Wireless Smartphone Strategies

The industry’s most comprehensive set of critical market statistics and qualitative analysis, tracking and reporting on smartphones.

April 2, 2015 05:33 woh

According to the recently-posted report, 'Is Google Losing Its Grip on the Android Ecosystem(s)?', cross-published across our Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) and Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) services, we are seeing some clear signs of Google's robust Android Ecosystem being challenged by many companies, either competitors or partners, from Microsoft, to Chinese guys such as Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi, to Cyanogen, to Yandex, to Micromax, its Android One partner.

This extensive insight report, available to our paid WSS clients, is analyzing the current status quo in regards to the tug of war between Google and Anti-Google competitors, from set makers, platform providers, service providers and countries perspectives.


March 27, 2015 06:25 lsui

According to the latest report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global online channels will make up a significant 19% of all smartphone sales in 2015, of which pure e-retailers will contribute 8% of total global smartphone volume share. China and India lead the pack with the highest e-retailer share.

Jingdong is the largest e-retailer in China. In India, Flipkart remains the largest player.

Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) clients can please click here to access the full report.


March 20, 2015 10:00 PLin

Breaking news today -- March 20th, 2015 -- that Peter Chou, the CEO of HTC in Taiwan, has stepped down from his position. He is replaced immediately by Cher Wang, co-founder and chairwoman of the smartphone maker. Peter Chou will remain at HTC, in a face-saving move as the head of its Future Development Lab, to lead new product innovation.

This executive transition today is, of course, NOT a surprise. It really should have happened two years ago when HTC's global handset marketshare had already halved and the downward spiral for the company was in full swing. HTC’s global smartphone shipments fell -2% YoY in Q4 2014 -- in a total market growing +31% YoY. This was the vendor’s twelfth straight quarter of global volume declines and it continues to lose traction in the valuable North America and China regions.

Where does HTC go from here?

To recover growth in 2015, HTC plans to launch more mid-range smartphone models in key territories like Taiwan, and to expand into tablets and wearables. However, a more diversified product portfolio will take resources and time to develop -- time and money that HTC simply does not have in its current weakened state.

We recommend HTC's best option is to find a white-knight merger partner. One that can bring stability and investment for R&D, marketing and enhanced retail distribution. Possible merger partners for HTC could include Microsoft (scale), Huawei (ambition) or Xiaomi (internationalizing).

For more analysis and forecasting of HTC and its future outlook, please visit our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service here.


March 13, 2015 05:58 PLin

According to the latest report ‘Global Smartphone Revenues, ASPs & Price-Tier Forecasts: 2003 to 2020from our  Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service, global smartphone revenues will grow +10% over the next 6 years. Increasing smartphone volumes will be partly offset by decreasing ASPs, as vendors and operators penetrate deeper into the price-sensitive prepaid market. Falling component prices will enable sales expansion in lower price-tiers, particularly for emerging markets like Asia and Latin America. Meanwhile, Apple and others will continue to target the subsidy-led premium category.    

Our report tracks global smartphone sales volume, revenues and wholesale ASPs by six major regions and eight price-tiers from 2003 to 2020. Extensive analysis of the premium, high, mid, entry and ultra-low price-bands is included. The report is a valuable tool for device vendors, operators, component manufacturers, software developers, financial analysts, car makers, and other stakeholders who want to measure the smartphone market by value and benchmark their pricing strategies. The report is available here to our paid clients.


March 13, 2015 05:36 PLin

According to the latest report ‘BRIC Country Smartphone Revenues, ASPs & Price-Tier Forecasts: 2009 to 2020from our  Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service, mobile smartphone revenues will grow 8% worldwide during 2015. At the same time, the four BRIC countries combined -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- will all grow at rates well above the global average. Led by China, BRIC countries will generate 36% of global smartphone revenues in 2015. Among the four countries in 2015, China will experience the highest revenue growth rate. Meanwhile, we forecast China will remain the largest smartphone market in revenues in 2015.   

Our report tracks BRIC country smartphone sales volume, wholesale revenues, and wholesale ASPs across eight price-tiers from 2009 to 2020. Extensive analysis of the premium, high, mid, entry and ultra-low price-bands is included. The report is a valuable tool for device vendors, operators, component manufacturers, software developers, financial analysts, car makers, and other stakeholders who want to measure each country's mobile phone market by value and benchmark their pricing strategies. The report is available here to our paid clients.


February 26, 2015 12:02 nmawston

According to the latest research from our WSS (Smartphones) research service, global smartphone operating profit reached US$21 billion in Q4 2014. The Android operating system captured a record-low 11 percent global smartphone profit share during the quarter. In contrast, Apple iOS took a record-high 89 percent profit share.

Global smartphone operating profit grew 31 percent annually from US$16.2 billion in Q4 2013 to US$21.2 billion in Q4 2014. Android hardware vendors combined took a record-low 11 percent global smartphone profit share, down from 29 percent one year ago. In contrast, Apple iOS captured a record-high 89 percent profit share, up from 71 percent in Q4 2013.

Apple iOS continues to tighten its grip on the smartphone industry. Apple’s strategy of premium products and lean logistics is proving hugely profitable. Android’s weak profitability for its hardware partners will worry Google. If major smartphone manufacturers, like Samsung or Huawei, cannot make decent profits from the Android ecosystem, they may be tempted in the future to look at alternative platforms such as Microsoft, Tizen or Firefox. 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Operating Profit Share in Q4 2014  [1]

Global Smartphone Operating Profit (US$, Billions)

Q4 2013

Q4 2014

Apple iOS

11.4

18.8

Android

4.8

2.4

Microsoft

0.0

0.0

BlackBerry

0.0

0.0

Others

0.0

0.0

Total

16.2

21.2

     

Global Smartphone Operating Profit Share (%)

Q4 2013

Q4 2014

Apple iOS

70.5%

88.7%

Android

29.5%

11.3%

Microsoft

0.0%

0.0%

BlackBerry

0.0%

0.0%

Others

0.0%

0.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

     

Total Growth Year-over-Year  %

~

31.4%

     

Source: Strategy Analytics

   

 



[1]  Numbers are rounded. Data refers to realized operating profit for smartphone hardware vendors aggregated by operating system.


February 26, 2015 00:08 nmawston

According to the latest research from our WSS (Smartphones) research service, global smartphone users reached 2 billion for the first time ever in 2014.

One in three of the world’s population now owns a smartphone.

Global smartphone users grew 37 percent from 1.5 billion in 2013 to reach 2.1 billion users in 2014. This is the first time worldwide smartphone users have surpassed the two-billion level. We forecast global smartphone users to increase a further 22 percent to 2.5 billion in 2015. An impressive 35 percent of the world’s 7.2 billion population will own a smartphone by the end of 2015, up from 29 percent in 2014.

Well over 2 billion people worldwide own a smartphone today. The smartphone has become one of the most widespread electronic devices of all time. The smartphone is ubiquitous and it is rapidly evolving to become a central hub for controlling consumers’ daily lives in the home, car and office of the future.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Users in 2013 to 2015  [1]

Global Smartphone Users (Billions of Units)

2013

2014

2015

Total Smartphone Users

1.5

2.1

2.5

Total Population

7.0

7.1

7.2

Total Smartphone Users as % of Total Population

22%

29%

35%

       

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

 

 



[1]  Numbers are rounded. A “user” is defined as a person who owns and uses one or more active smartphones.


February 11, 2015 06:30 nmawston

As expected a few months ago, the world's first Ubuntu smartphone will finally be launched commercially today, Wednesday 11th February, 2015. Right before Mobile World Congress (MWC), the cellphone industry's biggest annual tradeshow.

The device in question is a repurposed BQ E4.5 mid-tier Android model -- but with Android software replaced by Ubuntu.

The new device will be distributed online (in Western Europe only) in a "flash sale" today, followed by three more such events by the close of February.

The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition has a 4.5-inch screen, 1GB RAM and dual-SIM connectivity. The hardware specs are good, but not groundbreaking, at that midrange pricepoint.

There will also, eventually, be a Meizu MX4 Ubuntu model launched in China in H1 2015. Meizu is currently the 11th largest smartphone vendor in China.

For the apps ecosystem, Ubuntu does not yet have a recognized apps store, but it does offer "scopes" that are single-screen windowpanes / homescreens on the handset for apps and services. For example, there is a "scope" (app) for Web-browsing, social networking, and so forth.   

BQ is a top-10 smartphone vendor in Spain. Like Wiko France, Xiaomi China and Micromax India, BQ Spain is a "local" smartphone vendor that is attempting to gain marketshare through local apps, local distribution and good, old-fashioned hardware price-cuts. So far, BQ has grown relatively well at home in Spain, but its international presence outside the country is tiny.

It is good to see innovation from Ubuntu, but BQ's (and Meizu's) new device will NOT worry the likes of Apple and Samsung. The BQ Ubuntu phone has limited global distribution, a limited apps ecosystem, limited developer support and limited hardware-vendor support. Our WSS (Smartphones) service forecasts Ubuntu to account for just 1% share of all smartphone shipments worldwide in 2015. Ubuntu will struggle to make headway in the crowded smartphone market.


February 6, 2015 08:15 PLin

According to the latest report ‘Global Smartphone OS Market Share by Region: Q4 2014from our  Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service, global smartphone shipments grew to record levels in Q4 2014. Android registered its first ever year-on-year decline in marketshare, while Apple gained traction on a quarterly basis, driven by strong demand for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Microsoft and Blackberry drifted down annually. Firefox continued its gradual uptick as the emerging platform targeted major countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Our extensive report contains global smartphone shipments by operating system by quarter from 2009 to Q4 2014. The report is valuable for mobile stakeholders who want to size the huge market for smartphones and operating system market share. The report is available here to our paid clients.


January 29, 2015 11:24 nmawston

According to the latest research from our WSS (Smartphones) service, global smartphone shipments grew 30 percent annually to reach a record 1.3 billion units in 2014. Android accounted for 81 percent of all smartphones last year and shipped over 1 billion units worldwide for the first time ever.

Global smartphone shipments grew 30 percent annually from 1.0 billion units in 2013 to a record 1.3 billion in 2014. Emerging markets, such as China and Indonesia, drove the industry’s growth last year and they will continue to do so through 2015.

Android shipped 1.0 billion smartphones worldwide in 2014, rising from 0.8 billion units in 2013. Android has become the first ever smartphone operating system to ship more than 1 billion units in a single year. Android accounted for a huge 81 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in 2014, and Apple iOS remains its only serious threat for now. Apple iOS shipped 192.7 million smartphones worldwide in 2014, capturing 15 percent share. The new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models have recently re-energized Apple’s growth and their bigger-screen designs have swiftly gained traction among wealthy consumers.

Microsoft shipped 38.8 million smartphones for a relatively niche 3 percent marketshare worldwide in 2014. Microsoft’s Windows platform dominates PCs, but it continues to struggle in smartphones. Microsoft still lacks multiple major hardware partners to build its phones, while Microsoft’s retail presence in important countries like China remains tiny.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2014  [1]

Global Smartphone OS Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Android

227.3

780.8

291.7

1042.7

Apple iOS

51.0

153.4

74.5

192.7

Microsoft

9.6

35.8

11.3

38.8

Others

2.3

20.0

2.6

9.3

Total

290.2

990.0

380.1

1283.5

         

Global Smartphone OS Marketshare (%)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Android

78.3%

78.9%

76.7%

81.2%

Apple iOS

17.6%

15.5%

19.6%

15.0%

Microsoft

3.3%

3.6%

3.0%

3.0%

Others

0.8%

2.0%

0.7%

0.7%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth: Year-over-Year (%)

33.7%

41.4%

31.0%

29.6%

         

Source: Strategy Analytics

       

 



[1]  Numbers are rounded.