Tomorrow never knows

The numbers are in! End of last week Samsung completed the list of Q3 reporting from the big ones (except RIM who has a different reporting cycle).

Before the reports a few of us had a quick back-of-the-envelope exercise predicting the results of device volumes. The results are shown in Figure 1 below (closest bet bolded):

tomorrow-never-knows

Figure 1: Reported device shipping volumes Q3. Sources: Company press-releases. Reuters provided the consensus analyst figures.

Looking at the table above, the Consensus analyst forecast for one quarter out had the following deviation to actual reported number:

• 4.4% Nokia
• 4.5% Samsung
• 14.8% LG
• 15.4% SE
• 27.7% Apple
• 1.1% Motorola

The best individual Northstream estimate was had the following deviation:

• 1.4% Nokia
• 4.8% Samsung
• 1.4% LG
• 25% SE (maybe a sign of patriotism…)
• 4,4% Apple
• 1.1% Motorola

Both Analyst consensus and Northstream estimates shows fairly significant deviations for a number of manufacturers.

Why are these numbers interesting? Because I believe that this points to that the market is more dynamic and difficult to predict than ever. The speed at which new players, like HTC, are putting new exciting smartphones into the market makes the strength of portfolio shift on almost a quarterly bases rather than the yearly tempo that used to be in place. Expect changes to the list above fairly soon!

Besides that, Apple seems to be able to decide how much they want to sell rather than being limited by this silly little thing called demand. This too makes it tricky for anyone besides the supply chain manager and Apple Management to understand what the upcoming numbers will be.

Additionally, analysts (and not only them) are having increasing problems categorizing devices. Is it a phone market nowadays? Internet device market? On that note, it is understood that Samsung will include their Galaxy Tabs in their reporting next Quarter (to mix things up even more…).

In this dynamic market the winner, in my opinion, is the consumer. The speed at which user friendliness and device centric service availability, not to mention value for money, is developing looks very promising. And hopefully the operators will keep up pace with network accessibility. Then we are all winners. And on that note, the winner of the above contest? I might humbly admit I’m guilty…

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