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H1 2019: Smartphone Revenue Opportunities beyond the Ultra-High-End Models

by Juha Winter | Oct 14, 2019

With third quarter market figures starting to come in, it’s time to reflect on some interesting findings from the smartphone market in the first half of 2019. In terms of individual smartphone models, Strategy Analytics’ Smartphone Model Tracker (SMT) service is the go-to research program, covering thousands of smartphone models in 88 countries and 6 regions across the globe. The wide range of metrics provided includes shipments and market share as well as wholesale pricing by model, but also revenue and value share and tech specs by model.

It’s a well-known fact that ultra-high-end models from Apple and Samsung capture the bulk of the smartphone industry’s revenue globally. These models, selling for upwards of US$600 wholesale, together account for some 40 percent of all smartphone revenue in a quarter, with some models such as Apple’s iPhone XR accounting for even 12 to 15 percent of all smartphone revenue. That price tier, US$600+, is almost exclusively owned by Apple and Samsung, however, with Huawei occasionally making an entry with its latest Mate Pro device. Despite the low number of models competing there, it’s a very competitive and challenging place to be.

Previous-year flagship models from Samsung and even older ones from Apple find themselves quickly in the US$500-599 price tier, which has the lowest number of models out of all price tiers tracked by SMT. This is a price tier that has been largely underserved in the first half of 2019, with the iPhone 8 and a number of models primarily for the Chinese market being the main contenders.

Another price tier that offers attractive revenue opportunities with only limited competition outside of China is the US$300-399 price tier. Here, the Huawei Nova 4 is the only major model with wide global availability. Vivo, Oppo, and Xiaomi each have successful models in this price tier, such as the Vivo X27, the Oppo Reno, and the Xiaomi Mi 9, but these models have limited distribution outside of China.

For price-tier trend analysis of the smartphone market, portfolio planning, and performance tracking of models, just to name a few applications, SMT is an invaluable tool. Make yourself acquainted with our broad range of research here.

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