Quick note on Q1 results..
Apple reported today. 43.7 million iPhones sold in Q1 (calendar quarters, not fiscal quarters), down 14% from Q4 of 2013. Apple's market share in smartphones is down now to approx 15.2% (from 17.8% in Q4 and an all-time peak level of 23.9% two years ago this same quarter). Yes, Apple still makes obscene levels of profits and has by far the best loyalty in smartphones. But the peak is long past and as iPhones are premium luxury items at the top end of the smartphone scale and the growth is at the bottom end of the pyramid, obviously iPhone continues to see market share decline. I do find it funny how much still the financial press is able to report 'facts' without the full story when it comes to Apple stories. Yes, iPhone sales are up from this same period one year ago but that is up only 20% while the industry grew neary twice as much at over 35% in the same period. Where is THAT story?
In other news. Nokia will be turned over to Microsoft ownership tomorrow Friday and the name will be changed so that the Nokia name is removed. The new business will be called Microsoft Mobile Oy (Oy means 'osakeyhtio' ie corporation like Inc in the USA).
Samsung will be launching its first Tizen smartphone still in Q2 so expect it around June. It will be the first Tizen flagship. A mid-priced Tizen smartphone will appear later this year. Unfortunately for Tizen the carrier support of NTT DoCoMo and Orange has been cancelled so don't expect stellar initial sales.
Oh and do you remember a long-gone major Smartphone brand called Motorola? It is seeing a resurgence now only moments before Lenovo takes over the business from Google. Motorola sold a surprisingly stong 6.5 million smartphones in Q1 (for 2.2% market share). Lenovo total sales, combining the Moto with Lenovo's own smartphone sales gives it something near 8% market share for solid 3rd place far ahead of Huawei. If Nokia's smartphone sales falls below that 6.5 million level now in Q1, Nokia would drop out of the Top 10 replaced by the resurgent Motorola. Would be the ultimate insult just before the Nokia name vanishes from handsets.
In terms of pattern, we have a rare moment of graphical image harmony in the industry this Quarter, with the market leader Samsung being almost exactly twice as large as number 2 Apple, and number 2 being almost exactly twice as large as number 3 Lenovo (when Moto is added).. Nice.
I think I already mentioned (or did I only do that on Twitter?) that Xiaomi will be in the Top 10 smartphone makers for the first time now in Q1. Xiaomi sold 11 million smartphones in Q1 and has now about 3.8% market share. They are likely 8th largest smartphone maker ahead of Sony and whoever is 10th Nokia/Motorola.
Oh and back to Nokia, the Kantar market share numbers from February 2014 compared to November 2014 suggest that Windows Phone market share is down in most regions except Latin America - and quite dramatically in the largest smartphone market, China. Not good news for Nokia for Q1 but Nokia may be saved by the X-Series running Android.
Ok thats the quick news, we'll do more as the numbers come in