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Huawei helps global smartphone shipments tick up

Partly thanks to record sales by Huawei, worldwide smartphone shipments increased 0.8% year over year in the third quarter of 2019, reversing seven quarters of decline

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Worldwide smartphone shipments increased 0.8% year over year in the third quarter of 2019, reversing seven quarters of decline, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. In total, companies shipped a total 358.3 million smartphones during the quarter, which was up 8.1% from the previous quarter and enough to return the industry to positive growth.

Digging into the growth areas, India led emerging markets in total, which together were responsible for propelling worldwide growth, mainly from the rise of Chinese brands. In China, greater consolidation toward the top 5 brands was the main trend in the quarter. The top Chinese brands all increased their local shipments in preparation for 11.11 or “Singles’ Day,” the Chinese equivalent of Black Friday for shopping in the U.S.

“Despite facing challenges across many international markets, Huawei doubled down on China in the third quarter,” says Melissa Chau, associate research director with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “Samsung benefited the most internationally from Huawei’s woes, ramping up the more affordable A series, while in China the other domestic competitors felt the heat from Huawei.”

“The market returning to positive growth shows the resilience of this industry as well as the ongoing demand for mobile phones, all in the face of many global macroeconomic challenges,” said Ryan Reith, program vice president with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “The number of factors in play for competition are incredible. It is clear Huawei continues to make big gains in China, which remains the world’s largest market. Apple beat many expectations and is driving strong volumes in mature markets that face equally challenging headwinds. And most importantly, the top 5 OEMs accounted for more than 70% of the world’s smartphone shipments for the first time ever this quarter. The industry and vendor landscape is still changing but the trend of consolidation is ramping along with it.”

Smartphone Company Highlights

Samsung gained share in 3Q19 with annual growth of 8.3% on the back of the Galaxy Note 10 launch in August and increased A series volumes, with a total of 78.2 million smartphones shipped. The lower-end to midrange A series in particular helped to fill in the gaps left behind by Huawei.

Huawei shipped higher volumes than expected as it shifted focus to its domestic market, particularly in lower-tier cities, and increased inventories given the unknown future with Google Mobile services. While a sentiment of nationalism has helped to bolster Huawei in China, solid relationships with the local channel players has been key, offering favorable distributor terms and a well-rounded product portfolio. Nevertheless, there will be challenges ahead with 4G inventory to clear while consumers wait for affordable 5G products to hit the market.

Apple shipped 46.6 million iPhones in 3Q19, which was a slight decline year over year but still better than most expectations. Apple continues to sell some refurbished iPhones via its own channels, which sustain and possibly grow the installed base, but also impact iPhone revenues. Newer iPhones, specifically the iPhone 11s and XR, did very well this quarter, capturing strong share in important markets like the U.S. and Western Europe.

Xiaomi for the first time saw less than a third of its shipments delivered domestically in China, which was second to India in volume. Domestically, despite its launch of the CC series to appeal to young female consumers, shipments declined under pressure from Huawei. The runway was clearer for Xiaomi in India, however, where it strengthened its offline presence by expanding its sales network via the Mi Store and Mi Preferred Partners.

OPPO also focused its attention outside of China as it approached the tipping point of nearly half of its shipments outside of China with domestic shipments focused on the Reno series and the A9. India experienced the strongest momentum internationally where the Reno series helped complete its product portfolio with higher-end offerings while the online-exclusive K series strengthened its online presence.

Top 5 Smartphone Companies, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q3 2019 (shipments in millions)

Company3Q19 Shipments3Q19 Market Share3Q18 Shipments3Q18 Market ShareYear-Over-Year Change
1. Samsung78.221.8%72.220.3%8.3%
2. Huawei66.618.6%52.014.6%28.2%
3. Apple46.613.0%46.913.2%-0.6%
4. Xiaomi32.79.1%33.89.5%-3.3%
5. OPPO31.28.7%30.08.4%4.1%
Others103.028.7%120.734.0%-14.7%
Total358.3100.0%355.6100.0%0.8%

Source: IDC Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Q3 2019, November 7, 2019

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Car buyers to start abandoning fuel-power by 2025

Car buyers in the United States and Europe expect electric vehicles to become a viable alternative to fuel-powered cars in the next five years.

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A new report outlining consumer expectations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and their viability as replacements for traditional fuel-powered cars or internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles suggests a massive shift beginning in 2025.

The conclusion emerges from a report by human behaviour and analytics firm Escalent, entitled The Future of BEV: How to Capture the Hearts and Minds of Consumers. It reveals the intent of many consumers in the United States and Europe to abandon ICE vehicles altogether, citing the improved infrastructure and range of BEVs.

The Future of BEV gives auto and mobility manufacturers a strategic view of the benefits of their products in the eyes of consumers and highlights the areas of opportunity for automakers to push the innovation boundaries of BEVs to spur broad adoption of the technology.

“While most buyers don’t plan to choose BEVs over gasoline-powered cars within the next five years, consumers have told us there is a clear intention to take BEVs seriously in the five years that follow,” says Mark Carpenter, joint managing director of Escalent’s UK office. “However, manufacturers will need to tap into the emotional value of BEVs rather than just the rational and functional aspects to seize on that intent and inspire broader consumer adoption.”

The study demonstrates a significant shift in consumers’ expectations that BEVs will become viable alternatives to—and competitors with—ICE vehicles over the coming decade. Though 70% of Americans plan to buy a gasoline-powered car within the next year, just 37% expect to make that same purchase in five to ten years. Similarly, while 50% of European consumers favour buying vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel in the near-term, that figure drops to just 23% in five to ten years.

At the same time, consumers on both sides of the Atlantic see BEV adoption rising to 36% in Europe and 16% in the US, with respondents also indicating intent to purchase hybrids and hydrogen-powered cars.

Infrastructure clearly continues to be one of the biggest barriers to adoption. While some work is being done in Europe as well as in the US, the data show there is a significant need for some players to take ownership if manufacturers want to move the needle on BEV adoption.

US and European consumers have stark differences in opinion as to which entities they believe are primarily responsible for providing BEV charging stations. American consumers consider carmakers (45%) the primary party responsible, followed by fuel companies, local government/transport authorities, and the national government in fourth. On the other hand, European consumers view the national government (29%) as the primary party responsible for providing BEV infrastructure, followed by carmakers, local government/transport authorities and fuel companies.

For a full copy of the report, visit https://landing.escalent.co/download-the-future-of-bev.

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New cell phone to help with dementia and memory loss

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A new cell phone that takes simplicity to the extreme is designed to address the unique needs of people with dementia and other forms of memory loss. The RAZ Memory Cell Phone, developed by RAZ Mobility, a provider of mobile assistive technology, was launched this week. The handset is also well-suited for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 5.8 million Americans have Alzheimer’s dementia, with one in ten people over the age of 65 diagnosed with the disease. The number of people with dementia is expected to increase rapidly as the proportion of the population 65 and older increases. The American Psychiatric Association reports that approximately one percent of the population has an intellectual disability.

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone consists of one primary screen, and one screen only. It is always on and includes pictures and names of up to six contacts and a button to call 911. That’s it! There are no applications or settings to cause confusion. No notifications or operating system updates. No distractions. Users can simply tap and hold the picture of the person they wish to call.

Caregivers manage the RAZ Memory Cell Phone through a simple online portal. The portal is used to create and edit the contacts, track the location of the phone/user and select certain options, such as the option to restrict incoming calls to people in the user’s contacts, thereby avoiding unwanted calls such as predatory robocalls.

The RAZ Memory Cell Phone can now be ordered at https://www.razmobility.com/solutions/memory-cellphone/.

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