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 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 21, 2014 03:04 woh

According to the recently published insight report for Motorola under our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, Motorola is clearing showing signs of rebounding in terms of global handset shipment units in Q3 2014, mainly due to the continued and robust sales of its affordable Moto G and Moto E handsets across Latin America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific. This is the Motorola's fifth straight quarter of sequential handset shipment growth. We estimate that Motorola is capturing 2% global handset market share during Q3 2014. Additional in-depth analysis on volume and value metrics can be checked 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.


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 2, 2014 18:55 nmawston

According to new research from our WDS (Devices) service, Blackberry is planning to launch a fresh wave of unconventional cellphone designs in 2015. The recent Passport model -- with its square formfactor and touch-keyboard -- is "step 1" in Blackberry's multi-step roadmap for visually differentiated 4G phone models next year. Blackberry knows it MUST "do something different" to stand out on retailer store shelves -- and making eyecatching hardware is one way of doing that. However, there is a very fine line between "quirky good" and "quirky bad" for cellphone design. At the moment, Blackberry Passport -- which we forecast will ship 1 million units worldwide in 2014 -- hovers right in the middle between those two boundaries of good and not-so-good. Blackberry still has not yet wowed us -- but the company is thinking along the right lines.

More analysis of Blackberry Passport and the vendor's device strategy for 2015 can be viewed by clients here.


October 1, 2014 12:27 nmawston

According to a new report from our WDS (Devices) research service, global LTE handset sales will grow a huge +500% between 2013 and 2020. From 2018 onwards, 4G will make up the majority of handsets sold worldwide. Our extensive report forecasts LTE handset sales from 2010 through 2020, including sales by type, category and mode. Specific categories include LTE-Advanced, LTE-Broadcast, LTE-Direct, VoLTE, LTE Cat 3 through 10, FD-LTE and TD-LTE. The report is a valuable tool for handset vendors, component makers, software developers, operators and other stakeholders to support their high-growth 4G planning activities.


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".


September 18, 2014 11:50 nmawston

At a recent event in London, UK, Motorola outlined its plans to re-attack the Western European cellphone market in the second half of 2014. The vendor is launching four new flagship products -- two phones, one Bluetooth headset and a smartwatch. However, some products, like the Moto 360, are far from perfect, and Motorola clearly has some way to go to fully recover in the European arena. Additional analysis of Motorola's European prospects in 2015 can be downloaded by clients of our WDS (Devices) reserach service here.


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.