Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

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.


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.


September 18, 2014 12:03 nmawston

According to new research from our Country Share Tracker (CST) service, the Xiaomi Redmi was the world's 4th best-selling smartphone by volume in Q2 2014. The impressive performance (re)confirms how big the China market has become, and how powerful the Chinese brands are becoming (e.g. Huawei, Lenovo, TCL-A, ZTE, etc.). More analysis and data, of global smartphone shipments by MODEL for Q2 2014, can be downloaded by clients here.


September 18, 2014 11:54 nmawston

The French mobile phone market dipped 5% YoY in Q2 2014, in keeping with the longer-term trend of slightly sluggish growth in the country. Among vendors, Samsung and Apple retained the top two spots, but both brands lost share. Local vendor, Wiko, continued to make impressive gains -- although, there are signs it may be slowing. This published report, available to clients, tracks handset vendor marketshare at the four major French operators -- Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile -- from Q1 2009 to Q2 2014. The report is an important tool for measuring the health of individual handset brands at the operator level.


September 3, 2014 01:33 lsui

According to a new report from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service -- Value Share : Global Smartphone Revenue and ASP by Vendor by Price-Tier : Q2 2014 -- Lenovo became the world's largest smartphone vendor by volume in the entry-tier category in the second quarter of 2014. This is a first for the company.

However, we note the vast majority of Lenovo's smartphone shipments are generated in its home market of China. Outside China, Lenovo remains a tiny second-tier smartphone brand at the moment.

More analysis of Lenovo and smartphone shipments by price-tier can be viewed by clients here.


August 6, 2014 21:47 nmawston

According our Smartphones (WSS) research service, HTC’s global smartphone shipments fell year-on-year in Q2 2014. This was the vendor’s tenth straight quarter of volume declines. Like Motorola and Nokia, should HTC start searching for a merger partner in 2015? This published report, available to clients, explores the strategic options available to HTC.