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 11:27 nmawston

According to our WSS (Smartphones) research servicesmartphone revenues will grow +16% worldwide during 2014. At the same time, the four BRIC countries combined -- Brazil, Russia, India, and China -- will all grow at rates well above the global average.

Led by China, BRIC countries will generate 36% of all global smartphone revenues in 2014. Among the four countries this year, China will experience the highest revenue and ASP growth rate, propelled by the decrease in the ultra-low-tier market and the increase in other higher-price-range segments.

Meanwhile, we forecast China will surpass the US to become the largest smartphone market by revenue this year.

This extensive published report, available to clients, forecasts BRIC country smartphone sales volume, wholesale revenues, and wholesale ASPs across 8 price-tiers from 2009 to 2020. In-depth 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 each country's smartphone market by value, and benchmark their pricing strategies.

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 11, 2014 22:57 nmawston

According to our WSS (Smartphones) research service, global dual-SIM smartphone sales will grow an impressive +61% YoY in 2014. Asia, China and India remain by far the largest markets for dual-SIM smartphones and the ones that hardware and component makers should prioritize. Lenovo and Samsung are among the major dual-SIM smartphone players worldwide. This extensive report, available for downloadb by clients here, contains forecasts for global dual-SIM smartphone sales in 6 major regions and 2 key countries -- China and India -- from 2007 to 2020. Qualitative analysis of top vendors and key technologies in this market are included, too.


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.

February 7, 2014 17:19 nmawston

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, smartphone shipments dipped -7% annually in North America during the fourth quarter of 2013. Apple jumped ahead of Samsung and LG, on the strength of the new iPhone 5s, but the lackluster appeal of the 5c was a disappointment. Android lost a few points of share from a year earlier, as Apple iOS fought back. Meanwhile, Microsoft overtook BlackBerry to cement its position as the region's third largest platform.

This published report -- available to clients -- contains quarterly smartphone shipments and marketshare for the top 20 vendors and top 5 operating systems in the valuable United States and Canada markets for Q4 2013.

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


Q4 '13







Apple iOS

























Global Smartphone Operating System Marketshare  %

Q4 '12


Q4 '13







Apple iOS

























Total Growth Year-over-Year %










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.