Ronnie05's Blog

Smartphones take over Feature Phones (Finally!)

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems by Manas Ganguly on March 5, 2013

Long time back, i had been musing if Smartphones could become the primary mobile/handheld devices in the future. If IDC numbers are to be believed 2013, would the year smartphones would tip over feature phones accounting for 50.1% of the total mobile phone shipments. Further more over a 5 yr period, Smartphones will clock a 10.3% CAGR making up for a CAGR loss of 3% in feature phones by 2017, thereby growing the mobile phones category by 4%.

IDC Smartphones pip Featurphones 2013

The three key reasons of rapid massification of smartphones are
1. Data centric network roll outs (3G/4G)
2. Drop in Entry cost from $600 (2009) – $50
3. Open source eco-system that are pushing the economies of scale.

As Smartphone breaks price barriers, the distribution and reach is reaching hitherto untouched segments and economies such as India, Brazil, South Africa, China, Indonesia. China has already topped USA as the top smartphone seller globally. the tablet below summarized IDC’s growth matrix for Smartphones on a global basis.

Top 5 Countries Smartphone Shipments

Now then to my favourite old question – A 70% Android share- Is that a tenable proposition even as the competition keeps increasing? Or do we see a new world order in Smartphone OS 5 yrs down the line? Or will Android become to Smartphone what Windows became to PCs?

Platform extension may be the pointer and the answer to this.

Another compelling thought – Will Smartphones give way to a more real time immersible experience such as Augmented Reality on Glasses or Contacts?

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