Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

January 29, 2015 11:24 nmawston

According to the latest research from our WSS (Smartphones) service, global smartphone shipments grew 30 percent annually to reach a record 1.3 billion units in 2014. Android accounted for 81 percent of all smartphones last year and shipped over 1 billion units worldwide for the first time ever.

Global smartphone shipments grew 30 percent annually from 1.0 billion units in 2013 to a record 1.3 billion in 2014. Emerging markets, such as China and Indonesia, drove the industry’s growth last year and they will continue to do so through 2015.

Android shipped 1.0 billion smartphones worldwide in 2014, rising from 0.8 billion units in 2013. Android has become the first ever smartphone operating system to ship more than 1 billion units in a single year. Android accounted for a huge 81 percent share of all smartphones shipped globally in 2014, and Apple iOS remains its only serious threat for now. Apple iOS shipped 192.7 million smartphones worldwide in 2014, capturing 15 percent share. The new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models have recently re-energized Apple’s growth and their bigger-screen designs have swiftly gained traction among wealthy consumers.

Microsoft shipped 38.8 million smartphones for a relatively niche 3 percent marketshare worldwide in 2014. Microsoft’s Windows platform dominates PCs, but it continues to struggle in smartphones. Microsoft still lacks multiple major hardware partners to build its phones, while Microsoft’s retail presence in important countries like China remains tiny.

 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2014  [1]

Global Smartphone OS Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Android

227.3

780.8

291.7

1042.7

Apple iOS

51.0

153.4

74.5

192.7

Microsoft

9.6

35.8

11.3

38.8

Others

2.3

20.0

2.6

9.3

Total

290.2

990.0

380.1

1283.5

         

Global Smartphone OS Marketshare (%)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Android

78.3%

78.9%

76.7%

81.2%

Apple iOS

17.6%

15.5%

19.6%

15.0%

Microsoft

3.3%

3.6%

3.0%

3.0%

Others

0.8%

2.0%

0.7%

0.7%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth: Year-over-Year (%)

33.7%

41.4%

31.0%

29.6%

         

Source: Strategy Analytics

       

 



[1]  Numbers are rounded.


January 28, 2015 21:00 nmawston

According to the latest research from our WSS (Smartphones) service, global smartphone shipments grew 31 percent annually to reach a record 380 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014. Apple tied with Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor.

Global smartphone shipments grew 31 percent annually from 290.2 million units in Q4 2013 to a record 380.1 million in Q4 2014. An impressive 1.3 billion smartphones were shipped worldwide in 2014, with very strong growth seen last year in emerging markets such as China, India and Africa.

Apple shipped 74.5 million smartphones worldwide and captured a record 20 percent marketshare in Q4 2014, increasing from 18 percent a year earlier. Apple’s new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models are proving wildly popular in China, United States and Europe. Apple tied with Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor for the first time since Q4 2011. Samsung shipped 74.5 million smartphones worldwide and captured 20 percent marketshare in Q4 2014, dipping from 30 percent in Q4 2013. Samsung continues to face intense competition from Apple at the higher-end of the smartphone market, from Huawei in the middle-tiers, and from Xiaomi and others at the entry-level. Samsung may soon have to consider taking over rivals, such as Blackberry, in order to revitalize growth this year. Samsung remained the number one smartphone player globally on a full-year basis in 2014.

Lenovo merged officially with Motorola to capture 6 percent global smartphone marketshare and take third position in Q4 2014. Lenovo is hoping to leverage Motorola’s famous brand to drive global scale this year and to offset some of Lenovo’s recently weakening smartphone growth at home in China. Meanwhile, Huawei shipped a robust 24.1 million smartphones for 6 percent share and fourth position worldwide in Q4 2014. Huawei is expanding rapidly online in China and through retailers across Africa, enabling it to become an emerging powerhouse in developing markets.


 

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Marketshare in Q4 2014  [1]

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Samsung

86.0

319.8

74.5

317.2

Apple

51.0

153.4

74.5

192.7

Lenovo-Motorola

18.8

62.1

24.7

92.7

Huawei

16.6

50.4

24.1

74.1

Others

117.8

404.3

182.3

606.8

Total

290.2

990.0

380.1

1283.5

         

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare (%)

Q4 '13

2013

Q4 '14

2014

Samsung

29.6%

32.3%

19.6%

24.7%

Apple

17.6%

15.5%

19.6%

15.0%

Lenovo-Motorola

6.5%

6.3%

6.5%

7.2%

Huawei

5.7%

5.1%

6.3%

5.8%

Others

40.6%

40.8%

48.0%

47.3%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth: Year-over-Year (%)

33.7%

41.4%

31.0%

29.6%

         

Source: Strategy Analytics

       


[1]  Numbers are rounded.


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 5, 2015 14:34 nmawston

Micromax has partnered with Cyanogen -- an Android fork -- to launch its online-only smartphone sub-brand, YU, in India during H1 2015. Micromax is terrified of Xiaomi and the firm is stepping up its efforts to stop the rise of Xiaomi and other rival Chinese vendors. However, the YU program fragments the Android ecosystem and Google will NOT be overjoyed by this latest move from Micromax. More analysis of this emerging challenge for Google can be downloaded by clients here.



December 26, 2014 04:16 woh

According to our recently published report, Smartphone Sales Forecast by Type: Phablets and Superphones, under our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, 'Superphone', defined as smartphone with display size, 4.00 to 4.99 inch, and 'Standard Phablet', defined as smartphone with display size between 5.00 and 5.99 inch, are accounting for more than 80% share of global smartphone sales in 2015. The growing number of appealing data-centric services such as gaming, navigation, video-calls, watching movies and soap operas, the lowering smartphone prices and the increasing demand for over 4" smartphones in emerging market are estimated as the primary factors of the popularity of the smartphones over 4 inch.

This extensive report 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. From this report on, we have a split forecast for 5.00 to 5.49 inch, and 5.50 to 5.99 inch standard phablet market. This report can be viewable to our paid clients at this link.


December 10, 2014 10:25 PLin

According to the latest report -- “Micromax YU Android-Fork Challenges Xiaomi in India” -- from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) research service, Micromax -- India’s second largest smartphone vendor -- has partnered with Cyanogen -- an Android fork -- to launch commercially a new online-only smartphone sub-brand – YU -- in India during December 2014.

Micromax is terrified of Xiaomi and the firm is stepping up its efforts to stop the rise of Xiaomi and other rival Chinese vendors. By targeting first the online distribution channel, Micromax YU is entering a fast-growing sector. However, the YU program fragments the Android ecosystem and Google will not be overjoyed by this latest move from Micromax.

As an early-mover with an Android fork, will YU be a game-changer in India? For clients, there is more analysis available here.


November 6, 2014 05:25 woh

Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone vendor by volume, has officially announced a new duo of premium-looking metal smartphones, A3 and A5, at the end of October, 2014 and is planning on hard-launching them in November in select markets, mostly emerging markets, such as China at affordable price-points to address the mounting competition from local vendors. A3 and A5, which are the first two smartphones under the category of the new Galaxy A series, are believed to target the younger and first-time smartphone users in the growing emerging markets, with nice-looking metal unibody design, modest specifications and mid-ranged prices.

In addition to the metal design, it would be worth noting that these mid-priced smartphones are featuring 4G LTE connectivity and 5MP secondary camera, which is better than 3.7MP on more premium Galaxy Note 4. We believe that Samsung is taking on a selective marketing for the younger generation who wants to enjoy the faster data services on the faster 4G network, and spends much time to take the "selfie" photos in developing regions. There has been no words on the more advanced Galaxy A7 model, but will be expected to come with higher display resolution and stronger feature-sets later on.


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.