All posts in “canalys”

Huawei overtakes Apple in smartphone shipments

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei is now the second biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world according to new reports from IDC and Canalys, as The Verge initially spotted.

In IDC’s latest report, the firm says that the overall market has shrunk by 1.8 percent in Q2 2018. But the biggest surprise is that Huawei now has a 15.8 percent market share with 54.2 million smartphones shipped in Q2.

It doesn’t mean that Apple is performing poorly. The company is shipping slightly more smartphones this year compared to last year. Apple also has a slightly bigger market share with 12.1 percent of the market.

Samsung is shipping 10.4 percent less smartphones but still remains the leader with 20.9 percent market share, or 71.5 million smartphones. In other words, many Samsung buyers are now buying Huawei devices, or other Android devices.

Canalys confirms this trend with the same order — Samsung, Huawei and then Apple. But the firm also highlights that Apple suffers from seasonability compared to its competitors.

Samsung and Huawei sell many different devices and release new phones all year long. Apple usually releases new devices in September, which creates a huge spike during the last quarter of the year. Apple will likely overtake Huawei and maybe even Samsung in a couple of quarters.

It’s interesting to see that Huawei is performing so well while the company has had issues with the U.S. government. If you browse the smartphone category on Amazon, Honor devices usually appear near the top of the list — Honor is Huawei’s brand for cheaper devices. The Huawei P20 Pro is also a solid device for those looking for a premium device.

Apple and Android are destroying the Swiss Watch industry

In Q4 2017 – essentially during the last holiday season – market research firm Canalys found that more people bought Apple watches than Swiss watches. Two million more, to be exact. Brian Heater has more data but this news is quite problematic for the folks eating Coquilles St-Jacques on the slopes of the Jura mountains.

The numbers are estimates based on market data but they still point to a trend. In Q1 2016 Apple shipped 1.5 million watches to Switzerland’s 5.9 million. The intervening quarters were about the same until the launch of the Apple Watch 3 in September 2017, just in time for holiday shopping. The boost of a new phone and a new watch at the same time meant a perfect storm for upgraders, driving the total number of Apple Watches sold past the Swiss watch sales numbers.

This switch does not mean Apple will maintain that lead – they have one product while Switzerland has thousands – but comparing a single company’s output to an entire industry’s in this case is telling.

Wearing watches is, as we all remind each other, is passé.

“I check the time on my phone,” we said for almost a decade as phones became more ubiquitous. Meanwhile watch manufacturers abandoned the low end and began selling to the high end consumer, the connoisseur.

Take a look at this chart:

Sales of low- to mid-tier watches – and a mid-tier watch can range in price between $500 and $3,000 (and I would even lump many $10,000 watches in the mid-tier category) – were stagnant while the true cash cows, the expensive watches for the ultra-rich, fell slowly from a high in 2014. This coincides with falling purchases in China as what amounted to sumptuary laws reduced the number of expensive gifts given to corrupt officials. Sales are up as December 2017 but don’t expect much of a bump past the current slide.

As a lover of all things mechanical – I did ruin a few years of my life writing a book about a watch – I look at these trends with dismay and a bit of Schadenfreude. As I’ve said again and again the Swiss Watch industry brought this on itself. While they claim great numbers and great success year after year the small manufacturers are eating each other up while nearly every major watch brand is snooping around for outside buyers. There is no money in churning out mechanical timepieces to an increasingly disinterested public.

As time ticks ever forward things will change. The once mighty Swiss houses will sink under the weight of their accreted laurel-resting and Apple will move on to embedded brain implants and leave watches behind. The result, after a battle that raged for more than four decades, will be a dead Swiss industry catering to a world that has moved on.

Xiaomi beats Samsung to top spot in India’s smartphone market

Xiaomi couldn’t have wished for better timing of two reports that claim it has toppled Samsung to become India’s top-selling smartphone company.

The Chinese firm, which is reportedly on a roadshow ahead of an IPO that could value it as high as $100 billion, is said to have beaten Samsung’s sales efforts in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market behind China, according to new data from Canalys and Counterpoint.

Data from both analyst houses gave Xiaomi a narrow lead over Samsung in the final quarter of 2017, with 27 percent and 25 percent, respectively, according to Canalys — and 25 percent versus 23 percent, according to Counterpoint.

Counterpoint included year-long figures, which conclude that Samsung (24 percent) is ahead of Xiaomi (19 percent) over the longer timeframe. A glance at the previous year’s figures shows that Xiaomi has closed what was once a significant gap with its rival.

It’s also striking just how dominant the pair are. Together they account for over half of all smartphones sales in India, which is quite something.

Counterpoint data

Canalys’s Rushabh Doshi explained that Samsung lost ground because Xiaomi was able to exploit its weakness in the sub-INR15,000 (US$240) market with its affordable Redmi series.

Doshi pointed out, however, that Samsung’s “far superior” R&D and its supply chain expertise give it advantages that will help it compete fiercely with Xiaomi brand, which arguably better marketed in India.

That takeaway was echoed by Counterpoint Research, which pointed out that the $150-$240 price bracket is the fastest growing segment. Xiaomi, the firm estimates, accounted for some 37 percent of devices in this range that shipped to India.

With Xiaomi ramping up its offline sales in India, this is one battle to watch in 2018.

Canalys data

Featured Image: @manukumarjain / Twitter (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)

The iPhone X was the top shipping smartphone over the holidays, according to analysts

Apple hasn’t been been particularly transparent about the iPhone X’s numbers, in part because it’s a bit of a tricky new model. For starters, it’s a $999 phone. It’s also positioned against another premium iPhone model — which got a healthy jump-start on the pricier model.

That said, Canalys’ latest smartphone state of the union shows pretty healthy sales for the pricey new handset, putting it at 29 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of last year. That makes it the “world’s best-shipping smartphone model over the holiday season,” according to the analysts’ numbers.

Not a bad showing, all said, particularly given a price point that caused many to question Apple’s reasoning at launch. That was helped along by a ramp up in production, following some supply issues in early November. Honestly, I wouldn’t be too surprised if that temporary scarcity played a factor in accelerating sales by year’s end.

Even so, that falls short of initial analyst expectations. At the top of the year, some were projecting around 30 to 35 million for the last quarter of 2017, causing a readjustment in forecasts for Q1. Which is to say, when it comes to the success of a given smartphone, it’s all relative.

At the very least, this does offer some indication that customers are willing to pay top dollar for all the latest bells and whistles, even when a cheaper premium alternative is on the market at the same time. Of course, these are all analyst projections and probably ought to be taken with a grain of salt. Even so, these seem likely as close as we’ll get to official numbers for that specific time frame.

Another notable tidbit from the study: Roughly seven million of those iPhone X shipments are in China, where Apple’s had a bit of a bumpy ride when it comes to market share. The company had previously positioned its low-cost models like the 5c for that market in an attempt to compete against a bevy of low-cost domestic brands.

It seems the opposite is true with the X, which has reportedly been a hit in urban areas, where users are switching from flagship domestic brands like Huawei and Xiaomi.

Chinese smartphone makers closing the gap on iPhone, Samsung

While Samsung and Apple continued to occupy long-time number one and two spots in the global smartphone market in the second quarter of the year, Chinese Android OEMs Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi are continuing to close the gap.

Analyst Canalys’ latest smartphone market figures show third placed Huawei now nipping right at Apple’s heels. It said Huawei shipped 38 million units in the quarter vs Apple’s 41 million iPhones, with year-over-year growth at 20 per cent and two per cent respectively — the latter despite anticipation building for a significant iPhone refresh later in the year.

Apple reported strong earnings itself yesterday, with investors especially excited about signals of a mega Q4 in its pipeline. Yet consumers evidently didn’t hold off buying iPhones entirely in Q2.

In terms of growth, Canalys said Oppo and Xiaomi were the top performers in the quarter, taking fourth and fifth spot, and growing shipments 44 per cent and 52 per cent respectively. (Late last month the analyst also reported a notable sales spike for Xiaomi on its home turf, estimating it shipped 15M smartphones in Q2 in China, ranking fourth — though Huawei maintained first place with shipments of 23M units.)

Global smartphone market leader Samsung shipped more than 79 million units in the quarter, although its year over year growth was “relatively flat”, and its lead is also being eroded by faster growing Android OEM rivals.

The analyst suggests its therefore hitting a pricing ceiling for its Galaxy brand as multiple rivals work against premium pricing in the Android space — a competitive factor that may even limit Apple’s room for making upward price manoeuvres when it refreshes the iPhone.

“Shipments of the [Samsung Galaxy] S8 have been strong in some regions, but there are signs that demand has been overestimated,” noted Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling in a statement. “Canalys’ channels research has revealed inventory buildup in Europe, which when combined with discounting in the U.S., indicates Samsung may be testing the limits of Android smartphone pricing.”

“As Apple looks to refresh the iPhone, even with its unique user experience, it too must justify any significant price increases with tangible improvements to both feature set and design,” he added.

Overall, more than 340 million smartphones shipped in Q2, an increase of almost 4 per cent year on year. Although the analyst noted that smartphone markets in India and China both slipped into decline in the quarter.

In North America, it said smartphone shipments in the second quarter increased around 7 per cent, year on year, while Apple grew iPhone sales by 10 per cent — again despite consumer anticipation for a flagship update in fall (and the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 flagships).