Smartphones to Account for Half of the Devices Sold by 2015; Low-End Phones to Drive Sales

August 27, 2011, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Is the aura of high-end luxury attached to smartphones on the wane? We have reasons to think so. Even Apple is about to come up with a cheaper version of the iconic iPhone. That could also mean that smartphones are going to be sold in such huge numbers that they could easily account for half the total sales of all mobile devices in the market by the year 2015.

Research firm iSuppli has predicted a global smartphone shipment of 1.03 billion units by 2015, which is more than 100 percent increase from the figure of 478 million in 2011. Booming sales of the low-end models would be the catalyst.

This will result in an increase of share of smartphones in the global device shipment to a whopping 54.4 percent, from a mere 15.8 percent of the total market in 2009.

Within the smartphone market, the type of devices with ‘limited features and lower memory densities’ will be the fastest growing. Shipments of low-end smartphones are expected to rise by 115.4 percent from 2010 to 2015. On the other hand, there will only be a 16.4 percent of growth for mid- to high-end devices.

Low-end smartphones primarily woo the first time users and those in the emerging economies of Shine, India, South Asia and Africa. Francis Sideco, senior principal analyst, wireless communications of IHS has been quoted as saying that low-end smartphones are often sold with inexpensive tiered data plans that target consumers who do not yet need full-featured services, which further reduces the phones’ total cost of ownership.

It has been pointed out that device makers like Samsung, whose shipments have increased by 600 percent in Q2, are able to offer lower-priced smartphones because of the availability of the inexpensive single-chip 3G baseband solutions and license free operating systems.

So be ready to be a part of these huge numbers.

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