Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

April 16, 2014 14:44 nmawston

According to a new report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone wholesale (trade) revenues will grow +21% over the next 7 years. Increasing smartphone volumes will be partly offset by decreasing average selling prices (ASP), 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 extensive published report, available to clients, forecasts global smartphone sales volume, revenues and wholesale average selling prices (ASP) by 6 major regions and 8 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.


January 29, 2014 22:36 nmawston

Google today confirmed officially that it has sold off its Motorola smartphone business to Lenovo of China for US$3 billion. Much less than the US$12 billion Google paid for Motorola in 2012.

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, the combined entity of Lenovo and Motorola captured 6% share of global smartphone shipments in 2013.

As a result of this new deal -- assuming it is approved by US, Chinese and other authorities -- Lenovo-Motorola becomes instantly the world's 3rd largest smartphone vendor by volume, behind Samsung (32%) and Apple (15%).

For Lenovo, it is a good move. The Chinese vendor gets access to the valuable US smartphone market and the fast-growing Latin America region. This complements its existing global PC business.

For Motorola, it gains access to an ambitious sugar daddy that has a strong presence in the huge China market.

For Google, it divests a loss-making hardware division.

Companies that will be worried by the Lenovo-Motorola deal include Samsung, Apple, LG, Sony, Huawei, ZTE, Xiaomi, Coolpad, TCL-Alcatel and others.

Lenovo now has extra scale in smartphones and a seat near the top table. However, whether Lenovo can turnaround the long-struggling Motorola business, and what happens to the Motorola brand long-term, remain key questions that will need to be answered in the coming months.

 


January 29, 2014 13:35 nmawston

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments grew 41 percent annually to reach a record 990 million units in 2013. Android captured 79 percent share of all smartphones shipped worldwide and extended its lead over Apple, Microsoft and other rivals.

Global smartphone shipments grew 34 percent annually from 217.0 million units in Q4 2012 to 290.2 million in Q4 2013. Global smartphone shipments for the full year were just shy of the 1 billion level, but they nonetheless reached a record 990.0 million units in 2013, increasing from 700.1 million in 2012. Global smartphone shipment growth decreased slightly from 43 percent in 2012 to 41% in 2013, due to high penetration in some major markets like the United States.

Android shipped a record 781.2 million smartphones worldwide for 79 percent marketshare in 2013. Android shipped four times more smartphones than Apple and Microsoft combined. There is little doubt that 2013 was the year of Android. However, Android’s annual growth rate slowed to 62 percent in 2013, its lowest level in the platform’s history. We expect Android’s growth to slow further in 2014 due to market saturation, and rivals like Microsoft or Firefox will be ready to pounce on any signs of a major slowdown for Android this year.

Apple iOS grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare during 2013. Despite record volumes, 2013 is arguably a year that Apple will want to forget as growth slowed sharply and its new 5c model performed less strongly than expected.

Microsoft is now firmly established as the smartphone industry’s third major ecosystem, shipping 35.7 million units worldwide to capture 4 percent marketshare in 2013. However, the Windows Phone platform is still struggling to gain traction in the low-tier and premium-tier smartphone categories and they remain serious weaknesses that Microsoft will need to address in 2014.

More analysis of the software players in the quarter can be downloaded by clients in this published report.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone OS Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2013 [1]

Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Android

152.5

481.5

227.7

781.2

Apple iOS

47.8

135.8

51.0

153.4

Microsoft

5.9

18.8

9.4

35.7

Others

10.8

64.0

2.2

19.8

Total

217.0

700.1

290.2

990.0

 

 

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Operating System Marketshare  %

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Android

70.3%

68.8%

78.4%

78.9%

Apple iOS

22.0%

19.4%

17.6%

15.5%

Microsoft

2.7%

2.7%

3.2%

3.6%

Others

5.0%

9.1%

0.7%

2.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

38.2%

42.7%

33.7%

41.4%

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

 

 

 


[1] Numbers are rounded.


January 23, 2014 19:57 nmawston

Computer giant HP has a long history in the smartphone market, but with two previous failures behind it, the road back is not an easy one. Can HP be "third time lucky" in smartphones? What does it need to do to succeed?

This published report, available to clients of our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, identifies the geographies, product categories and price-tiers that will offer HP a best chance of success should it choose to re-enter the smartphone market once more in 2014.


January 17, 2014 19:33 nmawston

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, the global Tizen smartphone installed base will be a niche proposition in 2014 / 2015. Can Samsung get the new mobile operating system off the ground in places like Japan and Western Europe? Can it avoid a "Bada 2.0" scenario?

This extensive published report, available to clients, forecasts global smartphone sales, by 14 operating systems for 88 countries worldwide, from 2007 to 2018. Almost every major country worldwide is covered, including the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and others.



January 15, 2014 16:49 nmawston

Computer giant HP has a long history in the smartphone market, but with two previous failures behind it, the road back is not an easy one. Can HP be "third time lucky" in smartphones? What does it need to do to succeed?

This published report, available to clients of our Country Share Tracker (CST) service, identifies the geographies, product categories and price-tiers that will offer HP the best chance of success should it choose to re-enter the smartphone market once more in 2014.


December 13, 2013 16:00 nmawston

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Xiaomi worldwide smartphone shipments grew a dramatic 271% in Q3 2013, pushing into our top-10 list of smartphone vendors for the first time ever. It took 2% global smartphone volume share and value share this quarter. Xiaomi's online business model has proven to be successful in China, and its overseas strategy is firming up with developed Asian markets as the most likely next step in 2014. This published report is available to clients here.


November 12, 2013 17:50 sbicheno

Global smartphone shipments grew by almost 50% annually in Q3 2013, with continued strong demand in many developing markets such as India. TCL-Alcatel, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei of China were the global star performers in the quarter, outstripping many rivals like HTC and Fujitsu as the smartphone balance of power, outside of the big 2, continues to shift in favour of Chinese vendors. Subscribers to Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies service can access the full breakdown of global smartphone shipments , split by vendor, region and OS, here.


October 31, 2013 15:30 sbicheno

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments reached 251 million units in the third quarter of 2013. The Android operating system reached a new record of 81 percent global share, mainly at the expense of BlackBerry and Apple. Microsoft Windows Phone doubled its marketshare and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform.

Global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually from 172.8 million units in Q3 2012 to 251.4 million in Q3 2013. Growth was driven by robust demand for Android and Microsoft models in developed and developing markets, notably Europe and Asia.

Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments reached a new peak in Q3 2013, with four out of every five smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came mainly at the expense of BlackBerry, which saw its global smartphone share dip from 4 percent to 1 percent in the past year due to a weak line-up of BB10 devices. Apple also lost some ground to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market. Android will need to take further shipments from Apple if it wants to keep growing in the future, but this is unlikely in the near-term as the new iPhone 5s model is proving popular and it will help Apple to regain volumes worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Microsoft shipped more than 10 million smartphones worldwide in a single quarter for the first time ever in its history during Q3 2013. Microsoft has doubled its global smartphone marketshare from 2 percent to 4 percent in the past year. Microsoft grew its smartphone shipments by 178 percent annually in Q3 2013 and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform. Microsoft’s growth is almost entirely due to Nokia and its steadily improving Lumia portfolio across Europe, Asia and the United States. However, Microsoft is clearly still at a low level of share worldwide and it is struggling to gain serious traction in several major markets like Japan, South Korea and Africa.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone OS Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2013

Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '12

Q3 '13

Android

129.6

204.4

Apple

26.9

33.8

Microsoft

3.7

10.2

BlackBerry

7.4

2.5

Others

5.2

0.5

Total

172.8

251.4

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Operating System Marketshare  %

Q3 '12

Q3 '13

Android

75.0%

81.3%

Apple

15.6%

13.4%

Microsoft

2.1%

4.1%

BlackBerry

4.3%

1.0%

Others

3.0%

0.2%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

44.0%

45.5%

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

The full report, Microsoft Hits 10 Million for First Time as Android Reaches Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013, is available to subscribers of Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service now.


October 29, 2013 14:34 sbicheno

Project Ara is one of the first significant signs of Google doing with Motorola what many hoped it would: stimulating smartphone innovation. It is well-known that smartphone hardware innovation is currently at a plateau, with successive flagship devices offering evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, hardware upgrades. So Strategy Analytics welcomes any initiative designed to inject some creativity and lateral thinking into the smartphone design process.

Google is not afraid of innovation for the sake of innovation, with little apparent regard for latent market demand, and it’s not clear what the existing demand for a modular smartphone is. But among the potential benefits of such a device are: a possible cost-saving over the life of the device, with users having the option of incrementally upgrading a module, such as the app processor, instead of buying a whole new device, and the consequent ecological advantage of devices being discarded less often. There may also be enthusiasm in the operator/retailer channels and the component industry for this new commercial opportunity.

However, there remain many question-marks about this concept. The end-user market would appear to be limited, initially at least, to early adopters and hobbyists, with the mass-market likely to adopt an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” view on messing around with components, especially if the initial cost of such a device is greater than that of an equivalent one with integrated components, as seems likely. Then there is the matter of performance - how much of a performance hit will the whole system take by not having all its components integrated into one circuit-board, and is there even an industry-standard connector that all component-makers and hardware-vendors can use? If not, can Google develop one? There is also the matter of durability - what happens if you drop this device and what about dust-proofing? Lastly there is the well-established matter of fragmentation. Any current issues of this sort will surely be magnified significantly by such an ‘open’ hardware platform.

So we applaud Google for using its Motorola acquisition to drive smartphone innovation, and hope initiatives such as this encourage lateral-thinking in all parts of the smartphone design and manufacturing chain. But at this stage, and for the mid-term future, we see Project Ara as just that - a project - with niche commercial appeal.