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 1, 2014 23:40 swaltzer

Subscribers can now view the replay and slides of our recent webinar on Strategy Analytics' newly upgraded My Dashboards ToolSee how Strategy Analytics’ upgraded Devices 'Dashboards' provide you with the data you need on the global handset and smartphone markets. Our 'dashboard' is an online, customizable pivot-table and charting tool. The new and powerful tool provides the ability to access, visualize, export, and create bookmarks of custom-cuts of our most popular market tracking and forecasting datasets. The Webinar introduced 'Dashboards' and taught you how to get the most out of our upgraded 'MyDashboards' tool.


June 19, 2014 23:11 swaltzer

After years of speculation, Amazon finally introduced its first Fire Phone with AT&T in the US on Wednesday, 18th June, 2014. Amazon is planning to take a slice of the global smartphone hardware industry and expand the mobile shopping market. However, the Fire is neither optimized for smartphone buyers nor mobile shoppers, and it risks getting caught in no-man’s land. This first-generation Fire may struggle to gain traction. Further insight and analysis on this topic can be found for subscribers in our published report here: Amazon Fire Puts a Shopping Cart in Your Pocket.


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.


May 27, 2014 15:25 nmawston

According to recent research from our WSS (Smartphones) analysis service, some 231 million Android smartphones were shipped worldwide in Q1 2014. Samsung remains the clear number one hardware vendor for Google’s platform. However, among the tier-two brands, there is a growing wave of Chinese players picking up marketshare, led by Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi. What can other rivals, such as Sony or LG, do about it? Clients can read additional data in this published report.


May 6, 2014 15:03 sbicheno

As smartphone vendors, bar Apple and Samsung, continue to find it difficult to extract profit from hardware sales, they’re increasingly looking for novel methods of generating a bit of much-needed margin. Similarly the software license model that served Microsoft and others so well in PCs is not being replicated in mobile, so nearly everyone is under pressure to find another way to profit from the age of the smartphone.

Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service believes one likely new mobile business model was highlighted by the recent announcement from the CEO of the UK’s biggest supermarket chain - Tesco - that his company will launch its own smartphone by the end of this year. Tesco has already managed to claim a respectable chunk of UK tablet market share through the own-branded Hudl, launched in Q4 2013, and it clearly thinks it can replicate that performance with a smartphone.

The strategy behind a retailer becoming a mobile device vendor is to gain a captive mobile audience, which it hope to then sell other products to. This is why Tesco was able to launch the Hudle at a very low price and we expect it to do the same with its smartphone. If a significant proportion of the population uses a Tesco mobile device, that should increase not only the amount of m-commerce they do through the retailer, but hopefully customer loyalty too.

This was also the thinking behind Amazon’s launch of the Kindle Fire. While the Kindle Fire hasn’t reached the level of global tablet market share Amazon might have liked, Amazon’s extensively reported plans to launch a smartphone of its own this year indicate the business model has proved itself sufficiently to justify the considerable risk involved in trying to become a smartphone player.

Both the Tesco and Amazon smartphone initiatives are representative of a new mobile business model that is likely to gather momentum as companies look to take of the profit from mobile devices that is currently being dominated by Apple, Samsung, Google and Facebook. Microsoft is increasingly indicating it is chasing captive installed base rather than software revenue and innovative smartphone players such as Xiaomi are also experiencing significant success selling cut-price devices in order to grow installed base. The success or failure of these products could provide a good barometer of the likely future direction of the mobile industry.


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 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 18, 2014 01:29 woh

According to a new report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, 'Smartphone Sales Forecast by Type: Phablets and Superphones', the superphone from 4 to 5 inch and the phablet from 5 to 6 inch segments are forecast to dominate the global smartphone market through 2020. This trend is already happening presently, and will be predicted to be accelerated by continued and solid consumer demand for bigger screen-sizes above 4 inches. Android is leading the phablet segment, while Apple iOS devices are driving the superphone sector.

Our extensive report, available to our paid clients, forecasts global smartphone sales by type from 2003 to 2020, and it identifies which categories will grow at above-average rates during the next seven years. Types of devices covered include superphablets, phablets, superphones, and standard 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.