Displaying items by tag: smartphone shipments

China’s smartphone market suffers first ever annual decline

Written on Wednesday, 31 January 2018 13:48

China suffered its first ever annual smartphone decline, with shipments down 4% from 2016 to 459 million units in 2017, Canalys research indicates. This drop was partly due to China having one of its worst year-on-year performances in Q4 2017, with shipments plummeting by over 14% to just under 113 million units.

Huawei grew shipments by 9% against the overall market decline, shipping more than 24 million smartphones and staying on top. Shipments fell for both Oppo and Vivo, by 16% and 7% respectively, but they held onto their respective second- and third-place positions. Oppo shipped 19 million smartphones, while Vivo shipped 17 million. Apple overtook Xiaomi to take fourth place, pushing Xiaomi back to fifth with 13 million units.

Huawei had its best ever quarter in its home market, shipping more than 24 million smartphones in Q4, to reach a total of 90 million in 2017. “Huawei’s push into tier-three and tier-four cities has yielded positive results,” said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia.

“Nova and Honor have successfully gained share from smaller vendors, such as Gionee and Meizu. Honor’s performance has complemented Huawei’s success, by contributing more than half of Huawei’s total shipments,” Jia added. “But competition between Huawei and Honor is getting fierce, and Huawei must deal with possible internal cannibalization.”

Despite the dip in Q4, Oppo and Vivo both saw double-digit annual growth in 2017, according to Canalys. “The market has slowed faster than expected. Being aware of inventory issues, both vendors have set up flagship stores in tier-one cities to boost their branding and drive value growth,” said Jia. “Failure to drive footfall, however, will threaten Oppo and Vivo’s ongoing channel transformation and render the exercise futile.”

Canalys Research Analyst Hattie He said the declining Chinese market will have a “detrimental impact” on those Chinese vendors that have been heavily replying on their home market. “It will affect their cash flow and profitability, limiting overseas expansion and bringing into question future survival,” He said.

With Lenovo and ZTE refocusing on the Chinese market in 2018, competition will intensify among vendors outside the top five. “There is little room left for the smaller vendors,” said He. “The leading players will make aggressive plans to maintain or grow their market share. We can expect a major market shake-up in China in 2018.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi could become second largest smartphone vendor by 2018

Written on Monday, 13 November 2017 08:06

Xiaomi’s smartphone shipments in Q3 almost doubled from a year ago, according to research from Strategy Analytics. It’s forecast that Xiaomi could become the world’s second largest smartphone vendor by 2018, overtaking OPPO, Huawei and Apple, if current momentum continues.

Global smartphone shipments grew 5 percent annually to reach 393 million units in Q3 2017. Samsung maintained first position with 21 percent global smartphone marketshare, while Apple held steady at 12 percent and Huawei at 10 percent.

Global smartphone adoption growth in Q3 can be attributed to first-time buyers across emerging markets in Asia and upgrades to flagship Android models in developed regions such as Western Europe, according to Strategy Analytics Director, Linda Sui.

Xiaomi soared 91 percent annually with 27.7 million shipments for a record 7 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 4 percent a year ago. Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi Note 4, is proving wildly popular in India, according to Strategy Analytics, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Reliance Jio.

Samsung shipped 83.4 million smartphones worldwide in Q3, rising 11 percent annually from 75.3 million in Q3 2016. This was the company’s fastest growth rate in almost four years. Samsung’s growth is being driven by strong demand for its A, J and S series models across Latin America, India and elsewhere, according to Strategy Analytics Executive Director, Neil Mawston.

Apple grew a below-average 3 percent annually and shipped 46.7 million smartphones for 12 percent marketshare worldwide in Q3, holding steady from the same level a year ago. Despite a delayed launch of the flagship iPhone X model, the new iPhone 8 portfolio was relatively well received in many countries, Mawston said, such as Germany and China.

Huawei maintained third position with 10 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q3, up from 9 percent in Q3 2016. Huawei continues to close in fast on Apple and the battle for second place in the smartphone market, said Strategy Analytics Director, Woody Oh. Huawei is performing well across Asia, Europe and Africa, Oh said, with popular Android models such as the P10 and Nova 2.

Published in Telecom Industry

GCC mobile market poised for recovery in 2018

Written on Sunday, 24 September 2017 12:41

The GCC mobile phone market is expected to recover next year, following a stagnant 2016 and 2017, according to IDC’s newly released Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker results. IDC predicts the mobile market to close 2017 relatively flat and forecasts that 2018 will see recovery of 9 percent growth year-on-year.

Overall shipments to the GCC in Q2 2017 totaled 6.4 million units, representing a minor decline of -1 percent quarter-on-quarter and -1.3 percent year-on-year. This contrasts starkly with the steep -10.2 percent decline seen in Q1 2016, suggesting the market is beginning to show some welcome signs of recovery.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the GCC’s largest mobile markets. The UAE saw 1.6 percent growth quarter-on-quarter while Saudi Arabia suffered the region’s largest decline at -4.2 percent.

IDC MEA and Turkey research analyst Kafil Merchant said Saudi Arabia “continued to face major challenges with its macroeconomic situation, while the Saudization of the kingdom’s mobile phone industry continues to negatively impact the market.”

This policy change, according to Merchant, has caused a “shift away from independent retail, with consumers gradually moving to the organized retail channel, which is heavily engaging with vendors to provide more attractive prices and offers.”

The independent retail channel, Merchant said, is experiencing a “major slowdown as a result of restrictive credit limits and lower marketing support from vendors.”

The recent declines in the Saudi market, however, are expected to turnaround by the end of the year, Merchant predicts, as the market gradually adjusts to these changes.

Despite the recent political issues surrounding Qatar, shipments of mobile phones to the GCC nation have not declined as many would have expected, according to IDC, growing instead by 2.7 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Nabila Popal, senior research manager for mobile phones, AR/VR and displays at IDC MEA and Turkey, said as a result of the embargo against Qatar led by Saudi Arabia, gray shipments into the country have actually decreased.

Gray market is the trade of a commodity through distribution channels that are legal but unintended by the original manufacturer. Popal said official distributors have been able to profit from this by increasing official shipments to Qatar coming directly from non-embargo countries.

Samsung in the lead

In terms of the vendor landscape, Samsung continued to lead the GCC smartphone market in Q2 2017 with 38.1 percent unit share, posting a 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in shipments.

The regional launch of the vendor's flagship S8 and S8+ models did not live up to expectations with the average selling price (ASP) falling sharply over a short period. Apple remained in second place with 20.9 percent share but saw its shipments decline -20.2 percent quarter-on-quarter.

"This downturn experienced by Apple is partly a seasonality issue and partly due to anticipation around the launch of the new iPhone in Q4 2017," says Ms. Popal. "Additionally, it is worth noting that after focusing for a long time on the volume game, brands in the region are now shifting to a value-driven strategy and paying closer attention to their bottom lines instead of their top lines."

iOS shipments were up, however, compared to Android shipments which declined -5.5 percent year-on-year in Q2 2017, according to IDC. This has seen the Android/iOS split of the GCC smartphone market shift from 80.4 percent/19.1 percent in Q2 2016 to 79.1 percent/20.9 percent in Q2 2017.

Looking ahead, IDC expects the GCC market to close 2017 relatively flat. The market's long-awaited recovery is tipped for next year with IDC forecasting year-on-year growth of 9 percent. The market will then stabilize further in 2019 and beyond with average annual growth of 5 percent forecast for each year through to 2021.

Major worldwide events like Expo 2020 in the UAE and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will likely cause spikes in growth around their respective timeframes.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Global smartphone shipments increased 6% in Q2

Written on Thursday, 10 August 2017 08:43

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments grew 6 percent annually to reach 360 million units in Q2 2017. Samsung maintained first position with 22 percent global smartphone marketshare, while Apple dipped to 11 percent share. Xiaomi surged 58 percent annually and rejoined the top five rankings for the first time in a year.

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global smartphone shipments grew a solid 6 percent annually from 341.5 million units in Q2 2016 to 360.4 million in Q2 2017. The global smartphone market has settled into a steady rhythm of single-digit growth this year, driven by first-time buyers across emerging markets like Africa and upgrades to flagship Android models in developed regions such as Western Europe.”

Samsung shipped 79.5 million smartphones worldwide in Q2 2017, rising 2 percent annually from 77.6 million units in Q2 2016, said Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics. Samsung continued its recovery from last year’s Galaxy Note 7 battery fiasco, lifted by robust demand for the new Galaxy S8 portfolio with an innovative bezel-less design, he added.

“We expect the rumored Galaxy Note 8 upgrade with a bigger screen to further strengthen Samsung in the coming weeks. Apple grew 1 percent annually and shipped 41.0 million smartphones for 11 percent marketshare worldwide in Q2 2017, down slightly from 12 percent a year ago.”

Apple’s iPhone has gone out of fashion in China and this is placing a cap on its worldwide performance, Mawston added. Attention will now turn to Apple’s rumored iPhone 8 introduction later this year and whether its tenth-anniversary flagship model will be different or exciting enough to ignite a rebound in iPhone volumes for the important Q4 2017 Western holiday season.

Woody Oh, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Huawei maintained third position with a record 11 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q2 2017, up from 9 percent a year ago. Huawei is now closing in fast on Apple and Apple will be looking nervously over its shoulder in the next few quarters. Huawei is outperforming across Asia, Europe and Africa with popular Android models such as the P10 and Mate 9.”

Linda Sui, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “OPPO shipped a healthy 29.5 million smartphones and maintained fourth position with a record 8 percent global marketshare in Q2 2017. OPPO grew an impressive 64 percent annually in the quarter, taking share from major rivals like ZTE, LG and TCL-Alcatel across China, India and Europe.”

Xiaomi soared 58 percent annually and recaptured fifth place for the first time in a year, taking a record 6 percent global smartphone marketshare in Q2 2017, leaping from 4 percent in Q2 2016, Sui said.

“Xiaomi’s range of Android models, such as the Redmi 4A, is proving wildly popular in India, snatching volumes from competitors such as Lenovo and Micromax. Xiaomi has bounced back since ex-Google exec, Hugo Barra, quit the company earlier this year and Xiaomi will be hoping the current momentum can be sustained into the second half of 2017.”

Published in Devices

Xiaomi founder and CEO, Lei Jun, revealed that the company shipped a record 23.16 million smartphones in Q2 2-17, reflecting an increase of 70 percent from the previous quarter, marking a record high for Xiaomi’s quarterly smartphone shipments.

The achievement has been attributed to the company's relentless pursuit of technological innovation, striving for operational excellence with users at its core. Over the last few years, Xiaomi has consistently increased its investment in R&D. Today, these investments are bearing fruit.

In February, Xiaomi launched Surge S1, its proprietary chipset designed and developed in-house, marking a breakthrough in chipset technology capabilities. These are practical demonstrations of the company’s technological capabilities. Last year, Xiaomi applied for 7,071 patents globally and was granted 2,895, of which half are international patents.

At the start of this year, Lei personally spearheaded a committee to assess the quality of Xiaomi products. After internal discussions, Xiaomi laid out the blueprint of its action plan and established a division solely focused on product quality, accompanied by its goal to win through the ‘iron-fist’ of quality.

Xiaomi’s recovery follows a year of setbacks that collectively signify the most challenging period in its history. Smartphone sales softened as it struggled with two instances of supply issues, each one hampering the supply chain for several months. However, the company was able to use this time as an opportunity to recalibrate many aspects of the business. The Q2 shipment results reflect the improvements made in relation to the supply of Xiaomi products.

The company has also seen huge growth in its global business as a result of three years of investments. For 2017, Xiaomi has racked up successive wins as its global business crosses the inflection point of explosive growth. The company's performance in India, in particular, has been especially encouraging, with revenue in the first half of the year up 328 percent Year-on-Year (YoY) and is now the 2nd leading brand in the overall Indian smartphone market.

Redmi Note 4 has become the highest-shipped smartphone in the country and Xiaomi is now widely recognized as a leading brand. Elsewhere, the company is seeing great results in Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine, and a number of other countries.

Lei also shared that competing for global market share represents the third wave of opportunity that will shape the Chinese smartphone industry. This follows the first wave of urban Chinese smartphone adoption and the second wave of new smartphone users from China’s third and fourth-tier cities.  Seizing this opportunity marks the beginning of Xiaomi’s journey as a technology company on the global stage.

“Why were we able to resume growth? The secret lies in Xiaomi’s business model and our values. Xiaomi has proven the resilience of our business model over the last seven years, both through our incredible growth in the early days, and our reversion to growth after a period of recalibration,” he said. “We firmly believe that as long as we continue to befriend our users, produce exciting products with accessible pricing, and stay true to our core values of sincerity and passion, we will inevitably win users and the market.”

Lei noted that today’s smartphone market is brutally competitive and Xiaomi has only taken the first steps of its journey. In order to continue growing, he said the company should continue to remain true to its core values, and innovate relentlessly.

“We have to give our engineers the freedom to think outside of the box, and explore fearlessly without boundaries,” he said. “We set no limit when it comes to innovation and investment. In the next 12 months, we will need to hire thousands of R&D talent for our smartphone business and further bolster our innovation capabilities.”

Published in Devices