Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

January 9, 2014 19:25 khyers

A newly published report in our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service examines BlackBerry's most recent quarterly performance. BlackBerry continued to absorb body-blows in calendar Q4 2013, even as it took concrete steps to put the company back on a path towards recovery. From a huge loss for the handset business due to continued poor sales of its BlackBerry 10 smartphones to an inability to find a buyer who would take the company private, and finally, the replacement of senior executives including its CEO, the fourth quarter of the year capped what has by any measure been an awful year for the Canadian smartphone company. Despite the grim drumbeat of bad news, strategic changes announced by new CEO John Chen, including a partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn, indicate that the company is making the kinds of difficult decisions that can stem the bleeding and lead the company to a second act as a maker of devices and services tailored to its core base of consumer and enterprise customers.  This published report available to download by clients, examines BlackBerry's current status and future prospects.


October 28, 2013 18:06 nmawston

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually to reach a record 251 million units in the third quarter of 2013. Samsung captured a record 35 percent share of all smartphone volumes worldwide, while Huawei jumped into third place in the rankings.

Global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually from 172.8 million units in Q3 2012 to 251.4 million in Q3 2013. This was the first time ever that smartphone shipments exceeded a quarter-billion units in a single quarter. Smartphones accounted for 6 in 10 of all mobile phones shipped worldwide. The smartphone industry’s robust growth is being driven by strong demand for LTE models in developed regions like the US and 3G devices in emerging markets such as China.

Samsung grew 55 percent annually and shipped a record 88.4 million smartphones worldwide, capturing a record 35 percent marketshare in Q3 2013. Samsung shipped over two times more smartphones than Apple during the quarter. While shipments of the flagship Galaxy S4 model softened, solid demand for the new Note 3 phablet and for mass-market devices like the Galaxy Y helped to lift Samsung’s volumes.

Apple shipped 33.8 million iPhones worldwide in Q3 2013, up from 26.9 million a year earlier. Apple grew just 26 percent annually during Q3 2013, which is around half the overall smartphone industry average of 45 percent. Apple’s global smartphone marketshare has dipped noticeably from 16 percent to 13 percent during the past year. Nonetheless, we expect Apple to rebound sharply and regain share in the upcoming fourth quarter of 2013 due to high demand for its new iPhone 5s model.

Huawei was a star performer as global shipments grew 67 percent annually to 12.7 million units in Q3 2013. Huawei captured 5 percent marketshare and became the world’s third largest smartphone vendor. The popular P6 and G610 models have been among the main drivers of Huawei’s success. Huawei remains very strong at home in China, but its position is less robust in other major markets like the US and Europe. Huawei will need to expand aggressively in the American and European markets if it wants to seriously challenge the big two of Samsung and Apple next year.

Other findings from our research include:

LG shipped 12.0 million smartphones worldwide for 5 percent marketshare in Q3 2013. LG grew 71 percent annually, making it the fastest-growing vendor among the top five brands. LG has been expanding rapidly in Europe, but China and India remain weak spots;

Lenovo shipped 10.8 million smartphones worldwide for 4 percent marketshare and fifth position in Q3 2013. Lenovo is popular among mass-market consumers in China and it is expanding internationally. Two of the world’s top five smartphone vendors came from China -- Lenovo and Huawei.


 Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2013  [1]

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '12

Q3 '13

Samsung

56.9

88.4

Apple

26.9

33.8

Huawei

7.6

12.7

LG

7.0

12.0

Lenovo

6.4

10.8

Others

68.0

93.7

Total

172.8

251.4

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q3 '12

Q3 '13

Samsung

32.9%

35.2%

Apple

15.6%

13.4%

Huawei

4.4%

5.1%

LG

4.1%

4.8%

Lenovo

3.7%

4.3%

Others

39.4%

37.3%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

44.0%

45.5%

 

The full report, Huawei Reaches Third Place as Global Smartphone Shipments Reach Quarter-Billion Units in Q3 2013, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/bps9qhr.


Please contact Neil Mawston, at nmawston@strategyanalytics.com, for further analysis, data or information.

[1]  Numbers are rounded.


October 23, 2013 00:35 nmawston

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, BlackBerry’s struggles worsened in calendar Q3 2013 as the iconic smartphone maker was forced to take a nearly US$1 billion charge on unsold inventory in the quarter. BlackBerry smartphone shipments fell to the lowest level in 26 quarters, since Q1 2007. BlackBerry management, recognizing that efforts to restore the company to growth will require more time, are seeking to find a lifeline by taking the company private, but as its market prospects worsen it is becoming ever more likely that BlackBerry faces the possibility that it could be broken up with several companies buying its constituent parts. Which potential buyers are in the frame? This published report, available to clients, lists the possible buyers and their reasons for takeovers.


June 28, 2013 21:04 nmawston

While Blackberry’s share price on Wall Street crashed today, we think their financial results for calendar Q2 2013 were broadly in-line with expectations. Lackluster smartphone volumes, no profit and subscriber losses shouldn't really be a major surprise to anyone. First-generation smartphones, like BB10, rarely take off. The first iPhone, first Android, first Lumia and first Galaxy all disappointed at launch. Operators, developers and consumers take time to become familiar with brand-new platforms.

We encourage Blackberry to refocus aggressively on its second-generation models, due in the second half of 2013 and early 2014. Those multiple devices, such as the rumored A10 phablet, will be the real litmus test of Blackberry's long-term future.

More analysis of Blackberry can be viewed by clients of our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service at this link.


November 26, 2012 15:21 nmawston

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, RIM’s global smartphone shipments declined by -37% annually in Q3 2012. While competition from Samsung and others was as great as ever, the rate of decline of several key financial metrics at RIM slowed for the first time in almost two years. Our initial trial of RIM’s critical new operating system -- BlackBerry 10 -- has been cautiously positive. Has RIM stabilized? More analysis can be downloaded by clients here.


January 12, 2011 21:17 Alex Spektor

After years of public speculation, AT&T has finally lost its US exclusive on Apple’s megastar smartphone. As consumers prepare for the arrival of the Verizon Wireless (VZW) iPhone, we address some questions about the impact of this development.

Just how many iPhones will they sell?clip_image002

AT&T customers bought an average of around 4 million iPhones per quarter in 2010. Even if VZW achieves a conservative half of that run rate, it could mean 8 million CDMA iPhones shipped domestically in the first year. In addition to newcomers from other carriers, buyers will include existing subscribers, whose contracts will steadily come up for renewal over the next two years.

Of course, no longer the only option for iOS enthusiasts, AT&T volumes of the iPhone are likely to suffer this year. We can reference the end of iPhone exclusivity in Western Europe for an example of what may happen. As our Handset Country Share Tracker service shows, Apple’s peak share at exclusive carrier O2 UK was 10%. By the time the phone was also introduced at Vodafone and Orange, Apple’s share was roughly just 5-6% with each carrier.

Thus, while Apple’s total volumes are going to benefit as a result of this week’s announcement, neither carrier should expect to see the iPhone account for anywhere near the huge 70% of smartphone volumes that AT&T recorded in Q3 2010.

What impact will the network have?

Aside from a revised radio section and some cosmetic tweaks, the availability of a Wi-Fi hotspot feature is the only official new feature of the VZW iPhone. But AT&T defectors may find one other difference – the inability to simultaneously use voice and data on a CDMA network. As Droid users know, Wi-Fi data access can be used as a limited substitute, but expect outcries of a “lesser” experience from some frustrated buyers. Of course, the inevitable LTE iPhone (in 2012, perhaps?) will eventually equalize this matter.

Unlike AT&T, VZW does not have a bandwidth cap on its US$30/month plan. AT&T’s US$25/month plan provides just 2GB, which protects the carrier’s pipes from overloading, but prevents carefree use of compelling, but bandwidth-hogging apps like NetFlix. Coupled with broad perception that VZW is more reliable, it could mean an upside for the phone’s new carrier. However, we can expect AT&T to send a heavy message about its HSPA network being faster than its competitor’s EV-DO Rev. A.

How will this impact the competition?

AT&T has been preparing for the loss of exclusivity since at least early last year, adding a broad range of Android (and later Windows Phone 7) models. Expect an onslaught of high-end Android handsets (such as the Motorola Atrix 4G) to quickly replace lost iPhone volumes at AT&T, benefitting the likes of Samsung and HTC.

Meanwhile, VZW’s strong Droid brand of Google-phones is likely to take a hit. VZW subscribers looking for a less complex experience than Android’s will find the iPhone to be a gem, cannibalizing the carrier’s own volumes. The real impact, however, will be felt by RIM. The BlackBerry portfolio still lacks a solid full-screen touchphone, and unless the Canadian vendor comes up with one soon, it stands to lose further share with VZW.

-Alex Spektor

USA Smartphone OS Marketshare by Operator: Q3 2010

Global Smartphone Sales Forecast by Operating System: 2002 to 2015


December 8, 2010 13:12 Alex Spektor
In recent years, the titans of the handset industry have been surprised by the success of newcomers. First, Apple – a computer vendor – shook up the smartphone market by storm, taking Nokia’s profit crown in the process. Then, Google – an advertising/search firm – brought to market a new mobile operating system, quickly overshadowing historic leaders RIM and Microsoft. Now, Google’s Android has also become the fastest-growing major smartphone platform, having shipped more than twice as many handsets in the first eight quarters.

Cumulative Shipments, First 8 Quarters

clip_image002

Google’s successful growth has been enabled by strong support from its many partner vendors. As the first Android handset maker, HTC long enjoyed top market share, steadily broadening its portfolio across protocols (including hot “4G” technologies like HSPA+ and WiMAX), global carriers, and retail price points, staying ahead of Android competitors Motorola and Samsung. Historically, Samsung’s smartphone share had been disproportionate to its successful position in the overall market, and we had long commented on the matter. However, starting in Q3 2010, Samsung became the world’s largest Android vendor. Samsung accomplished this by launching an all-out assault across the globe with its Galaxy S family of handsets. For example, in the fickle US market, where each carrier has demanding compliance and customization requirements, Samsung launched a Galaxy S phone with each major carrier. Samsung’s share of the global handset market has tripled since 2001, when it was already a third-ranked player. Given that historic show of determination, the vendor’s leap to first place in Android smartphones should not at all be surprising. Expect Samsung to expand this leadership position in 2011 and beyond, riding Android’s coattails to huge smartphone volumes. -Alex Spektor Samsung Overtakes HTC to Become World's Largest Android Vendor in Q3 2010 Global Smartphone OS Market Share by Region: Q3 2010

October 12, 2010 04:10 David Kerr

sa photo dk

At CTIA in San Francisco last week, away from the fanfare around LTE rollouts and the next dozen tablet devices (ok, I exaggerate a little), Sprint had an announcement which will have significantly higher impact on mobile broadband adoption and revenues: Sprint ID. 

Sprint ID promises to up the ante on personalization and ease current feature phone users into the smart phone ranks.

Sprint ID offers instant personalization along key themes/packs where the operator has done the heavy lifting of identifying and group related applications of interest to different persona from wallpaper to ringtones to apps. While the one click marketing line is not quite matched by reality given pesky little things like accepting terms and conditions etc, Sprint ID is a significant breakthrough in my opinion as:

  • it broadens the market appeal of Smart phones to current feature phones users with a simple to understand offer in a range of device price points including the critical $49 and $99 levels.
  • it tackles one of the biggest weakness of all app stores: discoverability of content and simple personalization.

Three handsets were featured at launch of Sprint ID: Sanyo Zio™, Samsung Transform™, LG Optimus S™. These three devices cover key price points in the Sprint portfolio and provide customers with a range of form factors, industrial design and brand to meet their tastes. Interesting to note that both LG and Sanyo retain the right to put their own packs on their handsets as well. This is a big win for LG as its Optimus S™ will be available for under $50 with contract giving the vendor a much needed boost in the smartphone space. Samsung meanwhile continues to shine at Sprint occupying the lucrative $149 spot with its Transform™. All three devices of course require a Sprint Everything Data plan.

However, for me the more significant impact is that operators and oems are finally realizing that customers don’t buy phones or services or apps… what they really want are positive experiences

… be that socially connected, sports, education, health and fitness, fashion etc. This is something that our User Experience team has been evangelizing for the last 7+ years. Whether its 80k apps on Android or 250k on Apple store or 10K on RIM, one common experience has been exasperation at the huge waste of time, energy and emotions in finding ANYTHING!!! Which happens first, eyes glazing over or fingers cramping with so much scrolling? Either way the net result is often a disappointing experience which the early smart phone coolaid drinkers have learned to live with.

Newbies to the smart phone arena, will certainly have less tolerance and spend less time to personalize their device and enable applications. Sprint ID is well tailored to the next wave who are taking tentative steps into the smart phone space

 

David Kerr

dkerr@strategyanalytics.com


September 23, 2010 22:09 David Kerr

September 23, 2010

While there has understandably been a lot of attention given to consumer apps post iPhone and the plethora of application stores that have emerged, business mobility and enterprise mobility offer huge potential from horizontal to vertical applications and from smartphones to iPads and tablets to superphones.

In both NA and W. Europe, business customers account for under 30% of users but are the dominant streams of both revenue and profits for operators. On the device side, premium priced models from RIM, Nokia, and Microsoft Mobile licensees as well as the iPhone have long been key drivers of profits in a market where low single digit margins are the norm.  The explosion of smartphone choices has led to the battle ground moving beyond the corner office, to other executive and now increasingly the midlevel manager.

With a new range of devices competing for space in the corporate market, the issue of corporate versus individual liable has become an increasing priority for IT decision makers. Add on the complexity of managing an expanding list of OS (Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm, MeeGo, Bada from Samsung) and the growing importance of mobile portable devices with access behind the firewall and one can already feel a corporate migraine forming…. And that’s before we even discuss device management, mobility policy, device retirement etc. etc.

I am looking forward to CTIA Fall (San Francisco October 5-7) and in particular to the Enterprise Mobility Boot Camp moderated by Philippe Winthrop of the Enterprise Mobility Foundation. The boot camp spread over two days will address many of the issue listed above with our own Andy Brown featured in an analyst roundtable on October 6th.  I look forward to meeting you there. Don’t hesitate to contact Philippe for passes to this the deep dive enterprise mobility event.

David Kerr

David Kerr
Snr. VP - Global Wireless Practice
Tel: +1 617 614 0720
Mob: +1 262 271 8974


August 4, 2010 23:08 nmawston


Blackberry has finally introduced its much-awaited OS 6 upgrade with the launch of the Torch 3G smartphone. It will initially be sold exclusively at AT&T in the USA in August 2010, giving the operator an alternative to the iPhone. OS 6 employs a Webkit engine, HTML5 support and universal search. The Torch is a QWERTY slider with a 3-inch HVGA+ touchscreen optimized for messaging and media prosumers. Can the Torch outshine Apple? Is it an Android killer?




Well, the external design is a little unexciting. It looks not dissimilar to the Palm Pre. The hardware-list ticks the right boxes for a premium handset -- with 802.11n, 5MP camera, and so on -- but the 624MHz Marvell processor might be perceived as sluggish compared with the emerging tide of 1GHz superphones. The software-list looks good, with Flash, HTML5 support and Webkit for developers. The Webkit-rendered browser will compress data traffic, benefitting AT&T's stressed network. RIM has opened up the platform a little for a better developer environment. Data services are prosumer-friendly and consumer-friendly and primed for email, Internet-browsing, social networking, instant messaging, maps, WiFi geolocation, universal search, RSS feeds, media playback, Blackberry World and PC tethering. No head-to-head videophony, though.

Navigation of the UI is delivered through 3 main interfaces; touchscreen, trackpad and hard-QWERTY keyboard. Our brief trial of the handset in New York recently found the user-experience to be generally satisfying with a responsive touchscreen and good discoverability for apps and services. Retail pricing will be set initially at US$199 postpaid with a two-year contract. This is just in the sweetspot zone for high-end users, and it indicates AT&T will be subsidizing the Torch to the tune of roughly US$200 per unit.

So... are OS 6, Blackberry World and the Torch an Android killer? No. The overall package of hardware, software and services lacks a true wow factor. The Torch helps RIM to close the gap on Android models and iPhone, but it does not overtake them. Is the Torch a Blackberry savior? Maybe. Torch 1 is a solid step in the right direction to stemming churn by upgrading its touchphone portfolio. Torch 2 and Torch 3 will need to be even better, though, with improvements like a 2GHz processor, because the consumer-enterprise handset market in the US has become hyper-competitive and the Torch will not be a leading light for long.