Smartphone share of overall mobile phone sales stalling at 70 percent

Prices are too high for smartphones to compete at the very bottom end of the market

Smartphones during the third quarter again accounted for about 70 percent of total mobile phone shipments. Prices need to fall even further to attract more users in emerging markets, but that won't happen overnight.

Though the smartphone share of overall mobile phone sales increased year over year, it has been flat, sequentially, at around 70 percent for the last couple of quarters, according to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. For the smartphone share to increase, prices have to come down so more users in parts of the world such as Africa and India can afford them.

Today the cheapest smartphones cost about US$35 at wholesale, but prices under $20 are needed. Getting there will take a couple of years, at least. "In the short term, the component cost, IPR costs and the software costs are too high for smartphones to compete at the very bottom end of the market, so feature phones aren't going away," Mawston said.

Android and the Firefox OS are shaping up to be the two big platforms in the low-price segment of the smartphone market, while Samsung Electronics will duke it out with multiple Chinese and Indian vendors on the hardware side, according to Mawston.

Global mobile phone shipments increased to 459.5 million during the third quarter, including 320.4 million smartphones. Overall sales increased by 7.6 percent year-on-year, while smartphone sales increased by 26.7 percent.

The big winner during the third quarter was Chinese company Xiaomi, which became the world's third largest smartphone vendor.

Though Samsung was still the top seller, it was the biggest loser, as its market share tumbled from 35 percent to about 25 percent. The company was the only one among the top five to sell fewer smartphones than a year ago. The rest of the top five was made up of Apple in second place; LG Electronics in fourth; and Huawei Technologies in fifth place.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags XiaomiAppleconsumer electronicsSamsung Electronicssmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?