Smartphone sales will continue to surge in 2011 and through 2012, but RIM and Motorola won’t reap the benefits according to Credit Suisse analyst Kulbinder Garcha. Apple, Samsung and HTC will be the big winners as global smartphone sales grow by a whopping 62% in 2011 to 482 million units. In 2012, Garcha sees the market growing 36% further to 656 million units. Despite the impending boom, the analyst cut his rating on RIM from Neutral from Outperform, and he sliced his target on shares of RIM stock from $70 to $30. Motorola faired even worse in Garcha’s note as he cut his rating from Outperform to Underperform and lowered his target from $31 to $19. Why do Apple, Samsung and HTC stand to be the big winners over the next 18 months? According to Garcha, they come out on top when measured by the analyst’s nine key metrics: software, services, cloud, product, brand, distribution, tablet convergence, IPR, and chipset efficiency. More →
Nokia’s smartphone reign, which lasted nearly 15 years, is coming to an end. Analysts from Nomura Research say Nokia’s lead in smartphone units sales will be lost this quarter for the first time since Nokia became the top smartphone company in the world by sales volume in 1996. But it gets worse — according to Nomura, Nokia won’t be topped by just one company this quarter… both Samsung and Apple will surpass Nokia, pushing the struggling Finnish smartphone maker to the No. 3 spot globally. “Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown to Samsung and Apple,” Nomura wrote in a note to investors on Monday. “Further emphasizing the shift in power to Asia is our forecast for HTC to almost match Nokia during 2012.” Nokia will retain its lead in overall cell phone sales, Nomura says, thanks in large part to the company’s strong position in emerging markets.
Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu didn’t say that Nokia should go back to making boots in his note to investors on Wednesday, but he came pretty close. Citing Nokia’s inability to adapt in a fast-changing market, Ferragu cut his rating on Nokia stock to under-perform and dropped his price target from $7.33 to $4. “In a fast changing market, Nokia is losing ground very rapidly,” the analyst writes. “The profit warning for the second quarter provided evidence that the next couple of years will prove very challenging, with the gross margin and market share trends of the last 4 quarters continuing, if not accelerating even more. The collaboration with Microsoft now appears to us unlikely to be successful, as Nokia’s brand is losing ground too fast and the window of opportunity for an alternative ecosystem is vanishing rapidly. Even modeling a scenario in which Nokia stabilizes next year leads us to believe that the stock will under-perform over the next twelve months.” Ferragu believes Nokia’s smartphone market share will be cut in half in the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter a year earlier, dropping from 38% to just 19%, and he expects Nokia’s overall cell phone market share to slide from 35% to 30%.
Smartphones’ share of the global cell phone market is poised to explode over the next four years, according to market research firm Pyramid Research. The firm on Friday released the findings of its latest Smartphone Forecast, as compiled by Senior Analyst and Practice Leader for Mobile Devices, Stela Bokun. Bokun determined that global smartphone sell-through — or, the number of smartphones sold to end users — will total 1.46 billion units in 2011, accounting for 27% of all cell phones sold. Pyramid expects that figure to nearly double to 53% in 2015, driven by growing demand for affordable Android smartphones. “Much of the projected total market growth in 2011 will come from the Africa and Middle East (AME) region, which will see a strong demand for low-end smartphone models, ultra low-cost handsets and dual-SIM and full touch-screen feature phones,” Bokun noted in a statement. “The main drivers of the demand in the developed markets will be the launches of a number of flagship high-end devices and new features and technologies. However, inexpensive smartphone models, particularly those from Huawei and ZTE, also will be in high demand in some of the richest Western European, Asian and North American markets.” Finally, Bokun notes that while smartphone sales will be driven in large part by Android over the next four years, Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform will overtake Android and other operating systems to become the top-selling smartphone platform in the world in 2015.
Market research and analysis firm Canalys on Wednesday released its global country-level smartphone market share data for the first quarter of 2011. According to the firm’s report, Android continued to dominate the worldwide smartphone market as global shipments grew to 37.5 million units, giving Google’s mobile OS a market-leading 35% share of smartphone sales in the quarter. Nokia’s market share fell dramatically year-over-year from 39% in the first quarter of 2010 to just 24% last quarter, according to the report, and Apple’s share grew to 19%. Though the smartphone market outgrew Nokia at an alarming pace, the Finnish company did manage to increase shipments 13% year-over-year to 24.2 million units last quarter. Global smartphone shipments grew 83% from 55.2 million units in the first quarter of 2010 to 101 million units in the same quarter this year. The Asia Pacific region showed the most growth over the first quarter last year — 98% — while first-quarter smartphone shipments in the U.S. grew 85% from 13.3 million in 2010 to 24.7 million units in 2011. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Nokia on Thursday reported earnings for the first quarter of 2011, which saw the Finnish giant’s smartphone market share dip below 30% for the first time in over a decade. Nokia shipped 24.2 million smartphones in the quarter, which is up a respectable 13% over the same quarter last year. But the market outgrew Nokia by a significant margin, leaving the company’s share of global smartphone shipments at 26% for the quarter. Nokia’s revenue grew by 9% to €10.4 billion sequentially, but operating profit dipped 14% from last quarter to €704 million — a 35% decline compared to the first quarter last year. Nokia’s short-term outlook isn’t great: “Following a solid first quarter, we expect a more challenging second quarter,” said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop in a statement. “However, we are encouraged by our roadmap of mobile phones and Symbian smartphones, which we will ship through the balance of the year. We are fully focused on delivering the needed accountability, speed and results to positively drive our future financial performance.” Nokia announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Microsoft ahead of schedule, but this statement might lead us to believe that agreement won’t bear any fruit in 2011. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
IDC on Tuesday released a new report detailing its vision of the smartphone market through 2011 and beyond. The research firm sees global smartphone shipments climbing to 450 million units in 2011, up 49.2% from 303.4 million units in 2010. More interestingly, however, is the firm’s forecast moving through 2011 and into 2015. Ovum had previously estimated that Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform would pass BlackBerry to become the No. 3 mobile OS globally in 2016. Considering the size and reach of Nokia, the flagship Windows Phone partner moving forward, we wondered if the company’s estimates were a bit light. IDC estimates that Nokia will lead Windows Phone past RIM’s BlackBerry OS and Apple’s iOS platform to become the No. 2 smartphone operating system in the world in 2015. “Up until the launch of Windows Phone 7 last year, Microsoft has steadily lost market share while other operating systems have brought forth new and appealing experiences,” said IDC senior research analyst Ramon Llamas in a statement. “The new alliance brings together Nokia’s hardware capabilities and Windows Phone’s differentiated platform. We expect the first devices to launch in 2012. By 2015, IDC expects Windows Phone to be number 2 operating system worldwide behind Android.” Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Canalys today becomes the first major firm to report a changing of the guard we all knew was coming. According to the industry watcher’s fourth-quarter 2010 data, Google’s Android platform outsold Nokia’s Symbian OS to become the best-selling smartphone platform in the world. Canalys’ figures show 32.9 million Android-powered smartphones having been shipped last quarter, while Symbian device shipments slid in at 31 million units. In terms of market share, Android reeled in 32.9% of the market in the fourth quarter while Symbian owned 30.6% of the market. This marks the first time in 10 years that another smartphone operating system has outsold Symbian — and as fast as Android is growing, it most definitely will not be the last. Other notable takeaways from the report: Apple shipped 16.2 million smartphones to take 16% of the market, down 0.1% from the same quarter in 2009, and RIM’s global market share slid from 20% in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 14.4% last quarter. Despite losing ground in market share, Apple and RIM both saw year-over-year growth in terms of device shipments — up 85.9% and 36%, respectively. Hit the break for Canalys’ full press release. More →
According to Nielsen’s numbers for October 2010, Apple’s iOS has passed RIM’s BlackBerry OS to become the most popular smartphone operating system currently in use in the U.S. The data jibes with both Canalys and NPD Group, which also put Apple in the No.1 smartphone spot in October. Nielsen’s Q3 market share data showed RIM with 30% and Apple with 28% of the market. After the first month of Q4, Apple holds 27.9% of the market and RIM sits close behind with 27.4%. Both companies lost market share to Google, which jumped from 19% to 22.7% in October. Considering Android’s rapid growth rate — which shows no signs of slowing — it’s a safe bet that Apple’s reign will be short-lived. At its current pace, Android should overtake the No. 1 position sometime in the first quarter of 2011. More →
New numbers released Monday by research firm NPD Group suggest that Android has further extended its lead in the U.S. with 44% of the smartphone market. The bigger news, however, is that RIM has seemingly slipped behind Apple, which is now the number 2 smartphone vendor in the United States. Last week, IDC stated that Apple passed RIM to become the fourth largest cell phone maker in the world. Now, according to the new NPD report, Apple gained a single percentage point to attain a 23% share of the U.S. smartphone market while RIM slid to 22%, making it the number 3 smartphone vendor in the U.S. NPD’s numbers vary slightly from another report issued Monday morning by Canalys, the end result is the same. Canalys reaffirms Android’s 44% market share while stating that Apple rose to 26% and RIM fell to 24%.
Despite Android’s lead as a platform, the iPhone is the most popular smartphone model in the U.S. without question. Apple currently sells only two smartphones and both are iPhone models — the $199-$299 iPhone 4 and last year’s iPhone model, the iPhone 3GS, which is now $99. The California-based company is expected to introduce a third iPhone early next year that will operate on Verizon Wireless’ CDMA network. More →