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February 05, 2015

Comments

Dipankar Mitra

I'm waiting for the first guy to comment "But Tomi, isn't Apple and Samsung tied this year"? :-D

Tomi T Ahonen

LOL yeah me too :-)

Tomi :-)

AndThisWillBeToo

@Tomi
Have you thought about using Abi Research as fourth source for the average? They too release quarterly global stats about operating systems (which you usually report too):

http://www.abiresearch.com/press/4q-2014-smartphone-os-results-android-smartphone-s

Or is there some pre-qualifier that they don't meet?

Wayne Borean


Wonder if Microsoft will buy Sony's mobile division?

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi AndThis and Wayne

AndThis - There are several sources other than the Top 4 (now Top 3) that I have used on this blog. Abi is one of those others. Abi has been quite far off from numbers reported by those Top 4/Top 3, so I would not trust their methodology. Look at their Q3 number this year for example (on that link you provided) which is massively above the numbers we got from Canalys, IDC and Strategy Analytics (whose numbers were all similar and totally consistent with recent history and seasonal patterns AND consisistent with reported numbers by the individual brands). This Q4 number by Abi is good but they really are often wildly off. And then look at the individual brands. I have a hard time trusting an analyst who even doesn't know the basic math such as giving Q3 Windows Phone global number as LOWER than what Microsoft reports on its Lumia sales alone (where other brands sold MORE WP above that number). So yeah, very unreliable for now. But we continue to monitor, maybe over time they get better. I couldn't trust them right now to consistently give us a number that is reasonably accurate.

Wayne - haha, well, at the moment luckily MS clearly hates its handset business and thus I can't see them going for Sony. But I really wouldn't be surprised if its sold (the new announced layoffs would be consistent with an initial offer or offers who said 'but you are too bloated' haha). I do like the Nokia option but Huawei and Xiaomi would be very good candidates too. Huawei to keep up with Lenovo and to acquire a premium brand, Xiaomi to capitalize on its investment push and the media hype, so to do something significant.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

AndThisWillBeToo

@Tomi
Thanks for the clarification.

What comes to Sony acquisition, I am quite confident that Xiaomi will not even look at Sony. They have the brand (extremely well faring brand) built up and it would be insane to cover it under other brand. They offer "Xiaomi lifestyle", not "Sony by Xiaomi lifestyle".
Under their current strategy it makes more sense to pass Sony and use few years for expansion abroad which - as you have said - is not going to happen overnight.

In year 2012 Microsoft asked Nokia to launch their WP8 phones with just "Windows Phone" branding. Elop said no, because Nokia had already poured so much money to creation of Lumia brand that it was Googled more than "Windows Phone".
Very similar thing with Sony for Xiaomi.

Interested To Know

I wish Sony was able to pull through with the Xperias but I guess, in the US at least, they never got a good fit. The Z series seemed great but they were so hard to buy. The carrier ones would be a generation behind. If you wanted an unlocked one, Sony almost seemed to punish you with a price markup.

Catriona

Since you emphasize annual market share, Tomi, is it fair to say that Sony has "returned to profitability" after a single quarter when the mobile division lost money for the year? I think they announced a lot of staffing cuts in October and concentrated on sales of more expensive phones, which may have provided a temporary boost, but is not yet evidence that the division is viable. They are exiting China, so it would be interesting to see where the increase in sales last quarter came from.

AndThisWillBeToo

@Tomi
Why do you say that Gartner has stopped releasing smartphone stats?
Q3 2014 is here:

http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2944819

But you insist that they did not report?

Tom Yu

Hey Tomi. I'm a big fan of your blog site. I was wondering, what kind of blogs do you follow? I'm looking for more longform writing with a dense amount of insight.

falito

Andthis--Gartner issue that report on December 15th, and didn´t give numbers for Q1 and Q2, so there is no numbers...

AndThisWillBeToo

BTW, Isn't it interesting? Six out of ten largest manufacturers (3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th and 9th) are all Chinese. Two from Korea. One from Japan. One from U.S.

Same stats for 2010 would have one from Finland, one from Canada, 2 from U.S., 3 from Korea and 3 from Japan. Not a single one from China.

abdul muis

@Tomi

If Meizu ship a million of device monthly during 2014, that's mean 12 million device, and above SONY.

http://www.gsmarena.com/meizu_sold_15_million_smartphones_in_january-news-11103.php

abdul muis

@Tomi

Sorry about the last post
Sony 11.9M device is for 1 quarter. Meizu 12 million device is for 1 year.

Tomi T Ahonen

AndThis

Previously for years, Gartner reported regularly the quarterly sales data right after a given Quarter had ended, so Q1 data came right after the various brands had reported their individual data, so around Apr 30 to May 1, then Q2 data came in around July 31 - Aug 1, and so forth. Gartner was very consistent doing this for about a decade. The other 3 analyst houses also do that (IDC, Strategy Analytics and Canalys). In 2014 Gartner stopped without any statement. I think Q2 was the first quarter for which they gave no numbers. Those Q3 numbers you found were released in DECEMBER, more than a month after all other houses had reported their Q3 numbers and as you can see, even the Q3 stats from Gartner do not show sequential change from Q2 so we still don't have a Q2 number from Gartner. They have stopped issuing regular numbers and only now do occasional numbers (and far after the industry has found a consensus). I do hope Gartner would return to regular reporting of the stats so we could rely on them and use their number in our analysis.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Piot

No reason and no benefit. There is no utility in being 'inside the Top 10' except that the higher your ranking, the larger you would be. I decided to report on the Top 10 to give more value to my readers compared to most analyst houses who only show typically a Top 5 or so. But there is no 'benefit' to the manufacturer from being inside or outside the Top 10 other than what size may bring you.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Baron95

No, that is not true either (Sony). Yes, Sony's fiscal year which ends in March will have a loss for its handset division. It is not because it is CURRENTLY generating a loss. That annual loss is because in the PAST it generated so large a loss, that the modest profit now is not enough to cover that loss. It will be a loss over 12 months but at least the 3 months October-to-December were modestly profitable. That is A SIGN but not definitive proof that the malaise at Sony Xperia unit may have been fixed. If it is, then Sony should now continue to report profits in upcoming quarters. If the problems continue, then this is a temporary blip and the losses return again. But what you talked about, is EXPLICITLY misrepresenting what is happening. The Sony quarterly results and conference call clearly indicated that the ANNUAL loss is due to past big problems and currently the unit is slightly above water.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Baron95

On the Exchange Rate matter - fair point. Lets see how it plays. I didn't bother to study the results that deeply. We have seen currency fluctuation issues in the past as well but it does get quite techncial, and if so, we should then also analyse all 'profitable' companies for that factor to 'discount' any that gained 'unfairly' from positive currency exchange situations in the past years... Could do, won't do.. Sony's profit was so slight anyway that the only proof will be in the next quarter(s) on if that is a real trend or just a temporary blip

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Abdul

Haha yeah, thanks but you caught yourself already. So Meizu is one of hundreds of 'fourth tier' brands that do kind of Blackberry-level sales. They aren't yet threatening to join the big boys of the Top 10, not this year, maybe next year. Up next we have bubbling under the Top 10 we have Oppo and Vivo in China and Micromax in India who are in the 20M-30M type of scale say 2% market share bracket and growing strongly

Tomi Ahonen :-)

AndThisWillBeToo

@Tomi
But you have updated the Q3 numbers when Gartner numbers became available, right?
And I assume you will include Gartner to your full year report if they happen to release full year numbers?

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