Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

July 31, 2012 12:24 nmawston

According to the latest research from our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service, Nokia made big gains in LTE handset marketshare in the United States during the second quarter of 2012. Nokia is now a top-five 4G player in North America. Its Lumia 900 LTE model went live at AT&T in April 2012 and that has been the main driver of growth. This is encouraging news for Nokia and Microsoft, but there is of course a long way to go to fully recover their battered brands.

More analysis of Nokia, LTE and the United States market can be downloaded by clients here. Or email Neil Mawston at NMawston@strategyanalytics.com.


July 31, 2012 11:48 nmawston

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Blackberry’s smartphone market share in the United States has dropped from 11 percent to 7 percent over the past year. The firm has reached its lowest marketshare level in recent history. Blackberry dominated and owned half the US market just three years ago.

What went wrong? Well, consumers, businesses and operators have been frustrated by Blackberry’s weak toushcreen smartphone portfolio for years. Its phones' displays are still way too small and too dull for the Internet era (they were fine for the basic-messaging era). Repeated delays to its new BB10 operating system have not helped. And the Blackberry App World apps store has a clumsy sub-brand and lacks apps. Blackberry has repeatedly mis-executed on hardware, software and services.

What can be done about it? First, Blackberry needs to stop mis-executing. It needs a culture change. It must become more decisive, hungry and speedy. Second, Blackberry needs more touchscreen models. With huge displays. Third, Blackberry must think about going multi-OS. Samsung does it well. Add to the Blackberry OS, not replace it. BB10 or Microsoft for multi-screen enterprise, Android or Microsoft or Tizen for multi-screen consumer. Fourth, if the first three steps do not work, consider a merger (e.g. Microsoft). And fifth, repeat step one -- stop mis-executing!

More analysis of Blackberry and many other vendors can be downloaded by clients in this published report here. Or email Neil Mawston at NMawston@strategyanalytics.com.


July 30, 2012 14:24 sbicheno

According to the latest research published by Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, smartphone shipments fell 5 percent annually to reach 24 million units in the United States during the second quarter of 2012. The Android operating system lost ground to Apple iOS as Android’s market share fell four points on an annual basis to 56 percent.

This was one of the slowest growth rates ever experienced by the important US smartphone market. A volatile economy, maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers, and major operators tightening their upgrade policies to enhance profits were among the main causes of the slowdown.

Android remains the number one platform by volume in the United States, but its market share is peaking as Apple iOS gains ground. Apple’s US market share has risen by ten points from 23 percent in Q2 2011 to 33 percent in Q2 2012. Apple is rumoured to be launching a new iPhone in the coming weeks, and that event, if it takes place, is going to heap even more pressure on Android in its home market.

Blackberry’s smartphone market share in the United States has dropped from 11 percent to 7 percent over the past year, reaching its lowest level in recent history. Consumers, businesses and operators continue to be frustrated by Blackberry’s limited toushcreen smartphone portfolio and repeated delays to its new BB10 operating system.

United States Smartphone OS Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2012

United States Smartphone Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q2 '11

Q2 '12

Android

15.3

13.4

Apple iOS

5.9

7.9

Blackberry OS

2.7

1.6

Others

1.4

1.0

Total

25.2

23.8

 

 

 

United States Smartphone Operating System Market Share (% of Total)

Q2 '11

Q2 '12

Android

60.6%

56.3%

Apple iOS

23.2%

33.2%

Blackberry OS

10.5%

6.5%

Others

5.7%

4.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

70.1%

-5.4%


July 27, 2012 03:30 Neil Shah

 

According to a new, published report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments grew 32 percent annually to reach 146 million units in the second quarter of 2012. This was the smartphone industry’s slowest growth rate for almost three years. Samsung and Apple together captured over half the global market.


Global smartphone shipments grew 32 percent annually to reach 146.1 million units in Q2 2012. This was the smartphone industry’s slowest growth rate since the third quarter of 2009. A volatile global economy, maturing penetration of smartphones among contract mobile subscribers, and some Apple fans holding off purchases in anticipation of a new iPhone 5 model later this year were among the main causes of the slowdown.

Samsung shipped 50.5 million smartphones worldwide and captured a record 35 percent marketshare in the second quarter of 2012. This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single quarter. Samsung has been able to deliver hit models in most major price segments, from the high-end Galaxy Note phablet to the mass-market Galaxy Y. Apple grew a modest 28 percent annually and shipped 26.0 million smartphones worldwide for 18 percent marketshare, broadly flat compared with 18 percent recorded a year earlier. We believe Apple’s lackluster performance was driven by some Apple fans and operators holding off iPhone purchases in anticipation of a rumored new iPhone 5 model around September or October this year.

Samsung and Apple combined now account for over half of all smartphones shipped worldwide, up from around one-third a year ago. Volumes have polarized around those two brands. The growth of Samsung and Apple has come partly at the expense of Nokia, whose global smartphone marketshare has halved from 15 percent to 7 percent over the past year. This is Nokia’s lowest marketshare level in the smartphone category for a decade. Nokia is seeing reasonable growth in its new Microsoft Lumia portfolio, but it is not yet offsetting the sharp decline in its aging Symbian platform.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2012  [1]

 

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units) 

Q2 '11 

Q2 '12 

Samsung 

20.2

50.5

Apple

20.3

26.0

Nokia

16.7

10.2

Others

53.3

59.4

Total

110.5

146.1

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q2 '11

Q2 '12

Samsung

18.3%

34.6%

Apple

18.4%

17.8%

Nokia

15.1%

7.0%

Others

48.2%

40.7%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

77.1%

32.2%

 

1 Numbers are rounded.


Contact Information:

The author of this report and analysis, Neil Mawston, can be reached at NMawston@strategyanalytics.com / +44 1908 423 628.



[1]  Numbers are rounded.


July 20, 2012 19:10 nmawston

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, the Nokia Lumia smartphone family with Microsoft operating system has outshipped Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Android family in the first three quarters after their respective commercial launches. It is a relatively encouraging start for Nokia and Microsoft.

We estimate Nokia shipped 6.9 million Lumia smartphones with the Microsoft Windows Phone operating system cumulatively worldwide during the first three quarters after commercial launch, from Q4 2011 to Q2 2012. This compares with 3.7 million units of the rival Apple iPhone family in its first three quarters during 2007, and 1.3 million units for the Samsung Android family in its first three quarters during 2009.

Based on historical shipment benchmarks, Nokia’s new Lumia portfolio is therefore performing reasonably well. Some of the pessimism surrounding Nokia and Microsoft’s emerging partnership so far may be misplaced.

However, Nokia and Microsoft are clearly not out of the woods yet. With a new Apple iPhone 5 expected in Q4 2012, and Samsung’s Galaxy S3 selling in huge quantities, Nokia will need to pull something impressive out of the bag for the next-generation Windows Phone 8 launch later this year to sustain its tentative early momentum.

More detail can be viewed by clients of our WSS service in this published report.


July 13, 2012 21:10 KBurden

The question of whether the market can support another mobile OS is different from the one that asks if it needs another mobile OS. Yet another question is, which appears to have been answered by the impressive list of operator titans that have pledged support for Mozilla’s new Firefox OS, does the industry want another OS?

The answer is “yes”, but there is a huge difference between want and need and Mozilla is about to get schooled on economic principles 101.

It’s true the lead that Android and iOS currently has is too great to overcome, but how much does that really matter? At face value, quite a bit. The investment required to build and bring a mobile OS to market is anything but trivial, and the industry is littered with a heap of platforms that seemingly had promise, but were only added to the heap in the end. In no particular order, Palm OS, ALP, Limo, Maemo, Moblin, Meego, webOS, and the market’s attritional ways is also taking care of Symbian, likely Bada and eventually Blackberry down the road as RIM transitions to its new QNX-based Blackberry10. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Firefox OS doesn’t suffer the same fate, which leads to a new question, what good can come of this?

Beyond the potential of powering very capable smartphones at sub-$100 price points, the industry support that Firefox OS is building gives it the potential of being a credible evangelist for HTML5 development. Performance of HTML5 applications on most platforms is often frustrating and it’s hardly used for any applications thought remotely critical. However, the new OS allows HTML5 applications to reach the core API which means all the top tier applications that smartphones have typically been known for, including browsing, messaging, gaming, and voice calling can now all be developed with HTML5.

The language has the potential to transform mobile devices and give the Web a more natural feel on phones. To further make this point, realize that Apple led the market in innovation of HTML5 features in its Safari browser. Now realize that nearly 66% of all mobile browsing traffic as of June 2012 has come from Apple’s Safari browser, while just 19% comes from the Android browser, according to NetApplications’ July report. Now factor in Android’s 63% share of the worldwide market compared to Apple’s 22% and you begin to appreciate the impact that HTML5 can have on the user experience.

Granted, Android’s fragmentation from allowing partners to make independent decisions on UI’s, hardware specs, and third-party browsers, has made it difficult for it to support HTML5. But since the mobile industry tends to move forward by companies matching the capabilities as others innovate, it is possible that Firefox OS doesn’t have to be wildly successful to have a positive impact on the industry. We may look back and realize its real value was in how it pushed HTML5 forward for all.


July 5, 2012 20:02 Matt McKee

Japan’s smartphone unit shipments jumped +33% YoY in the first quarter of 2012, thanks to the extended availability of Apple iPhone, enriched Android portfolios from international brands and local manufacturers, as well as a quicker uptake of LTE models. Fujitsu, Apple, and Sharp ranked as the top 3 smartphone vendors in the country. This published report -- available to download by clients of our Country Share Tracker (CST) service -- tracks smartphone vendor market share by quarter at all major operators in Japan, including NTT Docomo, Softbank and KDDI. The report can be used by device vendors, component makers, content developers, vehicle manufacturers and others to identify winners and losers by carrier in the high-value Japanese smartphone market.