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Smartphone Use to Reach One Billion By 2016

As Smartphones – traditionally high-end handsets – are decreasing in price, this type of device will make-up the majority of mobile phone shipments in five years’ time, new research shows.

Comparing these figures with 2010 – when the figures of Smarthphone shipments were up to 302 million – this means a projected growth by more than 230%.

This is the conclusion reached in a new report researched by the analyst firm Juniper Research.
Since the competition amongst vendors offering premium Smartphones is intense, Juniper is considering entering the market through economy models – those with an unsubsidised retail value of $150 or less- are the best opportunity for new players.

“In developed markets, many consumers will want to upgrade from a feature phone to a Smartphone, but still pay a feature phone price. In emerging markets though, lower average consumer spending power and lack of operator subsidies will make a low price point essential,” explains report author, Daniel Ashdown.

As a result of three essential characteristics, the study forecasts that the market for standard Smartphones ($151-$399) and premium Smartphones ($400 and above) will remain strong for a few different reasons.

Firstly, new technologies are arriving on these devices – including NFC, 3D and Biometrics; secondly, features of other devices continue to be integrated into Smartphones, including gamepads.

The study also suggests that open-source operating systems – predominantly Android – combined with the falling cost of key components will make this increase possible.

The report gives substantial primary research on Smartphone hardware specifications and analysis of recent trends and developments. It also examines Smartphone plans and handset subsidies, the impact on subscriber retention costs for operators, routes to market, technology trends and selected vendor profiles.

The companies referenced in this research include Accenture, Acer, Apple, ARM, ASUS, AT&T, Dell, T-Mobile, Toshiba, Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and ZTE.