Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

July 17, 2014 18:25 nmawston

According to our WSS (Smartphones) research service, BlackBerry smartphone shipments fell sharply worldwide during Q2 2014. The Canadian vendor continued to struggle in all regions worldwide. However, cost-cutting and inventory destocking helped BlackBerry to trim its financial losses to the lowest level for over a year. A partnership with Amazon Appstore also improved its services portfolio and there are tentative signs that BlackBerry may finally stabilize in the second half of this year.


July 17, 2014 18:14 nmawston

Mozille announced today that its Firefox OS is now available on 7 smartphone models at 5 major carriers in 15 countries worldwide. Latin America and Europe are the current regions of availability, with Asia next on the roadmap.

Clients of our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service can download our global Firefox smartphone sales, installed base and user base forecasts across 88 countries through 2018 at this weblink.


June 10, 2014 15:50 lsui

At the breakout session today -- in ZTE's annual analyst event in China -- the keywords are online channel and voice interaction.

Like many other Chinese vendors, ZTE has emphasized the critical role that online distribution channels play in branding equity enhancement. For instance, all of its three 4G models recently launched focus on online channels by working with big Chinese e-tailers, such as JD and T-Mall. ZTE targets that 20% of total smartphone sales this year will go via the online channel. Interestingly, offline and online is not completely exclusive. In contrast, as we have seen from Xiaomi, ZTE also tries to leverage online resources to do branding, and blur the boundary between the two to bring more online models to offline channels to generate volumes. For example, it plans to open up over hundreds of Nubia physical stores this year to enhance the penetration into offline channels.

ZTE showcased more voice-recognition usages today, such as voice-print unlocking, voice navigation, etc. ZTE claims the voice-recognition rate has improved to over 90% with its own technology by working with Nuance and other technical partners. Moreover, it will adopt more voice-interaction functions by integrating it with ZTE's own UI-MiFavor 3.0 later this year.  We like the idea very much, but it remains to be seen how users / consumers will embrace it or not -- the industry might need a more influential American player, such as Apple, to make voice-recognition adoption more widely available.

Something missing today from the session was the topic of LTE-Advanced -- it was not really covered. It is also surprising that ZTE confirmed they will adopt their own chipset mainly in modem products -- rather than their own smartphones -- in the short term, making us suspect it might still need time to improve and optimize the chipset products for cellphones.


April 29, 2014 02:50 woh

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service, global smartphone shipments grew +33% annually to reach 285 million units in the first quarter of 2014. Leaders Samsung and Apple lost slight traction in the quarter, while Huawei and Lenovo each held five percent marketshare worldwide.

Global smartphone shipments grew 33 percent annually from 213.9 million units in Q1 2013 to 285.0 million in Q1 2014.Smartphone growth was mixed on a regional basis during the quarter, with healthy demand in Asia counterbalanced by sluggish volumes across North America due to changes in the operator subsidy mix.

SAMSUNG shipped 89.0 million smartphones worldwide and captured 31 percent marketshare in Q1 2014, dipping slightly from 32 percent a year earlier. This was Samsung’s first annual marketshare loss in the smartphone category since Q4 2009. Samsung continues to face tough competition from Apple at the higher-end of the smartphone market and from Chinese brands like Huawei at the lower-end.

APPLE grew a below-average 17 percent annually and shipped 43.7 million iPhones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare in Q1 2014, falling from the 17 percent level recorded during Q1 2013. Apple remains strong in the premium smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the entry-level category continues to cost it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as Latin America.

The combined global smartphone marketshare of SAMSUNG and APPLE has slipped from 50 percent in Q1 2013 to 47 percent in Q1 2014. There is more competition than ever coming from the second-tier smartphone brands. HUAWEI remained steady with 5 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q1 2014, while LENOVO has increased its global presence from 4 percent to 5 percent share during the past year. Huawei is expanding swiftly in Europe, while Lenovo continues to grow aggressively outside China into new regions such as Russia. If the recent Lenovo takeover of MOTOROLA gets approved by various governments in the coming months, this will eventually create an even larger competitive force that Samsung and Apple must contend with in the second half of this year.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q1 2014  [1]

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q1 '13

Q1 '14

Samsung

69.4

89.0

Apple

37.4

43.7

Huawei

10.0

13.4

Lenovo

8.4

13.3

Others

88.7

125.6

Total

213.9

285.0

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q1 '13

Q1 '14

Samsung

32.4%

31.2%

Apple

17.5%

15.3%

Huawei

4.7%

4.7%

Lenovo

3.9%

4.7%

Others

41.5%

44.1%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

39.1%

33.2%

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

 

[1] Numbers are rounded.


April 24, 2014 16:23 lsui

LTE, branding and retail-point expansion are the three keywords for Huawei's global smartphone business in day 2 at its annual analyst event this week. Our smartphone team is attending.

LTE is the most important growth driver for Huawei's 80 million smartphone target in 2014. China, Western Europe, as well as other emerging markets, will play a determining role in its global LTE landscape. Our Wireless Device Strategies (WDS) service tracks global LTE phone volume and value (wholesale revenues and ASPs) on quarterly basis in this report.

Branding enhancement is an on-going project for Huawei over the past few years. Shfiting from product-centric to consumer-centric is their highlight for this year.

Open-channel retail-points have been playing an increasing role during Huawei's transition from a previous ODM / operator-centric business model to an OEM / own-branded business model. This year, Huawei will further solidify its global retail presence by setting up more branded shops, display zones and tables worldwide. The online channel for phones is burgeoning in China at the moment, however, we will not see a quick take-off of e-commerce in many emerging markets elsewhere very soon, so physical retail stores will maintain their critical role in both operator channels and open channels. Huawei's commitment on retail expansion is, in effect, a practical way to fulfill its global growth target this year. This published report, from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, forecasts smartphone sales by 7 channels for 6 regions and 3 major countries (China, India and Japan).

 


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.

 


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.


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.