Smartphones are hot, but Basic Smartphones hotter

|January 20, 2016 0
82 percent of mobile phones will be smartphones by 2016 end and the market would be sliced further on user's affordability and what Android makers bring forth in the coming year

MUMBAI, INDIA: Mobile phone shipments are on pace to increase 2.6 per cent in 2016. “Constant end-user spending on mobile phones is expected to increase by 1.2 per cent in 2016, but its growth will not be strong enough for overall end-user device spend to achieve growth in 2016,” said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner.

Smartphone shipments continued to drive growth, and Gartner estimates that, by the end of 2016, 82 per cent of mobile phones will be smartphones, up 12 per cent from 2015. “We are witnessing a shift to basic phones in the smartphone market,” Cozza said. “Users are also opting to replace within the basic smartphone category without necessarily moving to high-end smartphones, especially in China and some other emerging markets.”

Local and Chinese brands are delivering more capable basic smartphones with appealing features at a lower price, which means that there is less of a need for users to upgrade to a premium smartphone. Instead, these more advanced and attractive basic smartphones fulfill user’s needs at a lower cost.

“At MWC 2016, a number of Android vendors will, as usual, release the next generation of their smartphone flagships,” said Cozza. “We’ll hopefully see an increased focus on differentiation by enabling unique, but relevant experiences, expansion to new functionalities and better tie to key app and service ecosystems.”

The device market in 2016 will continue to be impacted by country-level economic conditions. “It’s clear that vendors can no longer market their products with the mind of only targeting the mature and emerging markets,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “Driven by economic variations the market is splitting into four categories: economically challenged mature markets, economically stable mature markets and the same for emerging markets. Russia and Brazil will fall into the category of economically challenged emerging markets while India will be stable, and Japan will belong to the economically challenged mature market.”

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