Wireless Smartphone Strategies

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

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>

 

 


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 27, 2014 23:24 khyers

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. Huawei, Lenovo and LG were the star performers, capturing a combined 14 percent marketshare worldwide and closing the gap on Apple.

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.

Samsung shipped a record 319.8 million smartphones worldwide and captured 32 percent marketshare in 2013. This was the largest number of units ever shipped by a smartphone vendor in a single year. Despite tough competition from a long tail of Chinese and American brands, Samsung continued to deliver numerous hit models, such as the Galaxy S4 and Note 3.

Apple grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent marketshare in 2013, dipping from the 19 percent level recorded in 2012. Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India.

Samsung and Apple together accounted for almost half of all smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013. Large marketing budgets, extensive distribution channels and attractive product portfolios have enabled Samsung and Apple to maintain their grip on the smartphone industry. However, there is clearly now more competition coming from the second-tier smartphone brands. Huawei, LG and Lenovo each grew their smartphone shipments around two times faster than the global industry average and captured a combined 14 percent marketshare. Huawei is expanding swiftly in Europe, while LG’s Optimus range is proving popular in Latin America, and Lenovo’s Android models are selling at competitive price-points across China. Samsung and Apple will need to fight hard to hold off these and other hungry challengers during 2014.”

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments and Market Share in Q4 2013   [1]

Global Smartphone Vendor Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Samsung

63.0

213.0

86.0

319.8

Apple

47.8

135.8

51.0

153.4

Huawei

10.9

30.2

16.6

50.4

LG

8.6

26.3

13.2

47.6

Lenovo

9.2

23.5

13.6

45.5

Others

77.5

271.3

109.8

373.3

Total

217.0

700.1

290.2

990.0

 

 

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Vendor Marketshare  %

Q4 '12

2012

Q4 '13

2013

Samsung

29.0%

30.4%

29.6%

32.3%

Apple

22.0%

19.4%

17.6%

15.5%

Huawei

5.0%

4.3%

5.7%

5.1%

LG

4.0%

3.8%

4.5%

4.8%

Lenovo

4.2%

3.4%

4.7%

4.6%

Others

35.7%

38.8%

37.8%

37.7%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

38.2%

42.7%

33.7%

41.4%

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

 

 

The full report, Global Smartphone Shipments Reach a Record 990 Million Units in 2013, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here.


 

[1]  Numbers are rounded.


January 17, 2014 19:33 nmawston

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, the global Tizen smartphone installed base will be a niche proposition in 2014 / 2015. Can Samsung get the new mobile operating system off the ground in places like Japan and Western Europe? Can it avoid a "Bada 2.0" scenario?

This extensive published report, available to clients, forecasts global smartphone sales, by 14 operating systems for 88 countries worldwide, from 2007 to 2018. 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, Spain and others.



January 15, 2014 16:56 nmawston

According to our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global Microsoft smartphone sales will grow at a healthy clip in 2014. Microsoft will establish itself as the smartphone industry's 3rd ecosystem. However, Firefox OS, and even Tizen, will be among the fastest-growing operating systems and they will provide competition for the US giant.

This extensive published report, available to clients, forecasts global smartphone sales, by 14 operating systems for 88 countries worldwide, from 2007 to 2018. 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, Spain and others.


January 15, 2014 16:49 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 Country Share Tracker (CST) service, identifies the geographies, product categories and price-tiers that will offer HP the best chance of success should it choose to re-enter the smartphone market once more in 2014.


January 9, 2014 19:25 khyers

A newly published report in our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service examines BlackBerry's most recent quarterly performance. BlackBerry continued to absorb body-blows in calendar Q4 2013, even as it took concrete steps to put the company back on a path towards recovery. From a huge loss for the handset business due to continued poor sales of its BlackBerry 10 smartphones to an inability to find a buyer who would take the company private, and finally, the replacement of senior executives including its CEO, the fourth quarter of the year capped what has by any measure been an awful year for the Canadian smartphone company. Despite the grim drumbeat of bad news, strategic changes announced by new CEO John Chen, including a partnership with contract manufacturer Foxconn, indicate that the company is making the kinds of difficult decisions that can stem the bleeding and lead the company to a second act as a maker of devices and services tailored to its core base of consumer and enterprise customers.  This published report available to download by clients, examines BlackBerry's current status and future prospects.


December 11, 2013 15:28 woh

It has recently been reported online that Nokia has been developing a smartphone, codenamed “Normandy”, which is based on the Android platform. We are not in a position to either confirm or deny these rumours, but if there is anything to them they would mark a remarkable change in strategy for Nokia, which committed 100% to Windows Phone as its sole smartphone platform almost three years ago. So we thought it would be interesting to explore the viability of such a move and ask why Nokia might consider it.

From one perspective, it fully makes sense that the Finnish vendor is trying to build its own Android devices to regain its losing market share in the low-cost handset segment, currently dominated by a lot of Android vendors including Samsung. Under the current circumstances Android is capturing more than 80% market share of all smartphones shipped during Q3 2013 identified in our published report from Wireless Smartphone Strategies, while even Nokia's Asha smart feature phone line-up, designed for low-tier handset markets, is being squeezed by increasingly cheap, but still app-rich Android devices. 

Our smartphone model tracking report for Q3 2013 forecasts Nokia's lower-priced WP-based Lumia 520 to be the most popular Nokia-branded smartphones, outselling most Asha-branded phones. This indicates that Nokia still has some market influence in the low-cost smartphone market with the appealing UI and Windows ecosystem in both emerging and developed markets. It’s possible that Nokia wants its "Normandy” to replace the role of Lumia 520 in the lower-tier markets, based on the low price, well-established Android ecosystems and Nokia's established skill in selling handsets.

Of course this is all speculation on a product that may not even exist, and even if it does it’s hard to imagine Microsoft continuing to develop an Android handset after its acquisition of Nokia’s devices business is complete. But as a vertical handset player Microsoft does need to find a way of increasing its smartphone market share. A if it’s struggling to scale Windows Phone down into the lower price-tiers it needs to find an alternative.


October 31, 2013 15:30 sbicheno

According to the latest research from our Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, global smartphone shipments reached 251 million units in the third quarter of 2013. The Android operating system reached a new record of 81 percent global share, mainly at the expense of BlackBerry and Apple. Microsoft Windows Phone doubled its marketshare and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform.

Global smartphone shipments grew 45 percent annually from 172.8 million units in Q3 2012 to 251.4 million in Q3 2013. Growth was driven by robust demand for Android and Microsoft models in developed and developing markets, notably Europe and Asia.

Android’s domination of global smartphone shipments reached a new peak in Q3 2013, with four out of every five smartphones now running Google’s OS. Android’s gain came mainly at the expense of BlackBerry, which saw its global smartphone share dip from 4 percent to 1 percent in the past year due to a weak line-up of BB10 devices. Apple also lost some ground to Android because of its limited presence at the lower end of the smartphone market. Android will need to take further shipments from Apple if it wants to keep growing in the future, but this is unlikely in the near-term as the new iPhone 5s model is proving popular and it will help Apple to regain volumes worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Microsoft shipped more than 10 million smartphones worldwide in a single quarter for the first time ever in its history during Q3 2013. Microsoft has doubled its global smartphone marketshare from 2 percent to 4 percent in the past year. Microsoft grew its smartphone shipments by 178 percent annually in Q3 2013 and it is currently the world’s fastest growing major smartphone platform. Microsoft’s growth is almost entirely due to Nokia and its steadily improving Lumia portfolio across Europe, Asia and the United States. However, Microsoft is clearly still at a low level of share worldwide and it is struggling to gain serious traction in several major markets like Japan, South Korea and Africa.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone OS Shipments and Market Share in Q3 2013

Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units)

Q3 '12

Q3 '13

Android

129.6

204.4

Apple

26.9

33.8

Microsoft

3.7

10.2

BlackBerry

7.4

2.5

Others

5.2

0.5

Total

172.8

251.4

 

 

 

Global Smartphone Operating System Marketshare  %

Q3 '12

Q3 '13

Android

75.0%

81.3%

Apple

15.6%

13.4%

Microsoft

2.1%

4.1%

BlackBerry

4.3%

1.0%

Others

3.0%

0.2%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

 

 

 

Total Growth Year-over-Year %

44.0%

45.5%

 

 

 

Source: Strategy Analytics

 

 

The full report, Microsoft Hits 10 Million for First Time as Android Reaches Record 81 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q3 2013, is available to subscribers of Strategy Analytics’ Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service now.


August 1, 2013 16:17 khyers

Boston, MA - August 1, 2013 - According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 47 percent annually to reach 230 million units in the second quarter of 2013. Android captured a record 80 percent share all smartphone volumes worldwide, while Microsoft solidified its position in third place.

Scott Bicheno, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, "Global smartphone shipments grew 47 percent annually from 156.5 million units in Q2 2012 to 229.6 million in Q2 2013. Growth was driven by strong demand for Android models across all price-tiers in developed and developing markets, such as the US, China and Brazil. Android now accounts for an impressive 8 in 10 of all smartphones shipped on the planet."

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, added, "The Android operating system captured a record 80 percent share of all smartphones shipped worldwide in the second quarter of 2013. Competitive licensing costs, numerous hardware partners and a large apps store continue to be among the main drivers of Android’s success. Apple iOS reached 14 percent global smartphone share in the quarter, its lowest level since Q2 2010. Microsoft slotted into third position with 4 percent share, reaching its highest level in the global smartphone market for three years."

Linda Sui, Analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, "Microsoft is making steady progress in the smartphone market due to strong support from Nokia. However, we believe Microsoft’s WP8 platform still needs to improve in at least two areas before it truly takes off. First, the license fee charged to smartphone makers for WP8 must be more competitive to compete with Android in lower price-bands. And second, Microsoft must dramatically accelerate its support for advanced technologies, such as octo-core chipsets, because WP8 continues to lag behind Android in the premium smartphone category."

Exhibit 1: Global Smartphone Operating System Shipments and Market Share in Q2 2013 [1]

Global Smartphone OS Shipments (Millions of Units) Q2 '12 Q2 '13
Android 108.7 182.6
Apple iOS 26 31.2
Microsoft 5.6 8.9
Others 16.2 6.9
Total 156.5 229.6
Global Smartphone OS Marketshare  % Q2 '12 Q2 '13
Android 69.50% 79.50%
Apple iOS 16.60% 13.60%
Microsoft 3.60% 3.90%
Others 10.40% 3.00%
Total 100.00% 100.00%
Total Growth Year-over-Year % 41.60% 46.70%
Source: Strategy Analytics, August 2013

The full report, Android Captures Record 80 Percent Share of Global Smartphone Shipments in Q2 2013, is published by the Strategy Analytics Wireless Smartphone Strategies (WSS) service, details of which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/bps9qhr.

About Strategy Analytics:

Strategy Analytics is a global, independent research and consulting firm. The company is headquartered in Boston, USA, with offices in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, India and China. Visit www.strategyanalytics.com for more information.

Americas Contact:
Ken Hyers / +1 617 614 0757 / KHyers@strategyanalytics.com

EMEA Contact:
Neil Mawston / +44 1908 423 628 / NMawston@strategyanalytics.com

Asia Contact:
Linda Sui / +1 617 614 0734 / LSui@strategyanalytics.com


[1] Numbers are rounded.