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 22, 2015 07:53 PLin

Browsing the Internet is more important than ever to handset users, developers and operators. There is not just a battle for operating systems taking place, but also a war for Web browsers.

Our latest report, Global Handset Browser Marketshare in 2014 -- from our  Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service-- tracks global mobile browser marketshare for all mobile phones shipped worldwide during 2014, including Opera, Safari, Chrome and others.

The report is available to download here to clients.


January 9, 2015 06:25 woh

This year's CES trade show in Las Vegas is coming to an end, with many stories and 'wow' experiences created across a lot of displayed consumer, automobile and mobile products. Our analysts from WDS (Wireless Device Strategies) research service are in Las Vegas to watch and experience those thrilling products the whole this week.

You can read our daily blogs from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 along with pre-blog.

These are three key trends and important device models that our analysts have identified at the event on Day 4 (Thurs):

1. Various Operating Systems for Smartwatches to be Showcased during CES 2015: While the global smartphone industry is dominated by two major OS's, Android (from Google) and iOS (from Apple), which many people dub them as 'two-horses races', it is likely that we are going to see some more various operating systems in global smartwatch industry, on top of Google (Android Wear) and Apple. Tizen, on which Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear S from Samsung are built upon, is already capturing the number one market share in global smartwatch shiments in Q3 2014, and Samsung is expected to enlarge its Tizen ecosystem for their wearable strategy. The second cadidate is WebOS on which LG is building its 'G Watch R' device customized for its smart car partner, Audi. Undoubtedly LG is one of strong champions of Android Wear based smartwatch, so it is still not clear whether LG will sell WebOS-based versions to the general public. The third candidate is a customized Alcatel own proprietary OS implemented on their Alcatel One Touch Watch. Strikingly, this Watch product is speculated to be compatible with all the major smartphone OS's such as Android, iOS and WindowsPhone. Android device vendors are using smartwatches as a new inflexion point to try to break free from the shackles of Android. 

2. Dozens of Price-Friendlier LTE-Capable Smartphones to Flood the Hall: 4G LTE-capable smartphones have been regarded expensive until the end of 2014, but we are seeing more and more OEM's displaying price-friendlier 4G LTE smartphones, priced below US$400 to $450 retail, at CES 2015 from Samsung, Huawei, TCL-Alcatel, Lenovo, ZTE, ASUS and Acer. A growing number of users from developed to developing countries don't want to spend much money to buy 4G smartphones, but as they are hungry for faster LTE services, device vendors are targeting to tap into this market as another high-revenue generating chance. Samsung didn't launch the new smartphones this year at CES 2015, but is showcasing less priced Galaxy A3 and A5 than premium Galaxy S and Note series, and TCL-Alcatel is unveiling its new lower-priced 4G smartphones dubbed Pixi 3 (4.0/4.5/5.0 inch) and the new line of POP 2 line-ups in three different sizes. Huawei displays Budget LTE Handset Honor 4X in the CES 2015 with 3,000 mAh battery. Also Lenovo is unveiling an affordable LTE smartphone, A6000 at CES 2015, which will be available in India later this month. ZTE's new phablet, Grand X Max +, will be hitting the US market at US$199, and two Taiwanese vendors, ASUS and Acer, are unveiling mid-priced 4G smartphones, ZenFone 2 and Liquid Z410.

3. Struggling, but still Powerful Vendors: Blackberry's showcased Passport looks good with the stonger support of Android applications, and this vendor is gearing towards IoT and BBM monetization. HTC is quite bullish about 2015, and is expected to focus on flagship leadership, Desire family, software, services and connected productsMicrosoft is segmenting their target markets into three areas, from high-end to affordable to first, and they are ready to release the appealing products for each segment. Sony didn't bring its new Xperia Z4 to the general publich here, but as this Japanese vendor is focusing on smart home during CES 2015, we believe that Sony will try to gain more traction in mobile space with upcoming Xperia Z4 and the  SmartWatch 3 launched at CES 2015.

This has been the daily blogs from CES 2015, and we look forward to seeing you again at CES 2016 in wonderful Las Vegas.

 


January 8, 2015 02:38 woh

It's already halfway through the official four-day schedule of CES 2015 trade show in Las Vegas, the US, and several analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service are pounding the floors across the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and adjacent hotels to check out the new trends and products, and also to directly have face-to-face meetings with many clients/prospects/journalists.

Our earlier blogs from Day 1 and Day 2 can be viewed here and here.

These are three key trends and appealing handset / smartphone models we have identified at the event on Day 3 (Weds):

1. Smartphones and Smartwatches to Control the Smart Home,  Smart Car, IoT and Smart Everything: Smart Home and Smart Car are getting in force this year at CES 2015, with many concepts and products introduced by consumer electronics companies such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic and TCL, and car makers such as BMW, Toyota, Audi, Hyundai and Volkswagen,  and chipset companies such as Qualcomm, nVidia and Intel. By manipulating a Samsung Gear S and LG G Watch R, drivers can park their cars automatically. Also smartphones can remotely send several wireless commands to smart home appliances such as washers, robot cleaners and refrigerators to control and monitor them. As machine-to-machine connectivity is becoming important in Smart Home, Car and IoT spaces, smartphones and smartwatches will play a crucial role to centrally manage these complicated systems. The smartphone is your "hub".

2. Microsoft to Revive the Feature Phone with Nokia Brand: It is very uncommon to see feature phones during the trade shows recently, but Microsoft unveiled the Nokia 215, which is known as one of the most affordable Internet-ready, entry-level phones yet. Nokia 215, a smartphone-like feature phone with popular apps and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Opera mini and Bing pre-installed, pictured below, is offering a battery time of up to almost a month in standby mode after just one charging session. Available only for US$29 retail, Microsoft will be sure to target emerging market such as APAC and African countries in which many people are still eager for even 2G connecitivity.  Microsoft is not giving up on the feature phone segment and believe that there are three categories of customers to target with this kind of trusted, ultra-affordable feature phone: 1) 1st phone buyers, 2) feature phone loyalists and 3) people looking for a second phone that is smaller and less valuable.

3. Dual-Edge Bending Display To Be Available Soon: LG Display, one of the biggest smartphone display-panel providers, is showing its Active Bending display for selective customers in Las Vegas. This new prototype has a 6.0 inch Plastic OLED display that folds over the "two-sided" edges of the device, which is different from the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge with a one-sided bent display. It is speculated that Samsung is working on a dual-edge, curved Galaxy S6 at the moment, and it woudn't be a suprise if Xiaomi and LG would also release their new flagships equipped with this display in limited volume in 2015.  The question is, how smartphone vendors are making the users want this innovative device, as there are arguably few practical or appealing users cases so far. So, if more useful use-cases are to be created with this sort of dual-edged display, we believe that this segment can create a huge market opportunity as consumers remain hungry for technological differentiators.

Please check back here, every day, to our blog page, for further blogs and daily updates from Las Vegas.


January 7, 2015 08:24 woh

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service are at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) trade show this week in Las Vegas, US.

Our earlier CES 2015 pre-blog and blog for Day 1 can be viewed here and here.

These are three key trends and appealing smartphone models we have identified at the event on Day 2 (Tues):

 1. ZTE Grand X Max + : Being an upgraded version of Grand X Max, which was available through Cricket Wireless since Q4 2014 in the US, it is featuring a 6 inch HD display, 13-megapixel camera, 5-megapixel wide-angle front-camera and 3,200mAh battery. The difference between the two similar-looking devices is that X Max + supports 4G LTE, while its predecessor only supports 3G WCDMA.  ZTE is gaining much traction in the prepaid market in the US with affordably-priced, but larger-screened phablets in 2014, and the launch of the X Max + will help this Chinese vendor grab more market share in a tougher US handset market, prepaid segment in particular, during 2015.

2. TCL-Alcatel's new Smartwatch, the 'OneTouch Watch':  A Chinese-French device vendor, TCL-Alcatel, who is very strong in the lower-priced handset segment, is knocking on the doors of the smartwatch market with its price-competitive 'OneTouch Watch' series, pictured below. The first 'Watch' products will be available globally in March 2015 at a decent price, of less than US$200 retail, while providing strong features such as 2 days of intense usage / 5 days of stand-by battery life, full size USB charger, and most typical smartwatch sensors. Among all other features, the most noticeable one is that 'Watch' will pair with major OSs such as  iOS, Android and even WindowsPhone.

3. Smartphones with Intel Processors: Lenovo and ASUS -- the world's 6th and 18th largest smartphone vendors in Q3 2014 -- are unveiling new smartphones based on Intel mobile chipsets. Lenovo's P90 is a first smartphone with the 64-bit Intel Atom processor, Z3560,  and it is supporting LTE-A (CAT 6) with Intel's modem. Lenovo is mainly targeting business / prosumer clients with its LTE-A connectivity and a huge 4,000mAh battery. ASUS, a rising Taiwanese smartphone specialist, is also introducing Zenfone 2, which is equipped with the 64-bit Intel processor, Z3580, an Intel LTE-A modem, and the world's first 4GB DRAM. Intel, the long-lived king of desktop and laptop segments, is strenghtening its technical expertise in the mobile space, focusing on cutting-edge 64-bit architecture and LTE-A technology. It is good news for Intel.

Please check back here, every day, to our blog page, for further blogs and daily updates from CES 2015.


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.


January 2, 2015 03:21 woh

Analysts from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) research service will be attending CES 2015, one of the most important mobile and electronic trade shows, in sunny Las Vegas, US, next week, from Tuesday 6th to Friday 9th January, 2015.

Just like the last several years, mobile devices, such as smartphones and smartwatches, will be an integral part of the event. We will be blogging live from the show every day.

Here are five mega trends across the mobile device world we expect to see at CES 2015 and recommend clients / journalists focus on:

1. Wearables will be huge. More practical, diverse and fashionable devices across smartwatches, smartglasses, VR headsets and fitness bands will be there to attract a lot of attentions. You will experience not only diversified devices themselves but also empowered solutions, such as health/fitness, gaming and payment. Companies to visit will include Samsung, Sony, LG, ZTE, Huawei, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Intel, Garmin, Oculus and FitBit. Also don't forget to check if traditional wrist-watch makers such as Tag Heuer would exhibit their first smartwatches in Las Vegas.

2. Curved smartphones will fascinate the world again with the 2nd round of products such as LG G Flex 2. They are the first step on the industry's road to rollable touchscreens. Pioneering companies to visit will include Samsung and LG.

3. 2K Display will be widespread. A growing number of vendors are adopting QHD display for their flagship products. Samsung and LG will be sure to exhibit their flagships with 2K display during CES 2015, and you may be seeing more 2K products from ZTE, Sony, Xiaomi, Lenovo and others.

4. LTE-A Capable handsets will be hot. Not only Samsung and LG, but more and more vendors such as Huawei, ZTE, HTC, TCL-Alcatel and Microsoft will be likely to display their newest flagships supporting CAT 6 and above. You might want to stop by Samsung booth to test 450Mbps downlink rate (CAT 9) with the new Samsung flagship Galaxy Note 4 S-LTE.

5. Budget smartphones priced between $50 and $150 in retail will be occupying the exhibition halls during the show. Most of these lower-priced phones will be coming with appealing specifications and services, running on Android One, Tizen, Windowsphone and Firefox. They are targeting the growing emerging markets such as India, Brazil, Indonesia and of course, China. Major device makers that you have to prioritize will be Samsung, TCL-Alcatel, Huawei, ASUS, Lenovo and a slew of local vendors from China and elsewhere.

Please check back here, every day, to our blog pages next week for further blogs and daily updates from CES 2015.





December 26, 2014 03:58 woh

According to our recently published report, Handset Sales Forecast by Type: Phablet, Superphone, Smartphone, Feature Phone & Basic Phone, under our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, it is estimated that Standard Phablet, defined as handset with display size between 5.00 and 5.99 inch, is accounting for a quarter of global handset sales in 2015. The growing number of appealing data-centric services such as gaming, navigation, video-calls, watching movies and soap operas, coupled with the lowering bigger-sized phablet prices are seen as the primary factors of the popularity of the handsets over 5 inch.

This extensive 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. From this report on, we have a split forecast for 5.00 to 5.49 inch, and 5.50 to 5.99 inch standard phablet market. This report can be viewable to our paid clients at this link.


December 17, 2014 02:03 woh

According to our recently published forecast report, Global Handset Shipments Forecast by Vendor by Quarter: 2000 to 2015, published by WDS (Wireless Device Strategies) service, Samsung is expected to take the lead in global handset market in 2015 in terms of handsets shipment, followed by Apple, Microsoft (Nokia), Xiaomi and LG. We forecast TOTAL global handset shipments -- legitimate plus grey -- to exceed 2.0 billion units in 2015. 

The report, available to our paid clients, also forecasts global smartphone shipments by vendor by quarter, global feature phone shipment by vendor by quarter, and the quarterly grey handset market through 2015. This is a valuable tool for component makers, software developers, operators and other stakeholders to support their planning activities.


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.