NPD DisplaySearch says ‘cheap’ smartphones will take up approximately 30% of the market in 2016
Lifehacker Australia has today reported on some interesting findings by industry analyst, NPD DisplaySearch. They’ve undertaken some research in a great area of interest – that is, in the area of low-cost smartphones compared to high-end ones. This is something that has always been of high discussion especially in the Android realm. While we have our high-end ‘superphones’ like the Galaxy S III and the upcoming Optimus G, we also have a whole variety of budget phones out there. Some of which are even selling for as cheap as $50.
The release from DisplaySearch says that “Low-cost smartphone shipments are forecast to double every year from 2010 to 2016, increasing from 4.5 to 311.0 million,” which will see them at 30% of the forecast of ~1,100 million units.
One of the main reasons that we’re seeing a trend towards cheaper phones is because people simply can’t afford the more expensive ones. Shawn Lee, Research Director at NPD DisplaySearch has said:
Most mobile phone subscribers around the world can’t afford to spend more than US$200 for a smartphone, on top of their service plans … Low-cost smartphone manufacturers create these new products quickly without much investment, which has allowed them to extend their telecom subscriber base to emerging region.
There are many OEMs leading the pace in bringing cheaper fans to the people – the most notable are probably ZTE and Huawei. However, other larger players are coming in to join now. In fact, we also have a recent insurgence of cheap, yet high-powered devices. Read: The ASUS Nexus 7, upcoming Acer tablet and the rumoured LG Nexus 4 – which many suspect will be a sub-$400 phone.
It is noted that most of the demand is from the Asia-Pacific region, which would probably be expected. The United States has quite a small number and we should expect Australia to emulate a similar trend as the US – except taking into consideration the much smaller population we have.
What do you think – should we be embracing budget smartphones and the possibilities they bring? I say yes. Cheaper smartphones give so many more people the option to wield a device that brings them their email, let’s the check their Facebook and take photos on-the-run. If you ask me, it’s a wonderful world we’re entering.
I’d love to hear all of your thoughts too.