Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

March 30, 2012 13:42 sbicheno

During its latest quarterly earnings announcement, BlackBerry-maker RIM announced it is refocusing on its core competence of the enterprise market (but not fully exiting the consumer segment, according to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service). New CEO Thorsten Heins also revealed he is in the process of a major review of strategic opportunities for RIM and was careful to take nothing -- even the sale of the company -- off the table. Investors who have seen RIM’s share price decline by around 75% over the past year may be grateful for the opportunity to sell at any kind of premium, but it’s not at all clear who might buy or merge if that becomes an option.

Established mobile device players, such as Apple, Samsung and HTC, are unlikely to perceive sufficient benefit to their business to justify an outlay of, say, US$10 billion for RIM. There is a precedent for the acquisition of a handset-maker by an ecosystem-player in the form of Google and Motorola. The other major player in this area is Microsoft, but it already has a very close handset partner in the form of Nokia. Nascent platform players in the form of Amazon and Facebook might also be interested, but acquiring RIM would represent a massive and risky lurch in a direction away from their core competencies.

A third category of business that may consider buying or merging with RIM would be PC players. Again, there is a precedent in the form of HP’s acquisition of Palm and, while HP failed to make it work, the underlying rationale behind the move remains sound. The focus for consumer technology is moving from the PC to the mobile device and if you’re not a mobile player you risk slow growth in a mature market. Having been burnt once, HP will be reluctant to try such a move again, and not many others have the size to pull off such a move. Lenovo is sensibly looking to establish itself as a mobile player in China before expanding internationally, while Acer bought E-Ten four years ago.

Therefore, one front-runner arguably has to be Dell. Not only has it consistently tried, but struggled, to make an impact in the smartphone market, but it has recently undergone a strategic refocus on enterprise, not wholly dissimilar to that announced by Heins. We identify at least 3 potential benefits for a “DellBerry” merger. First, Dell would get access to RIM’s global distribution networks and established mobile operator relationships. Dell’s limited mobile operator distribution has long been a weak point. Second, the combined companies could provide an enterprise device and infrastructure package that provides a leading solution for organisations alarmed by the growth of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and looking for a more secure alternative. And third, RIM could help pave the way for Dell into the emerging LTE 4G smartphone boom, representing a timely inflexion point for growth. But, of course, all that is easier said than done -- just ask HP. Combining RIM and Dell culturally and technically would be challenging, but it could be done if the appetite for it exists among top executives.


March 29, 2012 00:43 lsui

Nokia today announced CDMA version of the Lumia phone, 800c exclusively for China market to be available in Q2 2012. It features a 3.7-inch touchscreen and 1.4G processor with full retail price of RMB 3,599 (US$ 571). It is reportedly the cost-effectively 610c will be following in next few months.

According to our Handset Country Share Tracker (CST) service, Nokia has been suffering from the faster-than-expected Symbian waning in China, its smartphone marketshare dropped to 18% in Q4 2011 from 54% at the beginning of the year. Will CDMA Lumia phones help Nokia regain the lost momentum in China, one of the largest smartphones worldwide?

First, its decent ID design and Nokia brand legacy would help Nokia switch some of previous loyal Symbian users towards Lumia phones; secondly, Nokia reentering CDMA market by working with China Telecom will diversify its product portfolio and enrich product offerings; thirdly, localized applications and initiatives to build up local developer community for Windows phone OS indicate Nokia and Windows ambitious to further build foothold in this fast-growing market.

However, the premium pricing and mid-tier hardware features would hinder demand from price-sensitive buyers, especially young people who are the main targeting segment of China Telecom TianyiFlyyoung sub brand. Moreover, the newly availability of CDMA iPhone at China Telecom would put Lumia phone into neck-to-neck competition with the star model in premium band. I would doubt China Telecom would be able to provide attractive subsidies to Nokia Lumia phones given the financial burden from the commitment on CDMA iPhones. Final, it may takes time to educate Chinese people to use Windows phone OS.

It remains to be seen how Windows Lumia phone will help Nokia regain the losing ground in China smartphone market. If I were a China Telecom subscriber, think twice before going for it.

- Linda Sui

March 21, 2012 21:00 David Kerr


In Q4 2011, global handset ASP went through the ceiling reaching $159, the highest level since 2004. This was a 14% rise compared to last year. It was the iPhone effect as Apple shipped 37 million iPhones, taking more than 30% of the market revenue. But this time it was not just Apple raising Average Sales Prices. Major vendors are constantly concentrating on high value smartphones thus increasing sales prices across the globe. Nokia, Samsung, LG and Motorola all experienced a rise in ASP during the fourth quarter.


This report provides the details of handset vendor ASP and revenue share of the leading brands such as Nokia, Samsung and Apple in the regions of North America, Central & Latin America, Western Europe, Central & Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa Middle East for Q4 2011.


North America continues to see a rise in ASP above $300 for the first time since we?ve been tracking the market and only a few years ago an average $130~150 market.


? Apple took an unbelievable 50% share of the market revenue in Q4 followed by Samsung and Motorola in third place as HTC collapsed. Western Europe Handset Average Selling Price also rose quickly as the new iPhone 4S was shipped in massive volumes.


? Apple once more took the top place in terms of revenues while Samsung dropped to second place. All major vendors save HTC saw an increase in ASP as smartphones continued to dominate the market.

How rapidly did Asia Pacific revenues grow in Q4?
How far below 20% di Nokia share fall in AP?
How did HTC revenue fare in NA? W. Europe? Asia?
How strong are tier two vendors performing ?
How did RIM?s revenue share and ASP trend in each region?

Client reading






March 16, 2012 16:38 David Kerr

Global touchphone shipments grew an impressive 70% during 2011. Samsung maintained the no.1 position due to healthy demand for its popular Galaxy portfolio. Apple jumped into second place, while Huawei and ZTE of China are also becoming important buyers of touchscreens.

Strategy Analytics tracks global touchphone shipments and vendor market share by quarter from 2007 and has seen touchphone share of total volume grow from just 2% in 2007.

The top 3 vendors account for almost 2/3 of touch volumes but how quickly will Motorola, Sony (Ericsson) and HTC be caught by both established Chinese brands and the next wave of Android vendors?

Key questions answered in this forecast include:

? How many touchphones were sold in the latest quarter?

? What is the forecast for touchphone volume in 2016?

? How well has Nokia rebounded in touch with its Lumia products?

? Which vendors shipped more than 10M touchphones in q4, 2011?


Client Reading: http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=reportabstractviewer&a0=7207




March 9, 2012 21:37 David Kerr

View the presentation slides from Strategy Analytics Breakfast Presentation at MWC 2012.

What are the opportunities and obstacles for the mobile industry as it expands to address a multitude of connected devices including handsets, tablets, gaming devices, connected TVs, and associated applications?

How can the economics work across the value chain and who will manage the future connected device experience?

What roles will operators and their pricing play?

Client Reading

March 6, 2012 19:36 David Kerr


Strategy Analytics team presented our latest research on tablets, connected devices and apps at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week. One hot topic was whether the great success of tablets was cannibalizing the PC market or notebooks or ultra books. So far, we see little evidence of this with tablets being largely additive. SA expects the computing opportunity to exceed 700M units annually by 2015?. Not counting the much larger market for smartphones of course. 



Client Reading

March 5, 2012 16:54 David Kerr

Handset shipments in the United States reached a record high in 2011. Healthy demand for 3G phones and prepaid subscriptions drove growth. A refreshed iPhone 4S, as well as discounted previous-generation models, proved a big boost to Apple in the fourth quarter, as it took the lead at three major operators.

Samsung remained the number one handset vendor in the USA in Q4 2011, as its Galaxy lineup continued to resonate with consumers across all carriers. Sequentially, however, Apple took a bite out of Samsung's market share. Samsung's did however grow its share at T-Mobile while the introduction of the iPhone at Sprint had a significant negative impact.

This report tracks quarterly handset vendor market share at all major carriers in the USA, including Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T Mobile, from Q1 2009 through Q4 2011.

Key questions for the US handset market answered in this report include:

How did Apple?s US market share trend at Sprint? AT&T? Verizon Wireless? Sprint?

Which operators performed best for LG as its total US share dropped just below 14%?

How close are HTC and Motorola in terms of volume at Verizon Wireless?

Which vendor suffered most from the introduction of the iPhone at Sprint?

Client reading: http://tinyurl.com/87yhgf2

March 2, 2012 17:30 David Kerr

Fourth quarter 2011 UK handset shipments were up 7% year-on-year thanks in large part to the delayed launch of the iPhone 4S, which went on sale in the UK in the middle of October.

This was joined by major launches from Nokia and HTC in late 2011, combining with the holiday season to give cautious consumers a renewed incentive to spend.

Despite the lack of a major launch for this quarter, Samsung sales held-up well and it remained the best-selling UK handset vendor.

This report tracks handset vendor shipments and market share at the five major UK carriers during Q4 2011: O2, Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile and Three.

Key questions for the UK handset market answered in this report include:

? How did Apple?s UK market share change post launch of the 4S?

? Which vendors are benefiting from the slipping share of LG and Motorola?

? How well did Nokia perform in slowing the market share erosion in the UK?

? What share does Samsung command at T-Mobile? Vodafone?

Client reading: http://www.strategyanalytics.com/default.aspx?mod=reportformatsviewer&a0=7150