Samsung and Android dominate Europe’s top 5 smartphone markets
There is something cheerfully cyberpunk about smartphones. Maybe it's the often dramatic and slightly dystopian sounding futuristic labels. Samsung S7 'Edge', Sony 'Xperia' Z5, 'HTC' 10, Google 'Nexus' P6.
Whatever resonates with you, they are such a big part of our personal and business life, they have ceased to be an accessory and become an appendage of the modern human.
The smartphone market is a dynamic and vibrant arena but it is also fickle. Nokia handsets were once at the top of the mobile tree, but has witnessed rapid decline from 2008 when it held 38.6 per cent of the global market. By 2013, Nokia's market share had fallen to 13.9 per cent, a decline of nearly 25 per cent in only five years.
At the time of writing, August 2016, Blackberry is considering exiting the mobile market altogether as its share of sales dropped to 0.2 per cent Q1 2016. A long way from the healthy 20.1 per cent of the market it held in Q1 2009.
In June this year, leading online technology magazine TechRadar offered its judgement on the best smartphones of 2016. The Sony Xperia Z5, my own smartphone of choice, complete with the dominant Android operating system came a credible sixth while the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, also using an Android operating system, secured the number one slot.
Handsets which also featured included the iPhone 6S Plus, described by TechRadar as 'the best phone Apple ever made', Oneplus 3, and the LG G5.
Samsung's top billing and the fact that most of the top 10 smartphones use the Android operating system comes as no surprise. In Europe's top five markets known as the EU5 - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom – Samsung and Android, the smartphone software, clearly hold sway.
According Kantar Worldpanel, a leading company in global consumer knowledge and shopper insight, of the five biggest European markets, Android handsets accounted for the most sales, easily out selling iOS and Windows software.
Spain enjoyed the biggest share of handsets using the Android operating system with an impressive 92.8 percent sold. By comparison, Britain had the lowest market share with 58.6 of all smartphones sold using the Android operating system. Across the five markets, handsets with Android operating systems accounted for 77 per cent of all sales. Apple's iOS design used in its iPhones secured a market share of 18.3 percent while Windows held the third largest share with 4.2 per cent of all phones sold.
Samsung was the dominant smartphone brand across the EU5 holding a clear market lead in some nations while being challenged closely in other countries.
“In Germany, Samsung accounts for nearly half of all smartphones sold, with Apple and Huawei fighting for the remainder,” Dominic Sunnebo, Business Unit Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Europe, revealed. “In Great Britain...the brand battle is also much closer. Samsung accounts for 36.2 percent of smartphones sold in the period (three months to May 2016), with Apple trailing closely at 36 percent thanks to a strong showing by the iPhone SE.”
So, while Samsung is the leading consumer smartphone of choice across the five nations it is facing competition from Apple, and new-kids-on-the-smartphone-block Huawei.
The Chinese company secured third place across the five major European markets growing by a healthy 7.4 percent year on year for a 12.5 percent share of the European top five market smartphone sales in the three months to May 2016.
The most lucrative markets for Huawei were to be found in Spain and Italy where the company grabbed an impressive 21 percent share of consumer sales. In both these countries the P8 Lite model proved immensely popular.
The company also have sponsorship deals with Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and La Liga giants Atletico Madrid, while globally the Chinese corporation shifted an impressive 28.8 million units in Q1 of 2016. Samsung sold 81.1 million, and Apple shifted 51.6 million units in the same period.
Both Spain and Italy have also witnessed a decline in the sales of Samsung handsets. The Korean company's sales dropping by 7.6 percent in Spain and 5.6 percent in Italy, though in both nations the smartphone manufacturer still remains the top selling brand.
In France, however, Huawei, trails local favourite Wiko, also manufactured in China. Wiko, founded by French businessman Cedric Wilmots, has its head office, design and marketing teams in Marseille. Wiko, however, is now majority owned by Chinese technology group Tinno Mobile and the handsets manufactured in China.
The choice of smartphone, basically a small computer, has become as important to business efficiency as the desk, telephone and filing cabinet was in the 1970's.
The smartphone global marketplace is a high intensity, extremely lucrative and competitive market, and there is no reason to suspect that is about to change, not least across the EU5.
Read the August 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.