Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

April 23, 2014 09:50 lsui

There are over three hundred analysts worldwide attending Huawei's Global Analyst Summit, held from April 23 to 25 in Shenzhen, China. Our analysts from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service also joined the event.

The key theme of day one is about the overall corporate performance review and strategy outlook. Clearly, operator business still makes up the lion’s share of overall revenue, but the enterprise business and consumer business have been growing faster in 2013. Geographically, China contributed to 35% of total revenue in 2013, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America also saw healthy growth. In contrast, North American performance remains lackluster and posted year-over-year decline last year. Company overall profitability improved.

For the smartphone business, in which Huawei ranked the third largest vendor worldwide in 2013, according to this report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Huawei reiterated its commitment to the smartphone business but indicated it will shift focus from volume growth towards sustainable growth and profitability. Compared with the two giants Apple and Samsung, the operating profit margin on Huawei's handset business was still quite slim in 2013. Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service tracks the top 12 handset vendors' value and profitability figures on a quarterly basis in this report.

Looking forward, Huawei's consumer business needs to identify its own way to fulfill its growth target, rather than sometimes copycatting other players’ strategies (e.g. Xiaomi’s online distribution, or Samsung’s vertically integrated model, etc.). To avoid a price-war and further improve profitability, it seems, is the keyword for Huawei's global smartphone business in 2014.

 

 


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.


April 4, 2014 19:04 khyers

Taiwan’s HTC has released the M8, its latest flagship smartphone and successor to the One which won numerous Phone of the Year awards in 2013.  The M8 appears well positioned to bag a number of similar awards for 2014, but will near-universal acclaim be enough to drive sales?  This published report – available for clients – identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the M8 and what HTC needs to do in order to drive sales of its latest flagship device.


March 19, 2014 17:26 sbicheno

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Chinese vendor Oppo is choosing to address the Android smartphone differentiation challenge by attempting to beat its competitors to the most cutting-edge specs. The Find 7, launched today, claims the ability to take 50MP images as its signature USP. The device itself has a 13MP sensor for its main camera, but takes a burst of images and uses software to combine them into a 50MP shot. The ultimate function of such a feature is similar to the post-processing capability enabled by the 41MP sensor in the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Other notable high-end specs in the Find 7 include one of the first QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) screens in this 5.5-inch phablet and 4K video recording at 30fps. All this is supported by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC and quick-charging technology. Oppo has so far offered little further information bar the marketing video below, but our WSS service thinks it’s significant that the latest company to attempt to raise the smartphone spec bar services primarily the Chinese market.


<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iZIJlWGHU40?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

 

 


March 18, 2014 17:11 sbicheno

Our WDS (Devices) research service noticed recently that, on its UK web-store, Apple has introduced an 8GB version of its iPhone 5c, which is selling for £40 less than the 16GB version - a discount of 8.5%.

This move may indicate that Apple is dissatisfied with sales of the 5c and is looking to stimulate the market with a further price reduction. However, since the 16GB 5c is currently 14.5% cheaper than the 16GB 5s in the UK (£469 and £549, respectively) it’s possible that this further reduction will provide insufficient extra incentive to buy.

When Apple launched the iPhone 5c we observed that it had opted to preserve margin rather than chase volume. That remains a valid strategy, but it does make it more difficult to subsequently chase volume without the move being interpreted as a strategic rethink.

 


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 27, 2014 23:24 khyers

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. Huawei, Lenovo and LG were the star performers, capturing a combined 14 percent marketshare worldwide and closing the gap on Apple.

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.

Samsung shipped a record 319.8 million smartphones worldwide and captured 32 percent marketshare in 2013. This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single year. Despite tough competition from a long tail of Chinese and American brands, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, such as the Galaxy S4 and Note 3.

Apple grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare in 2013, dipping from the 19 percent level recorded in 2012. Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India.

Samsung and Apple together accounted for almost half of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013. Large marketing budgets, extensive distribution channels and attractive product portfolios have enabled Samsung and Apple to maintain their grip on the smartphone industry. However, there is clearly now more competition coming from the second-tier smartphone brands. Huawei, LG and Lenovo each grew their smartphone shipments around two times faster than the global industry average and captured a combined 14 percent marketshare. Huawei is expanding swiftly in Europe, while LG’s Optimus range is proving popular in Latin America, and Lenovo’s Android models are selling at competitive price-points across China. Samsung and Apple will need to fight hard to hold off these and other hungry challengers during 2014.”

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

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Samsung

63.0

213.0

86.0

319.8

Apple

47.8

135.8

51.0

153.4

Huawei

10.9

30.2

16.6

50.4

LG

8.6

26.3

13.2

47.6

Lenovo

9.2

23.5

13.6

45.5

Others

77.5

271.3

109.8

373.3

Total

217.0

700.1

290.2

990.0

 

 

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Samsung

29.0%

30.4%

29.6%

32.3%

Apple

22.0%

19.4%

17.6%

15.5%

Huawei

5.0%

4.3%

5.7%

5.1%

LG

4.0%

3.8%

4.5%

4.8%

Lenovo

4.2%

3.4%

4.7%

4.6%

Others

35.7%

38.8%

37.8%

37.7%

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

 

 

 

 

The full report, Global Smartphone Shipments Reach a Record 990 Million Units in 2013, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here.


 

[1]  Numbers are rounded.


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.



December 11, 2013 15:28 woh

It has recently been reported online that Nokia has been developing a smartphone, codenamed “Normandy”, which is based on the Android platform. We are not in a position to either confirm or deny these rumours, but if there is anything to them they would mark a remarkable change in strategy for Nokia, which committed 100% to Windows Phone as its sole smartphone platform almost three years ago. So we thought it would be interesting to explore the viability of such a move and ask why Nokia might consider it.

From one perspective, it fully makes sense that the Finnish vendor is trying to build its own Android devices to regain its losing market share in the low-cost handset segment, currently dominated by a lot of Android vendors including Samsung. Under the current circumstances Android is capturing more than 80% market share of all smartphones shipped during Q3 2013 identified in our published report from Wireless Smartphone Strategies, while even Nokia's Asha smart feature phone line-up, designed for low-tier handset markets, is being squeezed by increasingly cheap, but still app-rich Android devices. 

Our smartphone model tracking report for Q3 2013 forecasts Nokia's lower-priced WP-based Lumia 520 to be the most popular Nokia-branded smartphones, outselling most Asha-branded phones. This indicates that Nokia still has some market influence in the low-cost smartphone market with the appealing UI and Windows ecosystem in both emerging and developed markets. It’s possible that Nokia wants its "Normandy” to replace the role of Lumia 520 in the lower-tier markets, based on the low price, well-established Android ecosystems and Nokia's established skill in selling handsets.

Of course this is all speculation on a product that may not even exist, and even if it does it’s hard to imagine Microsoft continuing to develop an Android handset after its acquisition of Nokia’s devices business is complete. But as a vertical handset player Microsoft does need to find a way of increasing its smartphone market share. A if it’s struggling to scale Windows Phone down into the lower price-tiers it needs to find an alternative.


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.