There was no great surprise in the news that global smartphone sales fell for the first time ever in Q1. As I suggested in February, when reviewing Q4 data: “It seems almost inevitable that global growth will now follow China and go negative”. As the chart shows, Strategy Analytics data suggests that sales fell 3% in […]
Tag Archives | Apple
We all now carry around a mini-computer in our pockets – one with more power than those which controlled Apollo 11 when Neil Amstrong first walked on the moon in 1969. In certain parts of the world, there are now more smartphones than toilets, according to Time magazine. This is raising the spectre of market […]
China has the highest smartphone penetration in the world at 62%. It had 632m mobile subscribers, with 70% of new connections based on 4G connections. But sales actually fell in Q2 by 4%. This was the first time they have ever fallen and is further confirmation of the major change taking place in China under […]
The smartphone market has been one of the ‘jewels in the crown” of the consumer electronics market. Yet today, it is rushing headlong into the world of the New Normal. We can all learn a lot about the outlook for the global economy from watching its development. Until recently, the history was of astonishing growth, […]
Consumers clearly love smartphones. The global market is growing fast with 380m sold in Q4, up 31% versus 2013. But manufacturers might be forgiven for not being so sure. As the chart above shows, major change is underway in the market. The concept of ‘affordable luxury’ is disappearing as the market polarises between affordability and luxury. Samsung’s market share has dived from […]
The picture on the right is the Xiaomi Mi4 smartphone. The 16GB version sells in China at Rmb 1999 ($326), and the 64GB version at Rmb 2499. By comparison, Apple’s iPhone 6 sells for Rmb 5288. Unsurprisingly, Xiaomi is moving up the world sales league very fast. In Q2, it jumped to 5.1% market share, from just 1.8% in Q2 […]
China’s exports are growing again. But not because SuperCycle levels of demand have returned in the West. Instead, its companies are using their low-cost manufacturing model to take on and beat Asian and Western giants. Developments in the global smartphone market highlight the rapidity of the change underway They confirm China’s economy is moving in exactly the […]
“Forget the Crimea annexation or a U.S.-Russia standoff. The biggest international threat to U.S. economic growth is the slowdown in China, say economists polled by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).” That was last week’s headline in the WSJ. These, of course, are the same economists who have been busy telling us for years that China […]
Apple will report great sales this weekend from its iPhone launch in China. But these cannot disguise its major problem in selling its high-priced iPhones there. Its difficulties highlight the dangers for those who believe that China has now become a ‘middle-class’ country with most of the population having incomes close to Western levels. Back in 2010, the analysts […]
One of the great myths of recent years has been that China – whose population mainly earns less than $10/day – has somehow become ‘middle class’. It is certainly true that some of China’s 1.3bn population have done well since the economy reopened to the world after Mao. And equally true that the house price […]
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Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry.
The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts.
Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.