"The question for Samsung isn’t so much whether it can woo back Galaxy Note fans, but rather whether it can attract new users. Samsung has experienced multiyear declines in its U.S. share of the premium market, defined as handsets selling at $500 wholesale or more.
Three and a half years ago, Samsung had 30% of the U.S. high-end market versus Apple’s 60%, according to BayStreet Research LLC, using a 12-month rolling average. But as of June, Samsung had fallen to 22%, while Apple had grown to 73%. ”Samsung cannot change the trajectory of losing users to Apple,” said Cliff Maldonado, BayStreet Research’s senior analyst, who tracks device sales. “I don’t think they ever can turn the tide.” Read More
“It will be interesting if the Motorola brand and accompanying marketing campaign for the Moto Z2 Force, coming across all carriers, can compete more effectively in the premium tier than LG has in the last few years,” Cliff Maldonado of BayStreet Research told FierceWireless in an email. “We are cautiously optimistic for the new Motorola devices as they too still have to compete with the iPhone and an aggressive Samsung.” Read More
"Another wrinkle is that the new design is widely expected to cost a lot more--with a starting price rumored at more than $1,000. That is more in line with some of the company's MacBook computers, and it would make the new iPhone the most expensive phone ever in the U.S., according to Cliff Maldonado of BayStreet Research." Read More
"But BayStreet Research recently predicted that, partly due to the rumored delay in the new iPhone’s availability, U.S. iPhone sales will fall roughly 10% in the third quarter of this year when compared with the third quarter of last year." Read More
"BayStreet Research recently predicted that, partly due to the rumored delay in the new iPhone’s availability, U.S. iPhone sales will fall roughly 10% in the third quarter of this year when compared with the third quarter of last year."
“With the increasing likelihood of a delayed launch of the OLED variant of the three iPhones launching this fall, we have adjusted our 2H17 forecast,” BayStreet noted in a recent report, explaining that fully 40% of new flagship iPhone sales could be pushed into the fourth quarter of 2017. “We believe lost sales will be minimal as long as the delayed device launches before mid-November. However, losses could increase meaningfully if Apple were to miss the Black Friday promotion period.” Read More
"BayStreet Research said that, based on industry checks, Sprint’s Virgin Mobile could sell between 100,000 and 300,000 iPhones through its new Inner Circle online offering, which provides inexpensive iPhones coupled with a free year of unlimited service to customers who purchase the offering through the internet.
However, the firm noted that figure represents a relatively small drop in the bucket when compared with the roughly 12 million iPhones Apple sells in the U.S. market every quarter.
BayStreet said it estimates that, on average, Virgin today sells around 100,000 total phones every month via its online channels—representing around 30% of its total quarterly sales. The firm said that the new Inner Circle plan could result in sales of up to 300,000 phones during the promotion, which is scheduled to end at the end of July." Read More
"But fresh estimates from BayStreet Research indicated the Pixel may be selling at significantly higher rates.... The market research firm pegged the total number of Pixels sold since its launch at nearly 1.8 million, with 475,000 likely to be sold in the second quarter of 2017." Read More
"While Sprint is the smallest of the four major U.S. wireless network operators, the exclusive deal could provide a lift to both the carrier and the handset vendor, according to Cliff Maldonado of BayStreet Research.
“I think carrier distribution certainly helps the Essential phone’s prospects; without carrier support the phone would easily be forgotten,” Maldonado said via email. “Sprint actually sells more postpaid Android devices than AT&T and is the 3rd largest postpaid Android carrier in the U.S. With Verizon securing the exclusive on the Pixel, the Essential phone offers Sprint a similar subscriber switching opportunity. All in all, I like the move from Sprint’s perception and am interested to see what international benefits working closely with SoftBank can bring the Essential phone.” Read More
"The Phone will be sold directly to consumers, but, according to BayStreet Research, more than 92% of U.S. phone buyers today buy their device through their mobile carrier, so Rubin might have a tough task getting the masses to buy in." Read More
"BayStreet Research has been looking at US sales (reports Fierce Wireless). Although the Galaxy S8 family has not had as much success as in South Korea, overall handset sales are broadly similar year-on year. The research does note that Sprint has seen a thirty percent increase in sales of the S8 and S8 plus, compared to a drop for T-Mobile and no growth on AT&T or Verizon - given that Sprint was the only carrier to offer a significant promotion with the Android flagship." Read More
“While we were expecting slightly more aggressive GS8 promotions y/y, T-Mobile preferred to remain on the sidelines, allowing AT&T & Verizon to offer relatively weaker GS8 launch promotions vs last year,” said the research firm." Read More
"Samsung’s newest flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S8, isn’t receiving the same amount of love from the nation’s wireless carriers that the device’s predecessor did. According to new data from BayStreet Research, Sprint was the only major wireless carrier to promote the device with significant discounts.
“While we were expecting slightly more aggressive GS8 promotions y/y, T-Mobile preferred to remain on the sidelines, allowing AT&T & Verizon to offer relatively weaker GS8 launch promotions vs last year,” BayStreet wrote in a recent note to subscribers. “Last year, all carriers quickly matched T-Mobile's aggressive BOGO offer at launch. This year, only Sprint offered an aggressive BOGO lease offer at launch, as AT&T’s BOGO requires home TV service and Verizon’s GS8 discount promo has a variety of requirements.”
BayStreet said that, according to its checks, Sprint’s sales of the Galaxy S8 are up 30% over its sales of the Galaxy S7 last year. However, the firm said that both AT&T and Verizon are selling roughly the same number of Galaxy S8 devices when compared with their sales of the Galaxy S7 last year. Meanwhile, T-Mobile’s sales of the devices are roughly 15% less than what the carrier sold of last year’s model.
“Overall we have the GS8 [sales] flat y/y through April and expect increased promotional focus in Q2,” the firm added....>
Of course, Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is launching into a much different environment in the United States than the company’s S7 did last year. First, as BayStreet noted, the S7 was one of the most heavily promoted Android device launches in recent history. Second, the S8 arrived in the U.S. market without Bixby, Samsung’s new voice-driven virtual assistant. Third, U.S. wireless carriers are generally working to cut costs amid relatively sluggish subscriber gains and increased competition as unlimited wireless data plans become industry table stakes." Read More
"The clearest evidence of AT&T’s newfound sales strategy comes from BayStreet Research, which recently reported that AT&T’s Android smartphone portfolio has been pared down from fully 42 units in 2015 to roughly half that today.
“AT&T appears much less focused on competing for smartphone subscribers compared to the past ~10 years,” noted BayStreet Research’s Cliff Maldonado in a recent report. “Conversely, Verizon has brought in Google’s Pixels and continues to promote a differentiated Motorola line up. Except for AT&T, all carriers continue to cycle traditional device promos, such as BOGOs, bundles, and discounts.”
Maldonado wrote that AT&T is instead largely putting its hopes behind mainstream, widely available phones like the Apple iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy line of devices. “AT&T's new approach appears to assume consumers will buy either an iPhone or Samsung flagship, with reps instead focused on selling consumers a differentiated portfolio of services, not devices,” he wrote." Read More
"At least in the near term, the fiasco hasn't triggered a mass migration to Samsung's competitors or thumped sales of its top-of-the-line flagship phone--last year's Galaxy S7, which is on track to be the company's best seller to date.
Around one in four Galaxy Note owners migrated to the iPhone, but most opted for another Samsung phone, said Cliff Maldonado, BayStreet Research's senior analyst, who tracks device sales. "It could have been a disaster for Samsung, but this wasn't so bad," Mr. Maldonado said." Read More
"Maldonado said that last month HTC laid off much of its field sales force, which means the company doesn’t have the staffing necessary to sell a major smartphone through all of the nation’s top wireless carriers. As a result, Maldonado said the company will likely move back into an ODM business model, where it will design devices for specific customers like Google and Sprint rather than designing its own flagship phones and selling them through as many carriers as possible." Read More
"“We believe the vast majority (70%) will remain with Samsung and likely choose a Galaxy S7 device alternative,” BayStreet wrote in a recent note. “The second, and more difficult variable, is what percentage of switchers are willing to leave the Android ecosystem. Note customers are aspirational and value premium brands, and thus the iPhone could certainly appeal to them. However, Note customers are also among Samsung's most loyal." Added BayStreet: “Our base case assumes roughly half of switchers (or 15% of total) will choose an iOS device, which equates to only a 200-300k increase to 4Q16 iPhone sales." Read More
"Cliff Maldonado, principal analyst at BayStreet research, said LeEco’s phone is attractively priced, but there is little to differentiate the phones from rivals—and said the content package wasn’t attractive enough to make up for that shortcoming." Read More
"According to BayStreet Research, the Galaxy Note 7 was “off to an excellent start” in the United States when it was first released last month, enjoying 25 percent higher sales than its predecessor.... “This is very unfortunate for Samsung as the Note 7 was in a position to perform as well as the GS7/GS7E had in the first half of the year,” BayStreet’s Cliff Maldonado told FierceWireless." Read More
"That demand is being fueled by aggressive marketing campaigns from mobile network operators eager to use the device to grow their subscriber bases. BayStreet Research’s Cliff Maldonado said recently that the phone is enjoying “unprecedented” promotional support from all four major U.S. carriers. UBS analysts echoed that sentiment, adding that strong carrier demand for the iPhone could weigh on industry margins as competition ramps up." Read More
"Measuring the size of the unlocked phone market in the United States is not an exact science. For example, BayStreet Research said roughly 15 percent of smartphones are sold unlocked and not tied to a specific wireless carrier, while Strategy Analytics said that figure could be as high as 40 percent." Read More
"The offer, according to BayStreet Research’s Cliff Maldonado, is “the most aggressive we have seen for a new iPhone at launch.... Maldonado said BayStreet estimates roughly 19 million consumers purchased an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus in the United States in the three months after the device went on sale two years ago, and “thus could have a fully paid off iPhone and benefit the most from this promotion.” Read More
But let’s be clear: Any smartphone vendor would be pleased to get U.S. carriers to sell its smartphones. According to BayStreet Research, wireless carriers control roughly 85 percent of smartphone sales in the United States, and Apple accounts for a good portion of the remaining unlocked, non-carrier smartphone market. “We doubt the unlocked market is poised for much growth outside of Apple,” BayStreet’s Cliff Maldonado told me. “The carriers offer too much value in their ‘showroom’ stores.” " Read More
"BayStreet offered a positive outlook on HTC’s new Desire 530, an update to the company’s low-cost Desire 626s that is primarily sold through various U.S. prepaid operators. The Desire 530 “should help regain share in 2HQ3,” BayStreet noted in a recent report." Read More
"The Galaxy Note 7 comes at a good time for Samsung. The Galaxy S7 outsold the Galaxy S6 in its first few months of release, and between the two of them, Apple and Samsung now control 91 percent of the US postpaid smartphone market, according to BayStreet Research." Read More
"Apple and Samsung between them now own 87 percent of postpaid sales at the big four national U.S. carriers, according to new stats from principal analyst Cliff Maldonado at mobile-focused research firm BayStreet Research." Read More
In the News
Data and analysis is often sourced from BayStreet Research for news articles for mobile industry and TMT investor clients. Here is some notable recent press.