Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

January 27, 2015 05:26 lsui

Motorola has recently announced to reenter China by launching Moto X, Moto G and Moto X Pro, three smartphone models, on Jan 26th, 2015, in Beijing. More than one year has passed since Motorola previously completely pulled out from the world's largest smartphone market in the second half of 2013.

Moto X and Moto Pro target the premium-tier segment, and Moto G, one of Motorola's best-selling models in 2014, eyes the mid-tier segment. Motorola will work closely with online retailers to sell the three phones, including Jingdong, T-Mall etc.

Motorola believe their key differentiators are full technology enablement (e.g. supporting China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom for all 3G and 4G technologies), a "pure" Android UI, as well as customized service / software offerings. However, there are already many full-technology-enabled models from ZTE and other local vendors available in China at the moment. Those latter two models from Motorola will find it hard to stand out from rivals.

Reintroducing Motorola-branded phones to China will dilute Lenovo's shift up-tier and also its online intiatives. Lenovo has the Vibe sub-brand targeting premium-tier segments, and it has just set up an online sub-brand and division -- Magic Factory -- in H2 2014. For Lenovo and Motorola, it will be a challenge to balance and manage these multiple brands in such a crowded Chinese marketplace this year.

Moreover, it remains to be seen whether Chinese consumers still value the Motorola brand and whether they will embrace a "new" Motorola. For us, this looks like a risky move by a struggling Lenovo desperate to re-jazz its fading smartphone growth at home.

NI HAO, MOTO!


January 22, 2015 07:17 PLin

According to our latest report, Global Smartphone Sale Forecast: Operators vs. Retailers -- from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service -- several hundred million smartphones will flow through "closed" operator channels worldwide during 2015. Operators have traditionally dominated smartphone distribution until 2013, but retailers have surpassed operator channels since 2014 and will grow their share of the industry in the coming years.

This report forecasts global smartphone distribution flows for 6 major regions and 3 key countries from 2007 to 2020, including North America, Western Europe, Latin America, China, Japan and India. The forecasts can be used by smartphone vendors, vehicle makers, apps developers and others to identify the main regional channels where mobile phones are being sold, and whether operators or retailers are winning the distribution wars. The report is available here to clients.


January 5, 2015 14:34 nmawston

Micromax has partnered with Cyanogen -- an Android fork -- to launch its online-only smartphone sub-brand, YU, in India during H1 2015. Micromax is terrified of Xiaomi and the firm is stepping up its efforts to stop the rise of Xiaomi and other rival Chinese vendors. However, the YU program fragments the Android ecosystem and Google will NOT be overjoyed by this latest move from Micromax. More analysis of this emerging challenge for Google can be downloaded by clients here.



December 10, 2014 10:25 PLin

According to the latest report -- “Micromax YU Android-Fork Challenges Xiaomi in India” -- from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service, Micromax -- India’s second largest smartphone vendor -- has partnered with Cyanogen -- an Android fork -- to launch commercially a new online-only smartphone sub-brand – YU -- in India during December 2014.

Micromax is terrified of Xiaomi and the firm is stepping up its efforts to stop the rise of Xiaomi and other rival Chinese vendors. By targeting first the online distribution channel, Micromax YU is entering a fast-growing sector. However, the YU program fragments the Android ecosystem and Google will not be overjoyed by this latest move from Micromax.

As an early-mover with an Android fork, will YU be a game-changer in India? For clients, there is more analysis available here.


November 26, 2014 13:43 PLin

According to the latest report -- Global Smartphone Shipments by Family / Model: Q3 2014 -- from our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) research service, global smartphone shipments grew +28% annually in Q3 2014. Consumers and operators continue to be attracted to a handful of preferred brands, preferred families and preferred models during the quarter.

We estimate the top 15 families of models accounted for 6 in 10 of total smartphones shipped worldwide during the quarter. Samsung and Apple top the charts, but LG's G and L series, Huawei's Ascend, Lenovo's A series and Xiaomi's Redmi phones are quietly gaining traction.

Our extensive report -- published to clients here -- tracks the world's best-selling smartphone top 15 families and top 50 models by shipment volumes from Q1 2011 to Q3 2014. It is a valuable tool for component makers, car manufacturers, content suppliers, mobile operators, device vendors and other stakeholders who want to identify and measure the world's most-popular smartphones by individual model.


November 26, 2014 13:19 PLin

According to the latest report -- ‘Smartphone Vendor ASP and Revenue Share by Region: Q3 2014 -- from our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) research service, global smartphone industry revenues rose +13% annually in Q3 2014. Apple regained the first spot by revenue. Samsung dipped to second spot by revenue, but maintained its first place in volume. LG maintained third by volume. For the first time ever, Xiaomi jumped into the top 5 list by smartphone revenue, driven by strong shipments growth. 

Our extensive
report -- available to clients here -- provides quarterly global smartphone wholesale ASP, revenue and shipment metrics for 16 major OEMs across six major regions from Q1 2012 to Q3 2014. It is a valuable tool for operators, component manufacturers, carmakers, financial analysts and other stakeholders who want to track smartphone pricing and the financial health of major vendors on a regional basis.


November 6, 2014 05:25 woh

Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone vendor by volume, has officially announced a new duo of premium-looking metal smartphones, A3 and A5, at the end of October, 2014 and is planning on hard-launching them in November in select markets, mostly emerging markets, such as China at affordable price-points to address the mounting competition from local vendors. A3 and A5, which are the first two smartphones under the category of the new Galaxy A series, are believed to target the younger and first-time smartphone users in the growing emerging markets, with nice-looking metal unibody design, modest specifications and mid-ranged prices.

In addition to the metal design, it would be worth noting that these mid-priced smartphones are featuring 4G LTE connectivity and 5MP secondary camera, which is better than 3.7MP on more premium Galaxy Note 4. We believe that Samsung is taking on a selective marketing for the younger generation who wants to enjoy the faster data services on the faster 4G network, and spends much time to take the "selfie" photos in developing regions. There has been no words on the more advanced Galaxy A7 model, but will be expected to come with higher display resolution and stronger feature-sets later on.


October 31, 2014 12:13 nmawston

According to the latest report from our WSS (Smartphones) research service, global smartphone shipments reached 320 million units in the third quarter of 2014. The Android operating system captured a dominant 84 percent global marketshare, squeezing Apple iOS, Microsoft and Blackberry.

Global smartphone shipments grew 27 percent annually from 252.9 million units in Q3 2013 to 320.4 million in Q3 2014. Smartphone growth continues to be driven by robust demand in emerging markets, particularly Asia and Africa Middle East.

Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments remained strong in Q3 2014, with an impressive 84 percent of all smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came at the expense of every major rival platform. BlackBerry’s global smartphone share has stayed flat at 1 percent in the past year, due to a lackluster range of BB10 devices. Apple iOS lost one point of share to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market. Microsoft Windows Phone continued to struggle in China and Japan, and its global smartphone marketshare fell from 4 percent in Q3 2013 to 3 percent during Q3 2014.

 

Android’s leadership of the global smartphone market looks unbeatable at the moment. Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide. However, challenges are emerging for Google. The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of hardware brands, Android smartphone prices are falling worldwide, and few Android device vendors make profits.



Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone OS Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2014 
[1]

Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Android

205.9

268.0

Apple iOS

33.8

39.3

Microsoft

10.3

10.5

BlackBerry

2.5

2.3

Others

0.4

0.3

Total

252.9

320.4

     

Global Smartphone Operating System Marketshare  %

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Android

81.4%

83.6%

Apple iOS

13.4%

12.3%

Microsoft

4.1%

3.3%

BlackBerry

1.0%

0.7%

Others

0.2%

0.1%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

     

Total Growth Year-over-Year  %

46.4%

26.7%

     

Source: Strategy Analytics

   

 

 


[1]  Numbers are rounded.


October 30, 2014 10:49 nmawston

Lenovo and Motorola confirmed today, Thursday 30 October 2014, that the US$2.9 billion deal to merge their smartphone divisions has been approved and wrapped up. Two have become one.

According to analysis from our WSS (Smartphones) research service, the "big three" ADVANTAGES of the merger include:

1. Increased scale. Higher volumes can equal lower costs. Lenovo captured 5% marketshare of global smartphone shipments in Q3 2014, while Motorola captured 3% marketshare of global smartphone shipments in Q3 2014. Together, they now hold 8% share of the worldwide smartphone market;

2. Deeper distribution channels. Lenovo and Motorola together can now sell smartphones, tablets and wearables in more countries and in more retail stores, operator stores, online stores, or PC channels;

3. Bigger marketing / R&D budgets. Lenovo and Motorola together can potentially spend or borrow more to fund extra marketing and R&D activities.


The "big three" DISDVANTAGES of the merger include:

1. Lenovo is slowing down. Lenovo's rapid smartphone growth of recent years is now coming to an end, due to fierce competition from Xiaomi and others. Based on our data, Lenovo's global smartphone shpiments annual growth rate has more than halved from +74% YoY in Q3 2013 to +30% YoY in Q3 2014;

2. Motorola is losing money. Motorola continues to make hefty financial losses, due to a relatively large cost-base. Based on Strategy Analytics data, Motorola has NOT made a profit for 4 years;

3. Smartphone mergers usually take several years to integrate. For example, TCL-Alcatel, a Chinese and French merger, took around 5 years to stabilize and sustain growth.


Clearly, Lenovo and Motorola have strong tailwinds -- such as 8% global smartphone marketshare and two well-known brands. But Lenovo and Motorola also face major headwinds. Lenovo's golden era of easy smartphone growth is coming to an end, while Motorola continues to lose money. Merging these two firms next year will NOT be as easy as many expect.


October 28, 2014 21:14 nmawston

According to a new report from our WSS (Smartphones) research servcice, Apple shipped 39 million iPhones worldwide in Q3 2014. Its annual shipment growth rate was only +16% and it continues to slow down. However, weaker shipments are being offset by a stronger ASP, which increased for the first time in two years due to a higher mix of expensive iPhone 6 models. More analysis of Apple's pricing can be viewed by clients here.