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Friday, 22 July 2011 03:40

Competition hots up, smartphone shipments head to one billion


The number of global smartphone shipments are expected to reach one billion a year in 2016, increasing from 302 million in 2010, as competition intensifies amongst vendors offering premium smartphones.

According to analysts' Juniper Research, the traditionally high-end smartphone handsets will make-up the majority of shipments in five years' time, as these type of device become available at lower price points.

Juniper report author, Daniel Ashdown, says competition amongst vendors offering premium smartphones is intense, and Juniper believes the 'best opportunity for new players is through economy models (those with an unsubsidised retail value of $150 or less).'

'In developed markets many consumers will want to upgrade from a feature phone to a smartphone, but still pay a feature phone price,' Ashdown says.

'In emerging markets though, lower average consumer spending power and lack of operator subsidies will make a low price point essential,' Ashdown says, adding that Juniper predicts that open-source operating systems - predominantly Android - combined with the falling cost of key components will make this possible.

However, according to Juniper, the market for standard smartphones ($151-$399) and premium smartphones ($400 and above) will remain robust, and the firm says that:

'¢    New technologies are arriving on these devices - including NFC, 3D and Biometrics

'¢    Features of other devices continue to be integrated into smartphones, including gamepads; and,

'¢    Smartphones are reaching the market which can morph into other devices - notably tablets and netbooks

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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