobile phones worldwide for 3 percent marketshare to remain the world’s fifth largest vendor in Q1 2014. The company’s annual growth rate is two times higher than the overall mobile phone industry average. Huawei’s 3G and 4G Android devices are proving relatively popular in Asia and North America;
  • A long tail of second-tier brands continues to build momentum beyond the established top five mobile phone brands. Key emerging challengers in mobile phones worldwide at the moment include TCL-Alcatel, Coolpad, Lenovo, Xiaomi and others. These are important players to monitor.

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q1 2014

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q1 '13

Q1 '14

Samsung

106.6

113.0

Nokia

61.9

47.0

Apple

37.4

43.7

LG

16.2

16.4

Huawei

11.6

14.2

Others

139.0

173.6

Total

372.7

407.9

 

 

 

Global Mobile Phone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q1 '13

Q1 '14

Samsung

28.6%

27.7%

Nokia

16.6%

11.5%

Apple

10.0%

10.7%

LG

4.3%

4.0%

Huawei

3.1%

3.5%

Others

37.3%

42.6%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

-1.4%

9.4%

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

 

The full report, Global Mobile Phone Shipments Reach 408 Million Units in Q1 2014, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/ck93xsu.


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.


April 2, 2014 12:01 sbicheno

After suffering a number of setbacks in the wake of the global economic crisis, the global handset market is set to maintain healthy growth in 2014.

Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service forecasts global handset sales will grow by 7% in 2014. Growth will mainly be driven by developing markets, with Asia Pacific, Central & Latin America and Africa Middle East forecast to the main contributors. The five largest country markets will be: China, India, United States, Brazil and Indonesia.

In many developing markets a significant proportion of the population do not yet own a mobile phone. You can now get good feature phones for very low prices and the entry price point for smartphones is getting lower by the day, so it’s easier than ever for people who earn little to get into the mobile phone market. 


February 26, 2014 17:55 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 3 (Wednesday):

Enabling technologies caught our eye on day three of MWC 2014. Qualcomm launched three new Snapdragon SoCs: the 610, 615 and 801, which are aimed at the high and premium smartphone price tiers, with the LTE support you expect from Qualcomm, but Mediatek is hot on its heels with the launch of the 64-bit MT6732 which also supports LTE but is targeted as the “super-mid” segment. Meanwhile Intel’s mobile push is showing no signs of slowing, with the launch of the Moorefiled and Merrifield 22nm SoCs.

The chip giants were also racing each other to release LTE-A Cat 6 news, with Qualcommm in partnership with Samsung, SK Telecom and KT conducting live demonstrations and Intel announcing its first Cat 6 modem.

The theme of human interface innovation that we observed at CES earlier this year has continued in Barcelona, with Synaptics and CrucialTec among the companies demonstrating fingerprint sensors, among other things.  Meanwhile Google’s Project Tango prototype smartphone maps your environment merely by tracking your movements.


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.


November 12, 2013 17:57 sbicheno

Global handset shipments reached 420 million units during the third quarter of 2013, up 8% annually. Asia, North America and Central & Latin America were the world's fastest-growing regions, with Samsung, Apple and LG driving volumes higher. Coolpad, Lenovo and Alcatel registered the highest global growth, as the rise of the Chinese vendors continued, but Samsung achieved the impressive landmark of becoming the leading handset vendor in all global regions for the first time. Subscribers to Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Device Strategies service can access the full breakdown of global handset shipments, split by vendor and region, here.


September 19, 2013 18:19 sbicheno

The feeling prior to Apple's recent launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c was that the tech giant needed to introduce a cheaper phone if it wanted to exploit the rapid growth in smartphone shipments in developing markets and keep growing its global handset market share. But Apple decided instead to launch a colourful iPhone variant that is slightly cheaper than the top-of-the-range 5s, but still a premium-priced product.

The big question of how, if at all, this unprecedented fork in the iPhone product roadmap will affect overall apple handset shipments is addressed by a newly-published Strategy Analytics report: Global Handset Shipments Forecast by Vendor by Quarter: 2000 to 2014. In this report we forecast the quarterly global handset shipments of the top 11 vendors through to the end of 2014. Subscribers of our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service can use the report to anticipate fluctuations in the global handset market and inform their near-term planning.