„The Handset Industry Is A Flat Circle”

Im Januar war LGs Smartphone-Ausstieg noch ein semi-öffentliches Gerücht; seit Anfang April ist es offiziell. Michael Fisher hat einen unterhaltsamen Videorückblick.

Wichtig waren die LG-Taschencomputer zwar schon seit einigen Jahren nicht mehr, aber ein Blick auf die Branche ist es.

Today, there are six phone makers left at scale: Apple, Samsung, Huawei, BBK, Xiaomi and Transsion. Apple remains unassailable with the best customers and the majority of industry profits. Samsung survives through scale and integration with other parts of the Samsung chaebol. Xiaomi has built a loyal following through some very solid marketing. Huawei had pulled far ahead, but its future now is not bright. Transsion is mostly a feature phone business, with solid inroads in Africa and now India. And then there’s BBK Group. […]

They own Vivo, Oppo, RealMe and OnePlus as well as a few other brands. Depending on who’s counting BBK is now the second or third largest handset vendor on the market. There are a couple of other brands still out there — notably the legacy business of the one-time leaders — HMD (the brand owner of Nokia), Sony (Ericsson) and Lenovo (Motorola), but their collective share is small.

What really strikes us from this list is that we are almost back to the point where we started. Take Huawei off the list because their status is so unclear, and take off Transsion because their smartphone share is tiny — and we are left with four companies. The industry that has radically altered our lives has almost the same market structure as it did twenty-five years ago, albeit with a different set of players.

Jonathan Goldberg | Digits To Dollars

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