Thursday, September 15, 2011

#WIRELESS: "Smartphones' Downward Push Going Over Top"

Due to dropping prices of hitherto pricey components plus 3G network availability in developing countries, touch-screen smartphones are expected to dominate all cellphone sales by 2015. Smartphone sales will double their unit shipments by 2015 making them the largest cellphone market segment, according to IHS iSuppli, which predicts sales exceeding one billion units. In addition, the vast majority of those smartphones will use touch screens, as costs plummet for the previously pricey component, according to ABI Research. In fact, ABI predicts that 97 percent of smartphones will have touch screens by 2016.
Apple's iPhone is still leading the way, continuing to pioneer the smartphone space with new features, such as the ultra-high-resolution retinal display, and an ever-expanding complement of apps. However, the fastest growing segment of the smartphone business is at the low-end, where fewer features and scant app support are compensated for by more affordable prices for users in developing countries.

Driven by lower priced models, smartphones will account for the majority of cell phone sales by 2015 according to IHS iSuppli.
Samsung is addressing the low-end smartphone market with models whose sales are growing at a much faster pace than high-end smartphones. As a result, IHS iSuppli predicts that smartphone shipments overall will account for more than half of cell phone unit shipments in just four years. And the vast majority of even the lowest-end models will sport touch screens, according to ABI Research.
By 2015, global smartphone sales will top one billion units, according to IHS iSuppli, accounting for over 54 percent of the total number of cell phones sold that year. Such sales will more than double smartphones shipments in 2011, which are predicted to be about 478 million units--over 32 percent of the total cell phone market this year. The meteoric rise of smartphones started from humble beginnings, accounting for just under 16 percent of all cellphone sales in 2009.
Low-end smartphones cost less because they have less memory and fewer features, allowing their sales to grow at a faster pace, estimated to be more than 115 percent per year through 2015, compared with just more than 16 percent for mid- and high-end smartphones. Samsung appears to be gaining the most ground as a result of its low-end smartphone sales in China and Latin America, where sales skyrocketed by 600 percent over the last year, according to IHS iSuppli. Samsung's success is pegged to its use of newly available, low-cost, single-chip 3G baseband processors and its licensee-fee-free Android operating system.
Mobile app development is also driving the market overall, according to IHS iSuppli, but a thirst for adding the fun-factor with touch screens is spurring many consumers to trade up to smartphones, according to ABI Research, which claims that just 7 percent of smartphones had touch screens in 2006 compared with 75 percent in 2010. ABI Research also credits build-out of 3G networks in developing countries as spurring smartphone adoption.
R. Colin Johnson has been writing non-stop daily stories about next-generation electronics and related technologies for 20+ years. His unique perspective has prompted coverage of his articles by a diverse range of major media outlets--from the ultra-liberal National Public Radio to the ultra-conservative Rush Limbaugh Show
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