A smartphone was shipped for 1 of every 5 people alive in 2015

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2016
Manufacturers shipped nearly 1.5 billion smartphones to the world's 7.4 billion inhabitants in 2015 as consumers opted to replace older devices with newer LTE-equipped models or those with larger displays.




The massive, increasingly crowded smartphone sector now counts some 850 competitive brands, according to new data from Counterpoint Research. The market remains a mile wide and inch deep, however -- the 20 largest companies account for nearly 85 percent of shipments.

Apple has been a major beneficiary of the exploding market, shipping a record 74.8 million iPhones in the holiday quarter. That's second only to Samsung's 81.5 million shipments, though arguably more impressive.

Apple sells just a handful of high-end models, the least expensive of which costs $450 without subsidies. In contrast, Samsung sells dozens of device variants -- some of which are available for under $100.

The most impressive growth among smartphone vendors didn't come from the U.S. or South Korea, though -- smaller regional players in emerging markets stole the show in 2015.

Meizu, Lava, Intex, Vivo, Tecno, and Oppo all posted growth in excess of 100 percent for the year thanks in part to the swelling middle class in China, India, and Thailand. More established brands like Asus, Huawei, and ZTE also recorded impressive numbers, though far lower than their smaller competitors.

The shift in marketshare has come at a cost for former heavyweights like Motorola, HTC, Lenovo, Sony and Nokia, which all saw shipments contract by 10 percent or more.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    lewklewk Posts: 16member
    Let's see a chart showing total numbers sold instead of % growth year over year! This story is very misleading without that sort of chart!
  • Reply 2 of 26
    lewk said:
    Let's see a chart showing total numbers sold instead of % growth year over year! This story is very misleading without that sort of chart!

    Misleading how? The story is about the growth of the smartphone market...
    gatorguycnocbuiafrodri
  • Reply 3 of 26
    AppleInsider said:
    The market remains a mile wide and inch deep, however -- the 20 largest companies account for nearly 85 percent of profits.

    Hasn't it been reported multiple times on this site that Apple takes home well over 90% of global smartphone profits?  How then does it take 20 companies to get 85%?


    radarthekatanton zuykov
  • Reply 4 of 26
    "More established brands like Asus, Huawei, and ZTE also recorded impressive numbers, though far lower than their smaller competitors." Not true at all. Asus went from 8.5 million to 20 million and began to be a real player in the U.S. and Europe for the first time (at least among Android enthusiasts). Huawei went from 74 million to 107 million. I will grant you Oppo, but the other players like Meizu, Lava (sold primarily in India), Intex (again India) simply went from 2 million to 6 million or something like that; huge increases over small bases. "The shift in marketshare has come at a cost for former heavyweights like Motorola, HTC, Lenovo, Sony and Nokia, which all saw shipments contract by more than 10 percent." Motorola was never a heavyweight. Motorola-Lenovo's troubles were primarily due to weakness in China, and Lenovo fumbling with supply chain and marketing issues that cost them big in India and Latin America. HTC, the only "major" smartphone maker whose main business is smartphones and related accessories, is simply too small for effective R&D and marketing; hence too small to survive. They've basically released the same phones 3 years in a row and have seen the competition rip off their best features in and otherwise surpass them. They need to find a graceful, face-saving way of "merging" with a South Korean or Taiwanese company that will allow them to retain their brand name and most of their people Best scenario for merger would be Asus, Razer, Nvidia or Acer ... worst would be LG or Samsung, or pretty much anyone in mainland China. If they are smart and get out now, they can negotiate the former. If they are dumb, then a mainland China company like Xiaomi or Huawei will scoop them up to get their patents and U.S./European carrier and store channels. Sony is stupid. They produce great, beautiful phones and tablets that cost way too much and that they do not advertise outside of Japan. (Other companies are buying the components that Sony puts in their phones, like cameras and screens, to put in their own phones and are outselling Sony.) They need to completely revamp their pricing/marketing strategy. As for Nokia: their exclusivity contract with Microsoft FINALLY expires soon, so they are going to re-enter the smartphone market this year, except this time with Android devices that they should have sold from the beginning, instead of allowing a former Microsoft executive to sell them on the idea of becoming Windows Mobile-exclusive as a differentiator among the "other-than-Apple" smartphones. (In their defense, lots of analysts predicted that Windows Mobile would drive Android out of business by 2012 and have a bigger market share than Apple by now. Then again it isn't a defense at all, because EVERYONE ELSE including Samsung, LG, HTC etc. made both Android AND Windows phones to see which one would sell, which allowed them to drop the one that failed ... or just keep selling both if both succeeded. So, Nokia was just dumb.) Initially, though, they will just be budget and (hopefully) midrange devices sold primarily in Asia and manufactured by either Foxconn (who makes their Nokia N1 Android tablets, which have had some success in China and India but for now legally can't be sold or even resold by resellers in America or Europe thanks to Microsoft) or Micromax. Also, might want to check these out. This isn't just clickbait from the Apple bashers. They are just 2 of many sources that have been reporting this for the last 36 hours or so, and they are all using data from several sources to report the same news: Apple market share declined in every market but China. Cook's statement that record numbers of people are switching from Android to iOS is true ... but he fails to mention that even more people are switching from iOS to Android. http://news.softpedia.com/news/apple-s-ios-share-nosedives-across-the-world-as-android-s-domination-broadens-499494.shtml http://news.softpedia.com/news/apple-s-ios-share-nosedives-across-the-world-as-android-s-domination-broadens-499494.shtml
  • Reply 5 of 26
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,273member
    bulldogs said:
    "More established brands like Asus, Huawei, and ZTE also recorded impressive numbers, though far lower than their smaller competitors." Not true at all. Asus went from 8.5 million to 20 million and began to be a real player in the U.S. and Europe for the first time (at least among Android enthusiasts). Huawei went from 74 million to 107 million. I will grant you Oppo, but the other players like Meizu, Lava (sold primarily in India), Intex (again India) simply went from 2 million to 6 million or something like that; huge increases over small bases. "The shift in marketshare has come at a cost for former heavyweights like Motorola, HTC, Lenovo, Sony and Nokia, which all saw shipments contract by more than 10 percent." Motorola was never a heavyweight. Motorola-Lenovo's troubles were primarily due to weakness in China, and Lenovo fumbling with supply chain and marketing issues that cost them big in India and Latin America. HTC, the only "major" smartphone maker whose main business is smartphones and related accessories, is simply too small for effective R&D and marketing; hence too small to survive. They've basically released the same phones 3 years in a row and have seen the competition rip off their best features in and otherwise surpass them. They need to find a graceful, face-saving way of "merging" with a South Korean or Taiwanese company that will allow them to retain their brand name and most of their people Best scenario for merger would be Asus, Razer, Nvidia or Acer ... worst would be LG or Samsung, or pretty much anyone in mainland China. If they are smart and get out now, they can negotiate the former. If they are dumb, then a mainland China company like Xiaomi or Huawei will scoop them up to get their patents and U.S./European carrier and store channels. Sony is stupid. They produce great, beautiful phones and tablets that cost way too much and that they do not advertise outside of Japan. (Other companies are buying the components that Sony puts in their phones, like cameras and screens, to put in their own phones and are outselling Sony.) They need to completely revamp their pricing/marketing strategy. As for Nokia: their exclusivity contract with Microsoft FINALLY expires soon, so they are going to re-enter the smartphone market this year, except this time with Android devices that they should have sold from the beginning, instead of allowing a former Microsoft executive to sell them on the idea of becoming Windows Mobile-exclusive as a differentiator among the "other-than-Apple" smartphones. (In their defense, lots of analysts predicted that Windows Mobile would drive Android out of business by 2012 and have a bigger market share than Apple by now. Then again it isn't a defense at all, because EVERYONE ELSE including Samsung, LG, HTC etc. made both Android AND Windows phones to see which one would sell, which allowed them to drop the one that failed ... or just keep selling both if both succeeded. So, Nokia was just dumb.) Initially, though, they will just be budget and (hopefully) midrange devices sold primarily in Asia and manufactured by either Foxconn (who makes their Nokia N1 Android tablets, which have had some success in China and India but for now legally can't be sold or even resold by resellers in America or Europe thanks to Microsoft) or Micromax. Also, might want to check these out. This isn't just clickbait from the Apple bashers. They are just 2 of many sources that have been reporting this for the last 36 hours or so, and they are all using data from several sources to report the same news: Apple market share declined in every market but China. Cook's statement that record numbers of people are switching from Android to iOS is true ... but he fails to mention that even more people are switching from iOS to Android. http://news.softpedia.com/news/apple-s-ios-share-nosedives-across-the-world-as-android-s-domination-broadens-499494.shtml http://news.softpedia.com/news/apple-s-ios-share-nosedives-across-the-world-as-android-s-domination-broadens-499494.shtml
    Should be interesting to see what happens over the next year. You posted the same link twice. Could you please post the other one. Thanks.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    AppleInsider said:
    The market remains a mile wide and inch deep, however -- the 20 largest companies account for nearly 85 percent of profits.

    Hasn't it been reported multiple times on this site that Apple takes home well over 90% of global smartphone profits?  How then does it take 20 companies to get 85%?


    The claim that Apple takes home 95% of the global smartphone profits was always kind of ... I don't know. I always felt that it didn't accurately account for the smaller players in Asia, mainly China and India, and was just focusing on Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Motorola, Sony, Lenovo and later Xiaomi. So they were able to look at huge profits by Apple, decent profits by Samsung, LG/HTC/Xiaomi basically breaking even combined with huge losses by Motorola, Lenovo and Sony that is how they arrived at that 95% figure. This year - thanks primarily to Huawei surpassing Xiaomi, Asus selling 20 million units and Oppo selling 50 million - the analysts are doing a better job of accounting for the profits being made by the smaller Asian companies selling midrange ($150-$300) devices in China and India and making $25-$50 per device because they manufacture locally using turnkey solutions by component makers like Qualcomm, Intel and especially MediaTek, and sell direct to customers. Another thing to consider: for a lot of these companies, smartphones aren't a central, prestige business. Many of them were already making and selling electronics and appliances in Asia (and some cases worldwide, often relabeled as other "name brands"). For these companies, making and selling 5-10 million smartphones at a profit of $50 per phone is totally worth their while: just another SKU to add to their bottom line. Especially if they can use the smartphones as a way to sell even more of the headphones and other devices that they were already making as accessories. (That is what LG largely does now. They mostly break even on the phones themselves, but make like $15 on every "premium" case that they sell, and then there are headphones, speakers, docks etc.) So you don't have to compete with or be like Apple and make billions of profits per quarter on your mobile hardware alone to justify being in the smartphone game to begin with. Making $250 million a year and increasing your profits on the accessories that you sell with the phone is more than good enough, because that is how much these same companies were making by selling TVs, radios, clocks etc. before. Now financial analyst type companies are going to stop using Apple and the iPhone as a reference point for everyone else in the business and start treating smartphones as just another electronics product among many: laptops, TVs, blu-ray players, stereos etc. The result will be looking at the market from a broader perspective and getting more accurate numbers. Put it another way: despite all the claims from the analysts that only Apple (or only Apple and Samsung) were making money on smartphones, not one single (Android, sorry Nokia) smartphone maker has exited the business (unless you count Dell and HP, who never got into it seriously in the first place and exited years ago, and I guess Amazon, who again was never really in it). Instead, more and more companies are making Android smartphones each year. Not just in Asia, but at least 2 new companies in America (Blu, based in Miami, and Nextbit based in California) plus companies in Latin America and Africa are dipping their toes in the water. The reason? Nearly everyone is making money, or at least using smartphones to drive their other product lines. 8 years into Android smartphones and there are more companies getting into manufacturing and selling them than ever, with the only consolidation being Lenovo buying Motorola (who was losing money and failing as a company long before they got into smartphones). That's why the previous financial analysis up till now never made sense: it used Apple's business model as a baseline to compare everyone else in the industry to when the only company even trying to compete with Apple was Samsung.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    It's amazing seeing iPhones and cheap knockoffs in almost everyone's hands.

    Apple's invention has taken over the world population. Definitely one of the most fascinating points in human history.
    radarthekat
  • Reply 8 of 26
    AppleInsider said:
    The market remains a mile wide and inch deep, however -- the 20 largest companies account for nearly 85 percent of profits.

    Hasn't it been reported multiple times on this site that Apple takes home well over 90% of global smartphone profits?  How then does it take 20 companies to get 85%?



    The article said 85% of shipments, not profits.
    afrodri
  • Reply 9 of 26
    bulldogs said:
    Snip "Cook's statement that record numbers of people are switching from Android to iOS is true ... but he fails to mention that even more people are switching from iOS to Android."
    In 25 years of Apple use in the fields of publishing, photography, journalism and art, I have never known, met, or even heard of a single person - creative or otherwise - switching away from IOS, or any piece of Apple equipment, to any other system... it has always, and frequently, been the other way around. My finding is not from 'recent reports' but from personal and practical experience in the business over a quarter of a century!
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 26
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    AppleInsider said:
    The market remains a mile wide and inch deep, however -- the 20 largest companies account for nearly 85 percent of profits.

    Hasn't it been reported multiple times on this site that Apple takes home well over 90% of global smartphone profits?  How then does it take 20 companies to get 85%?


    It gets repeated incessantly, but that doesn't make the figure any more believable.
  • Reply 11 of 26
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    bulldogs said:
    Snip "Cook's statement that record numbers of people are switching from Android to iOS is true ... but he fails to mention that even more people are switching from iOS to Android."
    In 25 years of Apple use in the fields of publishing, photography, journalism and art, I have never known, met, or even heard of a single person - creative or otherwise - switching away from IOS, or any piece of Apple equipment, to any other system... it has always, and frequently, been the other way around. My finding is not from 'recent reports' but from personal and practical experience in the business over a quarter of a century!
    When the Samsung S6 launched, at least one site that allowed trade-ins reported 41% were of iPhones towards the purchase of an S6. 
  • Reply 12 of 26
    schlackschlack Posts: 708member
    1 of 5 alive isn't bad, but let's see how many were shipped for the number of people dead...i bet it was more like 1 in 8
    radarthekat
  • Reply 13 of 26
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    Apple took advantage of China Mobile start selling iPhone three years ago.  China Mobile is the largest carrier in China with 70% share.  China Mobile started introducing LTE three years ago.  To use a smartphone as the main computing device a bigger screen and high speed is really important.  I like to know similar numbers in other countries especially India and Brazil the number two and three most populous nations in the world.  What percentage of their carriers have LTE available.  What are their plans ahead?  Apple's growth potential depends very much on this number. 
  • Reply 14 of 26
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,641member
    lewk said:
    Let's see a chart showing total numbers sold instead of % growth year over year! This story is very misleading without that sort of chart!
    I totally agree. Here's the website AI got this information from, http://www.counterpointresearch.com/smartphones2015q4. This chart would have been better. I don't even see Meizu or Lava on this chart so they could have previously sold 1000 smartphones and this year sold 3000 to get a 300% growth. Who cares, all we care about is who sold the most. 



    If we're looking at actual smartphones, you'd take 40% of these out anyway since, as Counterpoint documents:
    • 3 in 5 smartphones shipped in 2015 were LTE capable i.e. 900 million LTE smartphones were shipped globally in 2015, a breakout year for mobile industry
    • 3 in 5 smartphones shipped in premium segment (>$400) in 2015 were iPhones.
    There's a whole lot more statements on the original website so I'm not going to do AI's job to actually filter out the important information. We all know Apple doesn't sell the most mobile devices but they do sell the most real smartphones (with LTE capability) and command the lion's share of profits. 
  • Reply 15 of 26
    cnocbui said:
    In 25 years of Apple use in the fields of publishing, photography, journalism and art, I have never known, met, or even heard of a single person - creative or otherwise - switching away from IOS, or any piece of Apple equipment, to any other system... it has always, and frequently, been the other way around. My finding is not from 'recent reports' but from personal and practical experience in the business over a quarter of a century!
    When the Samsung S6 launched, at least one site that allowed trade-ins reported 41% were of iPhones towards the purchase of an S6. 

    When you're a troll you can find at least one site reporting a metric that goes along with what you, deep down in the core of your being, hopes and prays to be true.
    bestkeptsecretpatchythepirate
  • Reply 16 of 26
    Only Apple counts units sold to people, unlike others that count devices stuffed into the retail channel.
    edited January 2016
  • Reply 17 of 26
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,351member
    rob53 said:
    lewk said:
    Let's see a chart showing total numbers sold instead of % growth year over year! This story is very misleading without that sort of chart!
    I totally agree. Here's the website AI got this information from, http://www.counterpointresearch.com/smartphones2015q4. This chart would have been better. I don't even see Meizu or Lava on this chart so they could have previously sold 1000 smartphones and this year sold 3000 to get a 300% growth. Who cares, all we care about is who sold the most. 



    If we're looking at actual smartphones, you'd take 40% of these out anyway since, as Counterpoint documents:
    • 3 in 5 smartphones shipped in 2015 were LTE capable i.e. 900 million LTE smartphones were shipped globally in 2015, a breakout year for mobile industry
    • 3 in 5 smartphones shipped in premium segment (>$400) in 2015 were iPhones.
    There's a whole lot more statements on the original website so I'm not going to do AI's job to actually filter out the important information. We all know Apple doesn't sell the most mobile devices but they do sell the most real smartphones (with LTE capability) and command the lion's share of profits. 
    LTE capable does not mean the carrier is providing LTE.  I think a lot LTE smartphone users are not surging the internet with LTE speed.  I like to know similar numbers in other countries especially India and Brazil the number two and three most populous nations in the world.  What percentage of their carriers have LTE available.  What are their plans ahead?  Apple's growth potential depends very much on this number. 
  • Reply 18 of 26
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator
    rob53 said:
    lewk said:
    Let's see a chart showing total numbers sold instead of % growth year over year! This story is very misleading without that sort of chart!
    I totally agree. Here's the website AI got this information from, http://www.counterpointresearch.com/smartphones2015q4. This chart would have been better. I don't even see Meizu or Lava on this chart so they could have previously sold 1000 smartphones and this year sold 3000 to get a 300% growth. Who cares, all we care about is who sold the most. 



    If we're looking at actual smartphones, you'd take 40% of these out anyway since, as Counterpoint documents:
    • 3 in 5 smartphones shipped in 2015 were LTE capable i.e. 900 million LTE smartphones were shipped globally in 2015, a breakout year for mobile industry
    • 3 in 5 smartphones shipped in premium segment (>$400) in 2015 were iPhones.
    There's a whole lot more statements on the original website so I'm not going to do AI's job to actually filter out the important information. We all know Apple doesn't sell the most mobile devices but they do sell the most real smartphones (with LTE capability) and command the lion's share of profits. 
    Even these numbers aren't really interesting from a business perspective.  Add in the revenue numbers.  Then we'll see who is king of smartphone sales.  Hint: it's the vendor who can sell a large number of smartphones at a significantly higher price versus its competitors.  
  • Reply 19 of 26
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator
    cnocbui said:
    bulldogs said:
    Snip "Cook's statement that record numbers of people are switching from Android to iOS is true ... but he fails to mention that even more people are switching from iOS to Android."
    In 25 years of Apple use in the fields of publishing, photography, journalism and art, I have never known, met, or even heard of a single person - creative or otherwise - switching away from IOS, or any piece of Apple equipment, to any other system... it has always, and frequently, been the other way around. My finding is not from 'recent reports' but from personal and practical experience in the business over a quarter of a century!
    When the Samsung S6 launched, at least one site that allowed trade-ins reported 41% were of iPhones towards the purchase of an S6. 
    That's interesting information only if it's qualified by which iPhone models. We're people trading in old 3GS models they had sitting in their drawer or that their kids were using in order to get the kid a new model smartphone at a lot lower cost than an iPhone?  Same information is needed going the other direction.  What's the phone being traded in and what's the motivation?  I suspect when you are trading in a cheap brand to get a more expensive brand, it's primarily a phone for your own use.  Going the other way is just trying save some money, which might be be common when acquiring a phone for a kid or other less discriminating family member.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,395moderator
    bulldogs said:
    Snip "Cook's statement that record numbers of people are switching from Android to iOS is true ... but he fails to mention that even more people are switching from iOS to Android."
    In 25 years of Apple use in the fields of publishing, photography, journalism and art, I have never known, met, or even heard of a single person - creative or otherwise - switching away from IOS, or any piece of Apple equipment, to any other system... it has always, and frequently, been the other way around. My finding is not from 'recent reports' but from personal and practical experience in the business over a quarter of a century!
    I can't eat store-bought, or even restaurant soup anymore.  I had a Vietnamese girlfriend for 13 years while living in New England.  She would make the most amazing Vietnamese (Pho) and Thai soups.  Now I'm ruined for anything less.  It's exactly the same for Apple products.  Used to use Windows PC in my 26 year career in tne software industry, first smartphone was an Android HTC One.  But having years ago migrated to the Apple ecosystem, there's just no way I could think to go back.  I can't even pick up an Andriod smartphone at a Best Buy.  I walk right on by, with zero interest in even looking at them.
    patchythepirate
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