Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

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.

April 8, 2014 18:30 khyers


Global smartphone sales will grow +21% in 2014, as consumers worldwide continue to upgrade their mobile devices. Asia Pacific remains easily the biggest region, followed by North America. The three largest smartphone countries by far in the next seven years will be China, India and the USA, due to their massive populations.

This report - available to subscribers of Strategy Analytics's Wireless Smartphone Strategies service forecasts global smartphone sales, for 88 countries worldwide, from 2007 to 2020. Almost every major country worldwide is covered, including the United States, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This report can be used by operators, software developers, content developers, handset vendors, component makers, car manufacturers and other stakeholders to determine the size and growth rate of the huge global smartphone market

April 4, 2014 19:04 khyers

Taiwan’s HTC has released the M8, its latest flagship smartphone and successor to the One which won numerous Phone of the Year awards in 2013.  The M8 appears well positioned to bag a number of similar awards for 2014, but will near-universal acclaim be enough to drive sales?  This published report – available for clients – identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the M8 and what HTC needs to do in order to drive sales of its latest flagship device.

April 2, 2014 10:25 sbicheno

Canadian smartphone specialist BlackBerry announced another major year-on-year fall in global units shipments recently, which marks the 11th quarter in a row it has seen an annual decline.

Our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service notes that it also reported a significantly larger figure for sales through to the end-user, with the difference accounted for by inventory recognized in previous quarters, and the majority of which were running the older BlackBerry 7 OS, which was replaced as the main BlackBerry platform by BB10 a year ago.

While BlackBerry’s shipment decline began in 2011, it seemed to have stabilised in the latter half of 2012. In the light of the continued clearing of BB7 inventory it now appears that the Q3 and Q4 2012 BlackBerry shipments numbers were inflated by a rush to pump BB7 units into the channel - presumably at a discount - in order to clear the decks for the big BB10 launch. One possible negative side-effect of this may have been to offer a cheap, familiar alternative to consumers who might otherwise have given the new BB10 smartphones a try.

On that note, BlackBerry seems to also be streamlining the channel itself, with the recent announcement that it will not renew the licence for T-Mobile US to sell BlackBerry devices after it expires towards the end of April. This decision seems to have been influenced by a February T-Mobile email marketing campaign, encouraging its customers to switch from BlackBerry smartphones to iPhones. BlackBerry CEO John Chen made his displeasure known at the time through a blog, and the damage done appears to have been permanent.

March 26, 2014 18:36 sbicheno

There are currently unconfirmed reports online that pre-orders of the Android-based Nokia X smartphone are selling-out rapidly and speculation that this may amount to many millions of units. While Strategy Analytics WSS service cannot either confirm or refute these rumours, they do raise an interesting question: will Microsoft continue to support the Nokia X family once the acquisition is complete?

The easiest assumption to make is that Microsoft, which let’s not forget competes directly with Android via Windows Phone, will pull the plug on the Nokia X range as soon as it can. But with a new CEO Microsoft is currently undergoing a major strategic re-think, and may come to the conclusion that it is unlikely to ever replicate its PC software licensing business in mobile.

If that’s the case, and the Nokia X phones perform well in the market, Microsoft may conclude that they’re worth sticking with, if only in the name of increasing its market share as a vertical mobile phone player. Microsoft may conclude that its biggest need is a commercial relationship with as large a mobile installed base as possible, and how it acquires that is of secondary importance.

We shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out either way. 

March 26, 2014 16:43 sbicheno

Taiwanese smartphone specialist HTC has recently updated its flagship handset: the HTC One (M8). According to WSS service it appears to have once more produced one of the more attractive, well-engineered and feature-rich smartphones available but, as HTC’s performance over the last few years indicates, that alone doesn’t necessarily ensure strong sales.

The current clear leaders among smartphone vendors are also the two companies that spend the most, not just on R&D, but marketing and channel development. HTC has a good brand, but making that brand stand out from the crown requires extensive and clever marketing. Furthermore, global volume requires extensive global distribution, and HTC needs increase its coverage in as many markets as possible if it wants to reclaim some of its lost market share.

March 19, 2014 17:26 sbicheno

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, Chinese vendor Oppo is choosing to address the Android smartphone differentiation challenge by attempting to beat its competitors to the most cutting-edge specs. The Find 7, launched today, claims the ability to take 50MP images as its signature USP. The device itself has a 13MP sensor for its main camera, but takes a burst of images and uses software to combine them into a 50MP shot. The ultimate function of such a feature is similar to the post-processing capability enabled by the 41MP sensor in the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Other notable high-end specs in the Find 7 include one of the first QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) screens in this 5.5-inch phablet and 4K video recording at 30fps. All this is supported by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC and quick-charging technology. Oppo has so far offered little further information bar the marketing video below, but our WSS service thinks it’s significant that the latest company to attempt to raise the smartphone spec bar services primarily the Chinese market.

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/iZIJlWGHU40?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>



March 19, 2014 16:59 sbicheno

As covered on our Wearable Device Ecosystems blog, Google formally unveiled Android Wear, which extends Android to wearable devices such as smartwatches. While proprietary platforms already exists that boast a degree of Android compatibility - such as those for the Sony Smartwatch and the Samsung Galaxy Gear - the arrival of full android for wearables should open up the market dramatically.

This is potentially good news for Android vendors, who have been struggling to differentiate their similar-looking rectangular touchscreen devices for some time. For the mid-term wearables look set to mainly by dumb accessories, rather than independently smart devices, and as such are likely to be sold bundled with smartphones. This means they are essentially a new feature of the smartphone and thus a new point of differentiation.

March 18, 2014 17:11 sbicheno

Our WDS (Devices) research service noticed recently that, on its UK web-store, Apple has introduced an 8GB version of its iPhone 5c, which is selling for £40 less than the 16GB version - a discount of 8.5%.

This move may indicate that Apple is dissatisfied with sales of the 5c and is looking to stimulate the market with a further price reduction. However, since the 16GB 5c is currently 14.5% cheaper than the 16GB 5s in the UK (£469 and £549, respectively) it’s possible that this further reduction will provide insufficient extra incentive to buy.

When Apple launched the iPhone 5c we observed that it had opted to preserve margin rather than chase volume. That remains a valid strategy, but it does make it more difficult to subsequently chase volume without the move being interpreted as a strategic rethink.