Lets do some smartphone items. We're in the Q4 results season and we have Nokia's numbers but Nokia is being naughty, decided not to give us the detail they have always given in the past... Also we have some good news from HP and some bad news from Tizen. Lots of bad news from Tizen. But lets take the Nokia numbers first.
NOKIA SMARTPHONE SALES DOWN AGAIN
So we did not get the actual numbers anymore. I predicted that Microsoft would be doing this when it takes over the Nokia handset business. I'm disappointed Nokia already now is resorting to this move. Why is Nokia not reporting the detail of its handset sales? Because they are down in what is usually Nokia's best quarter, the Christmas Q4 quarter. Nokia did not give us the details but in its Quarterly results it did tell us sequential sales revenues were down 5% for the total sold unit which includes the dumbphones and the smartphones. So in very rough terms smartphone sales should be down something like 5% sequentally from Q3 the last quarter we had the precise number at 8.8 million. Then we also learned that the average selling price is down for both dumbphones and smartphones (that drives down the sales revenue figure) but we learned that unit sales were flat sequentially for featurephones but down for smartphones. This leads me to believe that smartphone unit sales were down somewhat more than 5% sequentially from Q3, so I put it at 7% decline ie 8.2 million units.
Until we get a more official number from Nokia, that is my best guess of Nokia Q4 sales at 8.2 million units in its smartphone unit. That gives Nokia a preliminary market share of 2.5% for Q4, down from 3.5% in Q3 (as I predicted it would happen after Microsoft took over the failing Lumia smartphone business from Nokia). Oh, and the overall handset sales are unprofitable again..
UPDATE - note only moments after I posted this, apparently Nokia already confirmed the smartphone number as 8.2 million haha... not bad guesswork eh? I haen't seen the number yet, that was based on a tweet. I'll go dig for it but we can safely assume 8.2 is the right number and if it is not., I will update this blog again.
UPDATE - as we didn't get the usual info from Nokia smartphones like regional splits, average sales prices etc, its nice that some of the detail is emerging. Mobiili.fi the Finnish mobile industry magazine reported that they counted the revenues based on the info that was out, at 1.1 Billion Euros for the smartphone unit in Q4 (this is down 12% from Q3 when usually Nokia reports 25% jump in smartphone revenues in the Christmas quarter). They also kindly calculated the Average Sales Price ASP for the Lumia lne which was 134 Euros in Q4, down from 143 Euros in Q3. So not only are the customers abandoning Nokia massively when the industry has its best growth quarter, they are not willing to pay as much for the Lumia handsets even with the big phablets and other new devices like Lumia 1020 etc - the Microsoft purchase has damaged the already struggling Nokia Lumia line even more if that is possible Thank you Mobiili.fi for the calculations and I know many of our readers on this blog will appreicate at least those details of total smartphone unit revenues and the ASP for Q4.
Let me mention also one truly brilliant piece of writing by Tero Kuittinen at Forbes - not only reporting on the Nokia Q4 results but also about how and why the US analysts tend to misanalyze Nokia so badly, and why this bodes badly for Microsoft's purchase of the Nokia handset unit. Definitely a must-read article!
For the full year Nokia sold thus about 30.5 million smartphones and had 3% market share, down from 35.0 million in 2012 and 5%, and down from 103.6 million in 2010 the last year before Elop's doomed Microsoft strategy when Nokia's market share was 34.8% and the handset unit grew 52% unit sales and generated Nokia record profits... That is the end of the Nokia tale in smartphones. Sad end but yeah, we saw it coming didn't we on this blog. Lets move to the other news.
HP IS BACK
Hewlett Packard is back again into smartphones, promising us two phablets which will run Android. Lets see them soon! Welcome back HP! For those who still remember, HP bought struggling Palm and planned new smartphones using WebOS but then after a new CEO joined the company, HP suddenly announced the end of its smartphones business in 2011. It then sold the WebOS system to LG. But now they've seen the light again - as PC sales globally fell last year but smartphone sales grew by nearly half. 2013 saw roughly 3 times the sales of smartphones than traditional personal computers in volume and most major PC makers are also smartphone makers led by Lenovo. Now HP has seen it has to be in this game and is back. Very good news and hopefully we'll see some good innovation from HP and not only some 'me too' devices.
TIZEN IS DELAYED (is this the end?)
So this was supposed to be the period of great news for Tizen. We heard suddenly from Japan that NTT DoCoMo will not release the first Tizen smartphones in Q1 now after all. Then shortly after that we heard that Samsung won't release a Tizen smartphone in the first quarter either. What was expected to be big news at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with many Tizen anouncements and demos is now apparenty winding down. Some rumors suggest one Tizen phone may be out by ZTE but overall, what was seen as the strongest play of the new platforms is seriously damaged by these news.
I take the NTT DoCoMo news as the most significant. That was my reasoning why Tizen had such a strong insider advantage in the race for the new platforms (Sailfish, Ubuntu, Firefox etc) because NTT DoCoMo controlling about half of the Japanese market had a large enough smartphone customer base to alone sustain an ecosystem. If NTT DoCoMo is out of Tizen, the prospects are really bad. And NTT DoCoMo's strong past support has now turned sour. Then the other obvious big player is Samsung. Now that Sammy also is delaying its first Tizen device that is bad news. We also hear separately that Intel is moving away from its smartphone ambitions (why?) so the whole Tizen world is coming apart. We heard earlier that one of the big brands in the partnership, Panasonic was pulling out of all smartphone business (this was befoe these items of Tizen news, middle of last year) but that was one potentially big hardware brand for this alliance.
So my enthusiasm for Tizen is obviously severely dented. It might still work out, but there is no opportunity if there is no handset. And those handsets will do nothing if there is no carrier support. Before we can believe in Tizen, we need both. At the moment both are severely delayed..... We'll keep monitoring this space. More news expected soon in the smartphones end-of-year results.