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« Smartphone Stats: Full Year 2017 Top 10, OS Installed Base and Everything Else You Ever Wanted | Main

May 23, 2018

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Tomi T Ahonen

testing comments

Alex Kerr

Good to see the Nokia comeback continue. I only hope they follow the fundamental law of any business that is going to survive: give the customer what they want (to spend their money on). Seems like they are doing that to an extent. Yes, I long for the days when Nokia had by far the best hardware on the market, but I realise that takes lots of money and indeed market share to play with to take risks, and HMD need to be sensible at this stage, and perhaps more conservative in their decisions. Still, their handsets do stand out a bit from the crowd and as mentioned many times, the Nokia name still carries much weight. Despite being a very long standing fan I will still not buy their phones for one reason only - no removable battery. If that's ever solved, I'll be first in line :) (and yes I know the arguments for and against that, and a removable battery is still critical for me).

Jim Glue

Following comment not meant for Tomi.

LOL! The rumors of the iPhoneX's death were wrong. All of them. And while not interesting to Tomi, how amazing is the performance of the most expensive iPhone ever to be the #1 model of iPhone sold every week of the 2ND quarter of it's annual cycle? Never happened before. According to Cook, the most expensive iPhone has NEVER been the top selling. And the iPhone X is $300 more expensive than any iPhone ever.

#1 selling phone in the world? The iPhone X. #1 selling phone in China? The iPhone X.

I did not expect this. I thought Apple's new ultra-premium (but really folks, it's still not as much as Nokia's top models used to be) model would be a niche (yes, a niche of a nice).

What we don't have info on, is the performance of the cheapest iPhones. Apple doesn't break out model #'s.

Flat sales by unites, double digit growth by revenue and profit. Apple is a well managed company. The day will come when Apple will have to make a serious assault on the lower price tiers. But Apple keeps finding new ways to grow that bottom line. THE most difficult bottom line in the world to make grow.

Apple still isn't solving their market share problem...but then, I don't believe Apple sees that as a problem.

We know Xiaomi is gaining market share and LOSING money. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-xiaomi-china-idUSKBN13K0XE

Xiaomi compared to Apple has an amazing market share strategy. Sell phones at a loss and try to make some money selling services.

Services? Did somebody say services? Apple is making money in the hardware and billions upon billions more selling services. Even as Apple's sales remain flatish, the service revenue is seeing amazing YoY growth.

Anybody willing to take the bet that it's not just Xiaomi who's selling their Android phones at a loss, or for zero profit in an attempt to buy market share? Well, don't say Lenovo. I don't think Motorola has ever PLANNED to lose money all the time making and selling Android phones. Don't say HTC or Sony either. These companies used to know how to make money selling Android phones.

Until the Chinese took most all of the money that could be made out of the business.

At least Samsung can fall back on the profits it makes selling parts to Apple. One wonders how long these companies can continue to plow money into the profitless pit that is Android phone manufacturing.

How does this relate to market share and the top 10 list of phone makers? It's obvious, expect consolidation. Not sure Google buying 1,000 engineers from HTC counts as consolidation...but it is inevitable that Nokia/Blackberry style "out of business, rent out the brand" isn't over


ProductionsPig

Nice to see you post again... Trump and China are getting close to a deal that would leave ZTE with a lesser punishment in return for tariff relief... But the lawmakers are gonna try and stop it.

BTW what are the phones you carry daily, Sir? Last time you said it was a Galaxy K zoom and 808 pureview.

Jim Glue

Other interesting happenings in the qtr. HMD made good on it's promise for Android Oreo updates on their cheap and midrange Android phones. Just in time for the Android P announcement. But still, I believe this will be a huge differentiator if Nokia keeps it up. It makes Nokia my only source for low end Android phones. Still can't quite pull the trigger on the $270 Nokia 6 level. But I might pick up a Nokia 3 sometime this summer to replace my BLU R1 HD as "Android Touch device".

Just HOW DISMAL are Samsung's Galaxy S9 sales? Inquiring minds want to know.

How close to "mutual mass destruction" will Trump and China get. Apparently the early "tariff battle, trade war" battle seems to have subsided. Obviously both countries stand to lose. I'm sure there are very real security concerns with Chinese state run smartphones from the US perspective (and anybody else with secrets they'd like kept). However, it never occurred to me that the US had the power to give a Chinese company the "death penalty" (speaking of ZTE).

I'm glad to see Trump walking that one back...though SOMETHING needs to persuade the Chinese that if they want to to business with Iran, they can't source parts from US companies.

I'm surprised ZTE didn't just switch providers to the Kirin chip Huawei has developed. Or MediaTek.

Jim Glue

"The Notch", coming to an Android phone near you. OMFG...I have no problems with platforms copying the good ideas from each other....but why copy the BAD ideas?

In truth, the notch on my iPhone X isn't as bad as I thought in real use. I never even notice it much at all after a day or two. But still, it's an ugly compromise for the VAIN attempt to be "all screen".

Just keep this in mind next time Apple does some heinous thing (like seal the battery or remove the headphone jack). It won't be long before the Android manufactures "independently discover" the wisdom of Apple's choices.

Abdul Muis

@Tomi

I've post this before on the previous discussion.... And I moved it here...

"Samsung smartphone market shares in China, India dwindling
https://www.digitimes.com/news/a20180418PD204.html "

The good news for samsung.... if we subtract the China/India from the whole world, Samsung market share is not going down. It's flat.

The bad news for samsung is if this going to other territory.

Jim Glue

Hi Abdul,

"Other than the two most important markets for Android....Samsung is flat". That's not a recipe for success.

If Samsung doesn't turn around it's fortunes in China and India, the days of Samsung being the #1 smartphone maker are numbered.

FYI - Samsung market share falling in the US as well.

The value of Samsung's smartphone business has been plummeting for years. It's easy to see that the Chinese are eating up Samsung's low margin phone sales. What's not as apparent is that NOBODY is taking up the loss of sales of Samsung's Galaxy S/Note lines (to any meaningful extent).

Android flagship phones are on the way to becoming "coffee talk" material. They will exist, but not many people will actually buy them

John A

HMD Global just got some new investors with a lot of money and I suppose that will boost the effort even more. So far I think its Nokia feature phone business thats going best. But according to some sources the new Nokia X6 (with android) sell very good in the Chinese market, sold out the first batch in only 10 seconds and a lot of pre-order of the device. It seems that Nokia nailed the price/specs very good with that model that attracted many Chinese customers.

HMD Global also announced that they open a new R&D research center in Shenzen China. That will focus on camera technology and new materials etc..
So I think going forward we will see a lot more about Nokia in the smartphone space to.

But I suppose it will take some months to see the sales number for the Nokia android smartphones. Also some rumors to that Nokia will start in Argentina and Brazil (Brazil is a strong market for Motorola) again, probably with local manufacturing to avoid import taxes.

E.Casais

@Jim Glue

Of course ZTE could, with a bit of effort, switch to chips from Samsung or Mediatek -- for its mobile phones.

But forget your fixation about smartphones; terminals represent a minority of ZTE sales (32% consumer products overall), while 59% are network equipment, and the rest IT infrastructure (cloud stuff).

The grievances of the USA against ZTE resulted from sales of _network equipment_ to North Korea and Iran. And there, ZTE relies on a whole range of foreign firms for components indispensable for switches, base stations, routers, gateways. We are talking about handling many terminals and switching data streams at hundreds or thousands of Gb/s -- not dealing with a single modem at max 1Gb/s. Apparently, Chinese companies are not yet able to produce the components at the heart of networking equipment with the required performance characteristics.

In the case of ZTE, this means RF, modems and transceivers from Xilinx and Analog Devices, DSP, optical interconnects, cables and transceivers from Oclaro, Lumentum, Acacia Communications, Inphi, Finisar, NeoPhotonics... The list is long -- and these are just some of the US suppliers!

Jim Glue

Interesting E. Thanks. I realize that China believes (rightly so) that they can do anything they want without US permission. Still, it's also fair for the US to say "if you won't honor our ban on selling US tech to Iran, we won't sell you any US tech".

And it was pretty ballsy of ZTE after having been caught doing just that, to promote and give bonuses to the executives that made the decisions to sell to Iran.

It's like Apple doing what the Chinese government tells them about who must run the data centers and what apps are allowed to be sold to the Chinese. If they didn't, China could end their ability to do business in China.

It's just the "well, because of that rule, our company is over" part that shocked me about ZTE. And Apple's business would surely be over for a few years if China banned iPhone manufacturing.

E.Casais

@Jim Glue

I remember to have read somewhere that foreign components represent about 30% in the value of network equipment manufactured by ZTE. It is therefore not something that can be replaced in the short term -- and the sudden unavailability of many critical components may indeed pretty much mean "game over" for the firm.

I have no details about the other two major Chinese firms active in wireless networking (Huawei and Datang), but my understanding is that at least Huawei has a more robust base (including chip manufacturing) to produce its own components.

Cesar

Finally a sane comment on FB! None of my university students have ever been aware what FB is doing with their data and so have very few other people. However, it seems that in the student segment, even they are posting less than before. More scary - when told that what FB is doing is like having a spy camera tracking their every move online they don't seem to care!

zlutor

@Tomi: could US ban of ZTE boost the need for US-independent mobile OS (like Sailfish) or AOSP with local services is the way to go?

E.g. there are news about Huawei is making its 'own OS'...

Per "wertigon" Ekström

The strong Apple sales numbers indicate one of two possibilities.

One, this is a super year for Apple, but it is offset by an overall downward market performance.

Two, Apple does not have a super year, but still shows a strong performance compared to the rest of the market. This means that Apple may temporarily gain a point of market share, but this will not matter much in the long run since Apple must hit homerun upon homerun to reliably gain enough market share.

Meanwhile, the market effects are slowly putting increasing pressure on the famous ARDF (Apple Reality Distortion Field).

For the staticicly minded people still hanging around, my model predicts Apple to land at 221.89 Million units for this year. As for the world, still waiting for official reports, but if we take IDCs numbers for Q1 (344.4M) as a baseline, my model predicts 1534.79 M units. This would give Apple a YMS of 14.4%, but this is not my final prediction.

Much can still change by a lot though, especially with a U.S. president hellbent on destroying global trade. Incidentally, that will hurt Apple much more than other manufacturers. It will be an interesting year for sure.

Jim Glue

Hi Per,

How many years must Apple perform before you give up the notion that each iPhone model is a surprise hit, barely attained, and unlikely to continue?

The much hyped super cycle did not happen. iPhone sales are up, but just by a bit. Market share may go up due to a slowing in the overall market.

What did Apple accomplish? They grew revenue nicely square in the face of a saturated market. This is no accident. It’s a plan Apple set in motion a good two years ago when they started planning the higher price tier iPhone X. And Apple has been telling the market for more than a year now to pay attention to Apple’s service revenue growth.

The result was another year of putting off the need to destroy the value of the iPhone business by competing on price.

Apple comtinues to grow the iPhone related products business. The AirPods are smashing success. At $159 they are not that much cheaper than the ASP of an Android phone and with more profit for sure. Apple Watch continues to grow and is a huge business.

Apple’s iPhone business is stable. The assumption that iPhones are over priced and will see a sales collapse in favor of cheap Android phones has not happened. It’s been years now. All that has happened is that Android premium phone sales have collapsed.

The first iPhone was a hit. The rest have been enhancement, refinements, and business development.

Huber

@Jim Glück: "The Notch", coming to an Android phone near you. OMFG...I have no problems with platforms copying the good ideas from each other....but why copy the BAD ideas?"

I've heard a theory that Samsung and other panel makers simply started to design notched displays in anticipation of the demand.

Now OEMs simply buy them and put them into phones. This is probably cheaper than a custom design.

Hence we get these weird phones with an ultra-slim bezel with notch on the top and a bigger bezel at the bottom.

Don't know if this is true, though...

Jim Glue

Nobody was planning on notches. The E Phone from the father of Android had a circle in it the screen before the iPhone, it was horrible, but was there for the same compromise. Nobody followed and precious few bought that phone.

When the notch was leaked, everyone including me railed against it. But Apple is able to make the look iconic. Apple owned the compromise and proudly advertised the notch (well, the screen which has the notch).

So now it’s the “obvious compromise” that “everyone planned before the iPhone”. Bull shit.

Apple farts and the rest of the industry scrambles to smell like shit too

Huber

@Jim Glue: "So now it’s the “obvious compromise” that “everyone planned before the iPhone”. Bull shit."

Learn to read :-)

I did not claim that these displays were designed before Apple's notch was published. Of course the display makers copied Apple - probably in anticipation of the inevital iPhone X clones.

At least according to this theory, as I said I don't know if this is true.

Huber

BTW I don't like notches either.

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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