Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

January 27, 2015 05:26 lsui

Motorola has recently announced to reenter China by launching Moto X, Moto G and Moto X Pro, three smartphone models, on Jan 26th, 2015, in Beijing. More than one year has passed since Motorola previously completely pulled out from the world's largest smartphone market in the second half of 2013.

Moto X and Moto Pro target the premium-tier segment, and Moto G, one of Motorola's best-selling models in 2014, eyes the mid-tier segment. Motorola will work closely with online retailers to sell the three phones, including Jingdong, T-Mall etc.

Motorola believe their key differentiators are full technology enablement (e.g. supporting China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom for all 3G and 4G technologies), a "pure" Android UI, as well as customized service / software offerings. However, there are already many full-technology-enabled models from ZTE and other local vendors available in China at the moment. Those latter two models from Motorola will find it hard to stand out from rivals.

Reintroducing Motorola-branded phones to China will dilute Lenovo's shift up-tier and also its online intiatives. Lenovo has the Vibe sub-brand targeting premium-tier segments, and it has just set up an online sub-brand and division -- Magic Factory -- in H2 2014. For Lenovo and Motorola, it will be a challenge to balance and manage these multiple brands in such a crowded Chinese marketplace this year.

Moreover, it remains to be seen whether Chinese consumers still value the Motorola brand and whether they will embrace a "new" Motorola. For us, this looks like a risky move by a struggling Lenovo desperate to re-jazz its fading smartphone growth at home.

NI HAO, MOTO!


January 22, 2015 07:47 PLin

According to the latest report, Global Smartphone Sales Forecast: Offline vs. Online -- from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service -- the distribution of smartphones through online channels will grow an above-average +21% worldwide in 2015. North America, Western Europe and China are especially active, and those regions are experiencing a Golden Age for online smartphone distribution.

Our report forecasts global smartphone offline and online distribution flows for 6 major regions and 3 key countries from 2007 to 2020, including North America, Western Europe, Latin America, China, Japan and India. The forecasts can be used by smartphone vendors, vehicle makers, apps developers and others to identify the main regional channels where smartphones are being sold, and how rapidly online channels are emerging alongside, and in some cases displacing, offline distribution. The report is available here to clients.


January 22, 2015 07:17 PLin

According to our latest report, Global Smartphone Sale Forecast: Operators vs. Retailers -- from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service -- several hundred million smartphones will flow through "closed" operator channels worldwide during 2015. Operators have traditionally dominated smartphone distribution until 2013, but retailers have surpassed operator channels since 2014 and will grow their share of the industry in the coming years.

This report forecasts global smartphone distribution flows for 6 major regions and 3 key countries from 2007 to 2020, including North America, Western Europe, Latin America, China, Japan and India. The forecasts can be used by smartphone vendors, vehicle makers, apps developers and others to identify the main regional channels where mobile phones are being sold, and whether operators or retailers are winning the distribution wars. The report is available here to clients.


November 26, 2014 13:43 PLin

According to the latest report -- Global Smartphone Shipments by Family / Model: Q3 2014 -- from our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) research service, global smartphone shipments grew +28% annually in Q3 2014. Consumers and operators continue to be attracted to a handful of preferred brands, preferred families and preferred models during the quarter.

We estimate the top 15 families of models accounted for 6 in 10 of total smartphones shipped worldwide during the quarter. Samsung and Apple top the charts, but LG's G and L series, Huawei's Ascend, Lenovo's A series and Xiaomi's Redmi phones are quietly gaining traction.

Our extensive report -- published to clients here -- tracks the world's best-selling smartphone top 15 families and top 50 models by shipment volumes from Q1 2011 to Q3 2014. It is a valuable tool for component makers, car manufacturers, content suppliers, mobile operators, device vendors and other stakeholders who want to identify and measure the world's most-popular smartphones by individual model.


November 26, 2014 13:19 PLin

According to the latest report -- ‘Smartphone Vendor ASP and Revenue Share by Region: Q3 2014 -- from our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) research service, global smartphone industry revenues rose +13% annually in Q3 2014. Apple regained the first spot by revenue. Samsung dipped to second spot by revenue, but maintained its first place in volume. LG maintained third by volume. For the first time ever, Xiaomi jumped into the top 5 list by smartphone revenue, driven by strong shipments growth. 

Our extensive
report -- available to clients here -- provides quarterly global smartphone wholesale ASP, revenue and shipment metrics for 16 major OEMs across six major regions from Q1 2012 to Q3 2014. It is a valuable tool for operators, component manufacturers, carmakers, financial analysts and other stakeholders who want to track smartphone pricing and the financial health of major vendors on a regional basis.


October 31, 2014 12:13 nmawston

According to the latest report from our WSS (Smartphones) research service, global smartphone shipments reached 320 million units in the third quarter of 2014. The Android operating system captured a dominant 84 percent global marketshare, squeezing Apple iOS, Microsoft and Blackberry.

Global smartphone shipments grew 27 percent annually from 252.9 million units in Q3 2013 to 320.4 million in Q3 2014. Smartphone growth continues to be driven by robust demand in emerging markets, particularly Asia and Africa Middle East.

Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments remained strong in Q3 2014, with an impressive 84 percent of all smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came at the expense of every major rival platform. BlackBerry’s global smartphone share has stayed flat at 1 percent in the past year, due to a lackluster range of BB10 devices. Apple iOS lost one point of share to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market. Microsoft Windows Phone continued to struggle in China and Japan, and its global smartphone marketshare fell from 4 percent in Q3 2013 to 3 percent during Q3 2014.

 

Android’s leadership of the global smartphone market looks unbeatable at the moment. Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide. However, challenges are emerging for Google. The Android platform is getting overcrowded with hundreds of hardware brands, Android smartphone prices are falling worldwide, and few Android device vendors make profits.



Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone OS Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2014 
[1]

Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Android

205.9

268.0

Apple iOS

33.8

39.3

Microsoft

10.3

10.5

BlackBerry

2.5

2.3

Others

0.4

0.3

Total

252.9

320.4

     

Global Smartphone Operating System Marketshare  %

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Android

81.4%

83.6%

Apple iOS

13.4%

12.3%

Microsoft

4.1%

3.3%

BlackBerry

1.0%

0.7%

Others

0.2%

0.1%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

     

Total Growth Year-over-Year  %

46.4%

26.7%

     

Source: Strategy Analytics

   

 

 


[1]  Numbers are rounded.


October 30, 2014 10:49 nmawston

Lenovo and Motorola confirmed today, Thursday 30 October 2014, that the US$2.9 billion deal to merge their smartphone divisions has been approved and wrapped up. Two have become one.

According to analysis from our WSS (Smartphones) research service, the "big three" ADVANTAGES of the merger include:

1. Increased scale. Higher volumes can equal lower costs. Lenovo captured 5% marketshare of global smartphone shipments in Q3 2014, while Motorola captured 3% marketshare of global smartphone shipments in Q3 2014. Together, they now hold 8% share of the worldwide smartphone market;

2. Deeper distribution channels. Lenovo and Motorola together can now sell smartphones, tablets and wearables in more countries and in more retail stores, operator stores, online stores, or PC channels;

3. Bigger marketing / R&D budgets. Lenovo and Motorola together can potentially spend or borrow more to fund extra marketing and R&D activities.


The "big three" DISDVANTAGES of the merger include:

1. Lenovo is slowing down. Lenovo's rapid smartphone growth of recent years is now coming to an end, due to fierce competition from Xiaomi and others. Based on our data, Lenovo's global smartphone shpiments annual growth rate has more than halved from +74% YoY in Q3 2013 to +30% YoY in Q3 2014;

2. Motorola is losing money. Motorola continues to make hefty financial losses, due to a relatively large cost-base. Based on Strategy Analytics data, Motorola has NOT made a profit for 4 years;

3. Smartphone mergers usually take several years to integrate. For example, TCL-Alcatel, a Chinese and French merger, took around 5 years to stabilize and sustain growth.


Clearly, Lenovo and Motorola have strong tailwinds -- such as 8% global smartphone marketshare and two well-known brands. But Lenovo and Motorola also face major headwinds. Lenovo's golden era of easy smartphone growth is coming to an end, while Motorola continues to lose money. Merging these two firms next year will NOT be as easy as many expect.


October 29, 2014 23:57 nmawston

According to the latest report from our WSS (Smartphones) research service, global smartphone shipments grew 27 percent annually to reach a record 320 million units in the third quarter of 2014. Xiaomi was the star performer, capturing a record 6 percent marketshare and becoming the world’s third largest smartphone vendor for the first time ever.

 

Global smartphone shipments grew 27 percent annually from 252.9 million units in Q3 2013 to a record 320.4 million in Q3 2014. Smartphone growth was mixed on a regional basis during the quarter, with healthy demand in Asia and Africa counterbalanced by sluggish volumes across North America and Europe due to ongoing changes in the operator subsidy mix.

 

Samsung shipped 79.2 million smartphones worldwide and captured 25 percent marketshare in Q3 2014, dipping from 35 percent a year earlier. Samsung continues to face tough competition from Apple at the higher-end of the smartphone market, from Xiaomi and Huawei in the middle-tiers, and from Lenovo and others at the entry-level. Samsung is aiming to fight back in the next quarter with fresh models such as the Galaxy Note Edge and Note 4. Apple grew a below-average 16 percent annually and shipped 39.3 million iPhones worldwide for 12 percent marketshare in Q3 2014. Apple’s iPhone growth is slowing worldwide because of its limited presence in the fast-growing entry-level segment. Xiaomi was the star performer in the quarter, capturing a record 6 percent marketshare and rising into third place in the global smartphone rankings for the first time ever. Xiaomi’s Android smartphone models are wildly popular in the Chinese market and it shifts millions of them every quarter through its extensive online and operator channels. Xiaomi’s next step is to target the international market in Asia and Europe, where it may face stronger headwinds of low brand awareness and technology-patent challenges next year.

 

LG shipped a record 16.8 million smartphones worldwide in Q3 2014, rising to fourth position and taking 5 percent global share. LG is performing relatively well in the United States and Europe, due to attractive new models such as the G3 and L series. Huawei rounded out the top five players with 5 percent global smartphone share in the quarter. Huawei’s core strengths lie in emerging markets, such as Africa, China and Latin America, where it operates extensive distribution channels.

 


Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q3 2014 
[1]

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Samsung

88.4

79.2

Apple

33.8

39.3

Xiaomi

5.2

18.0

LG

12.0

16.8

Huawei

12.7

16.5

Others

100.8

150.6

Total

252.9

320.4

     

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare (%)

Q3 '13

Q3 '14

Samsung

35.0%

24.7%

Apple

13.4%

12.3%

Xiaomi

2.1%

5.6%

LG

4.7%

5.2%

Huawei

5.0%

5.1%

Others

39.9%

47.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth: Year-over-Year (%)

46.4%

26.7%

     

Source: Strategy Analytics

   


[1]  Numbers are rounded.


October 28, 2014 21:14 nmawston

According to a new report from our WSS (Smartphones) research servcice, Apple shipped 39 million iPhones worldwide in Q3 2014. Its annual shipment growth rate was only +16% and it continues to slow down. However, weaker shipments are being offset by a stronger ASP, which increased for the first time in two years due to a higher mix of expensive iPhone 6 models. More analysis of Apple's pricing can be viewed by clients here.


October 20, 2014 15:20 nmawston

According to a new report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Blackberry captured 1% smartphone share worldwide in Q3 2014. The company’s hardware division is finally on the cusp of returning to profits for the first time in three years. Cost cuts (e.g. outsourcing) and improved BB10 designs -- like the Z3 and Passport models -- are driving the vendor’s enhanced performance. Additional analysis can be viewed by clients here.